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Lietzke wins after final round washes out

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- When he woke up twice Saturday night to
the sound of thunder, Bruce Lietzke figured he might be on the
verge of winning a golf tournament without even swinging a club. He
was right.

Unrelenting rains made the Tiffany Greens course unplayable on
Sunday and Lietzke, whose 8-under-par 64 Saturday had given him
a two-stoke lead, was declared winner of the TD Waterhouse
Championship.

"I didn't dare let my mind wander. I had to be prepared to play
today," said Lietzke, who finished with a 36-hole total of
11-under on the water-soaked, par-72 layout. "I was really ready
to play."

The 50-year-old Lietzke collected $240,000 for his fourth Senior
PGA Tour victory in just 19 starts. Larry Nelson, whose 66 on
Saturday left him two strokes behind Lietzke and one ahead of Tom
Wargo, Hale Irwin and Walter Hall, collected $140,000.

After almost 5 inches of rain all week, another inch
overnight caused flooding in some parts of town and made the course
unplayable.

"The bad news is I don't have a chance to catch Bruce. The good
news is nobody has a chance to catch me," Nelson said.

Lietzke has earned $719,955 on the senior circuit this year and
$1,839,529 since joining the tour last summer.

It was the second time the final round of a PGA Senior Tour
event was washed out this year.

"There is some satisfaction in winning, without a doubt," he
said. "I came here to win a tournament. But we always envision the
classic way of winning golf tournaments.

"You want to sink your putt on No. 18, hug your wife, kiss your
mom and shake hands with your caddie. But I'll get over it. I'll be
fine. I'm just disappointed the people didn't get to see golf."

Lietzke, ironically, was born in Kansas City during what is
known as the Great Flood of 1951. Elizabeth Lietzke had always
traveled to Wichita to have her babies delivered by her private
physician. But because of the flood, she had to stay home when
Bruce was born.

"I was born in the Great Flood of 1951 and now here I am 50
years later still trying to get out of town," he said with a
laugh.

Kansas City golf fans, in the meantime, are hoping the
tournament itself will not be canceled. Officials, with the help of
Kansas City native Tom Watson, have not yet lined up a title
sponsor for next year.

"I'm very optimistic the event will continue in Kansas City,"
tournament director Jeff Kleiber said. "It's a great golf town.
it's a perfect venue, perfect community for a senior tour event. We
just need to resolve the title sponsor issues."

Kleiber expects an announcement "by mid- to late summer."

"We're in the middle of some pretty serious dialogue with some
people. We're doing what needs to be done. It takes time," he
said.