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Mudd survives "waisted' front nine, wins Nabisco

Jodie Mudd lodged one shot between a photographer's stomach and his belt, hit another ball out of bounds, and still went on to win the biggest prize in American golf. "I'm bewildered how I can play a front side like that and win the golf tournament," Mudd said Sunday after his one-hole playoff victory over Billy Mayfair in the Nabisco Championships.

"Remarkable," he said, and shook his head. "There was all kinds of garbage going on."

Mudd said a punch shot from under the trees on the third hole was "one of the strangest things I've ever seen."

His 4-iron shot strayed off line, hit a photographer in the stomach and lodged between his body and his belt.

"I got a drop from where he was standing," Mudd said. "I made a very good bogey."

Mudd, however, put his various front-nine adventures out of his mind and birdied the last three holes he played _ the 17th and 18th of regulation _ and the first playoff hole.

"I really didn't think I had that kind of game," said Mudd, who had won only three previous titles in a nine-year PGA Tour career.

From a monetary standpoint, this was the biggest of them all. His 15-foot playoff birdie putt secured the first prize of $450,000 and another $40,000 from a yearlong bonus pool that also closed in this season-ending event.

Greg Norman finished in a tie for seventh and won $82,500 from the tournament purse of $2.5-million. He also collected an extra $175,000 from the bonus pool.

It all added up to $1,165,477 and made him the year's top money winner. Although the official figures will not be announced until today, Norman also appeared certain of acquiring his second consecutive Vardon Trophy for the low scoring average.

Wayne Levi finished tied for third at 276, 8 under par. That was worth $146,250.

When all the scores were in, Levi hastily did some arithmetic. He added in $106,000 from the bonus pool and found his total to be $1,024,647, second on the money list and making him only the fifth man on the American tour to go past $1-million in a single season.

He snapped his fingers and said, "I got over the ($1-million) hump."

Other tournaments

Senior Gold Rush: George Archer overcame a four-stroke deficit over the final 10 holes and beat Dale Douglass by one stroke in Rancho Murieta, Calif. Archer, who won his fourth Senior PGA Tour victory this year, finished with a 6-under-par 66 for a 54-hole total of 204, a tournament-record 12 under par. He earned $60,000.

Nichirei International: Nine of the 16 Americans bettered par and 13 of them won matches Sunday as a U.S. team of LPGA golfers beat their Japanese counterparts 22{-9{ in Ina, Japan. It was the U.S. team's 10th victory in the series and the sixth in a row. Dottie Mochrie, Patty Sheehan and Rosie Jones led the U.S. team with 4-under-par 68s.

Volvo Masters: Mike Harwood of Australia sent a 40-foot bunker shot to within a foot of the pin on the 18th hole to save par and win the Volvo Masters in Sotogrande, Spain, by one stroke. Ian Woosnam of Wales, who finished tied for 21st, won his second European money title with a total of $1,119,164 for the year.

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