Lehman runs off with the honours

 

TOM LEHMAN clinched a hat trick of honours when romping to a six stroke victory in the Tour Championship at the Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa yesterday.

Lehman closed with a round of 71 to wrap up the money title, the best scoring average and the PGA of America Player of the year.

Lehman's 12 under par 268 was one stroke better than Nick Price's winning score in the 1994 PGA Championship when he won by six strokes over Corey Pavin.

Brad Faxon closed with a 68 and finished second at 274. Steve Stricker was third at 275 after shooting a 65.

Lehman's dominating effort at Southern Hills in which he opened with rounds of 66, 67 and 64 to take a nine stroke lead into the rain delayed final round - capped a year in which he emerged as one of the game's most feared - players.

Lehman (37), spent years bouncing around on virtually every minor tour. He finished 1996 with two victories, including the British Open, and 13 top 10 finishes, including a second at the US Open. He finished out of the top 20 only three times in 22 events.

The nine shot margin was the largest lead after 54 holes in a PGA Tour event since Jack Nicklaus took the same margin into the final round of the King's Island Open in 1973.