<HR><CENTER><B>Serie edges Norman<br> in three-hole playoff</B></CENTER>

After Serie chipped his third shot within four feet of the hole, he gave way to Norman, who calmly dropped a 12-foot, downhill putt for par. Serie still had a chance to win the playoff with a birdie, but he strong-armed his four-footer before dropping his par putt.

"It was kind of funny the way things worked out," Serie said later. "Cory was in total control of the first playoff hole and just missed his par putt. I was in control of the second hole, but my birdie putt was too hard. Cory just made a great putt for par (on the second playoff hole)."

With darkness at hand, tournament officials decided that the LCC's third hole, a par-3, would be the last playoff hole of the day. If the championship had not been decided after that hole, the playoff would have continued Monday.

Serie was first on the tee box and promptly delivered a six-iron shot that landed on the front half of the green. Norman followed with a tee shot that landed in a tough position off the green to the right.

Norman's chip onto the green was hot, and it rolled 15 feet past the hole. Serie then hit an outstanding 20-foot putt that came to rest one inch on the right side of the cup, where he tapped in for par. Norman's 15-foot par attempt was off the mark, giving Serie his first club title in nine years.

Both players experienced the ups and downs of tournament play during the first 36 holes.

After playing the first five holes at three-over-par Saturday, Serie settled down and played the next 13 holes at even par to go home with a lead that night.

A 38 during the first round gave Serie a one-shot cushion over Gary Golla (39) and a two-stroke advantage over Norman, Tim Connell, Dick Iveland and Steve Smedsrud, who all turned in 40s.

Both Serie and Iveland shot one-over-par 37s during Saturday's second round, giving the eventual champ a two-shot edge (75-77) over Iveland.

Golla's second 39 of the day placed him three shots off the pace with a 78, and Connell and Victor Van Dyk were four shots back with 79s. Norman's second consecutive 40 left him tied with Tim Knoll for sixth place as both players finished Saturday's rounds with 80s.

"I got off to a bad start on Saturday, playing the first five holes at three-over-par. Then I played the final 13 holes at even par. I was playing pretty well then, hitting some good shots and making some good putts," Serie offered.

Serie's recovery during the final 13 holes of play Saturday did not carry over into Sunday's first round, when he shot a five-over-par 41.

"I played really badly on the front nine Sunday. I wasn't hitting the ball well at all, and that brought a lot of good players back into the tournament," he said.

Serie's 41 opened the door for Norman, who happened to shoot par-36 in the foursome in front of Serie and gain a share of the lead heading into the final round.

Connell, Van Dyk and Golla were two strokes behind the leaders at the turn after shooting respective 39-, 39- and 40-stroke rounds. Iveland, however, slipped out of contention after carding a 47.

As the final round progressed, it turned into a three-man race among Serie, Norman and Connell.

Van Dyk dropped out of contention with a 48 during the final round, and Golla played the first two holes at three-over-par en route to a 42 that led to a fourth-place finish.

The race was on for Connell and Serie, who were playing in the final foursome, and Norman, who was playing with the group in front of them.

Connell, Serie and Norman all made par during the first hole of the final round, but Norman moved in front of Serie (par) by one stroke and increased his lead over Connell (par) to three strokes with a birdie on the second hole.

Both Serie and Norman made par on the third hole, but Connell recorded a birdie to trail Norman by two strokes and Serie by one.

Serie regained a share of the lead and Connell was one shot back after dropping par putts on the fourth hole. Norman bogeyed the same hole.

Serie and Norman parred the fifth hole, but a poor approach shot by Connell led to a bogey that set him two strokes off the pace.

An excellent approach shot by Serie on the sixth hole led to a four-foot birdie that put him one stroke in front of Norman and three shots ahead of Connell, who parred the hole.

The three challengers all bogeyed the par-3 seventh hole, but Norman tied Serie again when he birdied the eighth hole that Connell and Serie parred.

Serie did have a four-foot attempt for birdie on the eighth hole, but his putt was off the mark.

Norman parred the ninth hole, as did Connell and Serie.

Serie's par was not of the ho-hum variety.

After an approach shot that left him off the green to the left, Serie chipped onto the putting surface with his third shot. The chip set up a knee-knocking five-foot attempt for par, which Serie made under intense pressure.

"When I hit that putt, I thought I missed it. It crept into the low side of the hole," he said.

Serie said he would have preferred playing against Norman in a head-to-head situation during the final round, but being mixed in with Connell, Golla and Iveland may have helped him in the long run.

"You always like to know what the guy or guys you have beat are doing. With as many people (checking up on each foursome) as we had watching us, I always knew what Cory was doing in front of us. It was great playing with Connell, Golla and Plante (Iveland). They were very helpful. When I was playing bad on the front nine Sunday, they were very supportive to me. To win a club tournament is a very special thing. When you win one, you know you played well, and you beat some very good golfers."

Here is a look at the final standings from the championship flight:

Serie (38-37-41-36-152),

Norman (40-40-36-36-152),

Connell (40-39-39-37-155),

Golla (39-39-40-42-160),

Iveland (40-37-47-40-164),

Knoll (43-37-44-40-164),

Smedsrud (40-42-40-42-164),

George McDonald (43-38-43-41-165),

Van Dyk (42-37-39-48-166),

Darwin Elbers (41-40-45-40-166).

Comment Here