Doing It All Four Love


CASTLE ROCK, Colo. -- Davis Love III collected five points on Sunday to complete a wire-to-wire victory at The International. Love finished the tournament with 46 points, 12 points clear of Vijay Singh and Retief Goosen.
'It's a new kind of experience for me, or really for anybody to have that big of a lead all the way through,' said Love, who earned $900,000 for the victory to take over the top spot on the PGA Tour money list. 'Hopefully I'll get four shots ahead at the PGA next week and know what it feels like and I'll be able to handle it a little better than I did this week.'
The win gives Love four titles in 2003 and plenty of momentum heading into the PGA Championship at Oak Hill.
At The International, play is contested using the modified Stableford scoring system. Players receive two points for a birdie, five points for an eagle and eight points for a double eagle. Players lose one point for a bogey and three points for a double bogey or worse, with a par receiving a score of zero.
Love carried a 10-point lead into the final round at Castle Pines and picked up where he left off at the opening hole. Love left himself with 25 feet for birdie at the par-5 first and ran home the putt for two points.
He bogeyed the par-4 second to lose a point but recovered at the very next hole. Love dropped his approach within 14 feet at the par-4 third and he drained the putt for a birdie.
At the par-3 fourth, Love hit a remarkable tee shot that landed three feet from the cup. Love converted the short birdie try for two additional points. Through four holes on Sunday, Love had accumulated five early points to stretch his lead to 15.
'I knew I had to get off to a real good start,' said Love, who won the 1997 PGA Championship at Winged Foot. 'I really hit the ball starting off, and that's all I felt like I had to do, was get a few birdies, get on the board and not be putting pressure on myself.'
Love had several birdie tries from that point on that just slipped from the palm of his hand. He hit his second shot 10 feet from the cup on the fringe at the ninth and parred the hole. At the par-3 11th, Love's tee shot landed 12 feet from the hole but he missed the birdie opportunity.
The 39-year-old left his second shot in a bunker behind the green at the 13th but converted the difficult up and down to save par. Love wasn't as lucky on the 16th where he bogeyed the hole to give back a point but he responded at the par-5 17th.
The site of last year's drama had a different feel this Sunday as Love birdied the hole to reach 47 points, one point off the tournament scoring mark.
Love's second shot at the 18th missed the green and his chip failed to find the bottom of the cup. Love missed the par save and tapped in for bogey, but it was more than enough to secure his 18th career victory on the PGA Tour.
'Obviously the first two rounds set the tournament up for me,' said Love, who also won this event in 1990. 'All I had to do was play good on the weekend and that's what I did. I played great golf and then good golf on the weekend. I didn't get the breaks, obviously, I got the first two days with the putts falling like they did, but I never put myself in much trouble and hung in there real good.'
Goosen found trouble with a double bogey at the par-4 15th but countered in style with an eagle at the par-5 17th. All in all, the 2001 U.S. Open champion tallied eight points on Sunday to join Singh in a tie for second with 34 points each.
'I like playing before the majors to get my game into some sort of shape,' said Goosen. 'I feel like I'm playing pretty well. Just need to get warmed up a little bit more, and then next week, I'm looking forward to try.'
Chris DiMarco finished alone in fourth place with 33 points. John Rollins, who played in the final pairing with Love, finished with no points to come in fifth place at 31.
Ernie Els made the biggest move on Sunday with 13 final-round points. Els finished with 26 points in a tie for sixth with Phil Mickelson.
Related Links:
  • Bio - Davis Love III
  • Full Coverage - The International
  • The International Leaderboard