DELASIN ENDS TITLE DRAUGHT, EDGED KOREAN IN TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS
MOBILE, ALABAMA, NOVEMBER 18, 2003 (MALAYA) Dorothy Delasin rolled in an 8-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a sudden death playoff to edge Korea's Hee-Won Han in the LPGA Tournament of Champions on Sunday.
Delasin posted a final-round 69 and Han shot a 68, including a back-nine 32 to tie Delasin at 8-under-par 280. Laura Davies also made a great final-round charge, shooting a tournament-best 65 that left her one shot out of the playoff at 7-under 281.
With the victory at the Magnolia Grove Crossings Course, Delasin qualified for next week's season-ending ADT Tour Championship. She needed to finish fifth or better to jump from No. 33 on the LPGA money list to the top 30.
She climbed to No. 22 with $476,170, bumping Suzanne Pettersen out of the No. 30 slot. With the win, Delasin also qualified to play in the Tournament of Champions for two more years.
"It looked like it might break away and then it went in the side door," Delasin said of her winning putt. "It was just a rush of emotion that was all built up. It just came out."
Han and Delasin each had birdie putts to win on the final hole of regulation and both came up short, Han missing a 30-footer and Delasin missing a 15-footer.
They played the 18th hole in the playoff and both fired at the pin on their approach shots. Han had her 10-foot birdie putt on line to go in the hole, but it stopped an inch shy of the cup.
"It was just a little short," Han said of her playoff birdie putt. "It was downhill, but not as fast as it looked."
That gave Delasin an opportunity to win, and she didn't let this one slip away. She took her time surveying the tricky putt with her caddie Clint Begay, brother of PGA Tour pro Notah Begay.
Delasin's downhill putt trickled slowly to the hole and disappeared, securing her first victory since the 2001 Samsung World Championship.
"It was a downhiller with about a cup or cup and a half break to the left," Delasin said of her winning putt. "I had been stroking the ball good and I just told myself to put a good stroke on it and if it goes in, it goes in. If it doesn't, we go to No. 17 for another hole."
Delasin made a 12-foot par putt on the 17th hole in regulation and Han birdied the par-3 hole to tie for the lead.
"Her putt on 17 was a good one," Han said. "That was big. It was a nice comeback for me. A 32 on the back nine is a perfect score for me. Dorothy played well. She made the putt in the playoff and I just missed."
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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