Durants Win a Classic and a Record

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For at least one week, Joe Durant knows what it is like to be the best golfer on the planet. When all the drives find the fairway, all the approaches find the green and all the putts find the bottom of the cup. When all mistakes are quickly rectified through skill and a bit of good fortune.

Durant capped a dream week in La Quinta, Calif., by establishing a new 90-hole PGA Tour scoring record at 36-under-par 324. His final-round 7-under 65 at PGA West was good enough for a four-stroke victory over Paul Stankowski, who shot a nine-under-par 63 - a rather blas round, this week.
 
Durant comments on his record setting win.
 
'It really was a magical week,' said Durant, who won $630,000. 'It seemed like every time I needed to make a crucial putt I did.'
 
Read what Durant had to say at the winner's news conference
 
From the time Durant singed for a second-round 61 - a personal best by four strokes - the event was his to lose. An easy proposition when guys are shooting 65 and getting lapped in the process.
 
One of the Tour's most accurate players, Durant maintained his position at the top of the leaderboard by shooting 67 in the third round. He then carded a 66 on Saturday to move to 29-under-par for the tournament, setting a new 72-hole PGA Tour record by a shot.
 
Through four rounds, Durant was five-up on the field. His nearest competitor, Mark Calcavecchia, said: 'If he doesn't fill up the pond with his golf balls he's going to win the tournament. He's just too focused on what he's doing.'
 
Indeed, even Durant knew he was in 'the zone.'
 
'I just don't want to wake-up,' Durant said after the fourth round.
 
The former insurance salesman, who never sold a policy, continued to sleepwalk on Sunday. Showing no signs of complacency, Durant birdied the second, sixth, eighth, 10th and 11th holes to move to 34-under-par for the tournament - just one stroke shy of Tom Kite's 90-hole scoring record set at the Hope in '93.
 
Durant kept his momentum going by sinking a seven-foot par putt at the 12th, the first of four consecutive pars. At the par-4 16th, he tied Kite's mark by dropping in a 10-foot birdie putt; and then did the same at the par-3 17th to move to 36-under.
 
Durant finally woke from his slumber when he narrowly missed a short birdie putt at the last. But when he wiped the sleep from his eyes, he saw clearly a new record and a new trophy for his mantle.
 
'To win again means a lot,' said Durant, whose first victory came in the 1998 Western Open. 'In fact, it almost means more to me than my first time. I feel like I've gone full circle and my game is where is should be.'
 
News, Notes and Numbers
*Robert Gamez shot an 11-under-par 61 in the final round to finish tied for 11th at 23-under. He is one of seven players to shoot 62 or lower this week. Because he finished a stroke out of the top ten, Gamez will have to Monday qualify to compete in the upcoming Nissan Open.
 
*David Duval shot a final-round 2-over-par 74 to tie for 51st. Two years ago, he fired a 59 at PGA West to win the tournament.
 
Click here for Full-Field scores from the Phoenix Open!
 
Read Kelly Tilghman's take on the low scores on Tour!