2000 Rookie Delasin wins in playoff
An exciting playoff against Pat Hurst gave Delasin the victory.
By PETE MOLLICA
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
WARREN -- Going into the final round of the 2000 Giant Eagle LPGA Classic rookie Dorothy Delasin never really expected to win.
The 19-year-old first-year tour player from Daly City, Calif., just wanted to play her shots and do as best as she could to bring home a good pay check.
Her shots turned out to be the best of the field as she came from four-shots back to tie tour veteran Pat Hurst for the lead, then won the $150,000 first-place prize money by beating Hurst on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff at the newly redesigned Avalon Lakes Golf Course.
Youngest champion: In getting her first LPGA Tour victory, Delasin became the youngest champion in 25 years on tour.
"I really didn't think that I was going to win," Delasin said. "I just wanted to go out and play my shots and do by best. This is like a dream come true. I grew up watching Pat Hurst play golf. To win against her in a playoff, that's just amazing."
Both Delasin and Hurst finished the tournament with identical 11-under-par 205 totals.
Delasin, playing ahead of Hurst, birdied the par-4 18th hole to reach 11-under when she hit a 5-wood to within 12 feet and sank the putt for a final round 5-under-par 67.
She began the day four shots behind co-leaders Michele Redman and Se Ri Pak and three shots behind Hurst, who shared second-place with Helen Alfredsson.
Needed a birdie: While Redman, Pak and Alfredsson quietly slipped out of the lead, Hurst came to the 18th hole needing a birdie to win the tournament and a par to tie.
After a booming drive, she left her second shot some 35 feet short of the pin, but managed to two-putt for the par and headed for the playoff.
The first playoff hole was No. 18 again and both players made pars. On the second playoff hole, No. 10, Hurst missed the fairway and just barely reached the green some 50 to 60 feet away, while Delasin knocked her approach shot within 25 feet.
Drained it: Hurst's putt stopped five feet short, while Delasin putted to within three feet. Hurst missed her par putt and Delasin drained her three-footer to win the title.
"I just wanted to make par on the second hole, feeling that if she's going to win, she has to make birdie," Delasin said. "I really felt she could get on the green from where she was, but when I saw her walking left I said to myself, just two-putt."
It was the third straight playoff loss for Hurst.
"I thought that this would be the time for me to win one," Hurst said. "But the bogey sure didn't help."
My Hyum Kim of South Korea fired a final round 67 and finished in a three-way tie for third place with Wendy Ward and Laura Philo at 207, 9-under par.
Redman, the second round co-leader, was alone in sixth place at 208 after a final round 74.
Bogeyed: Pak, who was at 11-under and leading the tournament through 10 holes, made three straight bogeys and finished at 7-under and tied with Alfredsson and Janice Moodie at 209.
Defending champion Jackie Gallagher-Smith shot a final round 72 to finish at 214.
The players blistered the newly redesigned Avalon Lakes course in the opening round as 75 players shot par or better and Pak and Alfredsson led the way with 7-under-par 65's
The LPGA approved the "preferred lies" rule for the tournament allowing the players to lift, clean and place the ball within the confines of the fairway and first cut of rough.
"The golf course was very vulnerable out there," said Alfredsson. "The greens were soft and you could throw the ball right at the pin and not worry about it."
Tourney record: Alfredsson, of Sweden, set a tournament record by shooting 7-under-par 29 on the front nine.
Four other golfers were one stroke back with 6-under-par 66's led by Hurst, Redman, Dale Eggeling and Michelle Murphy.
Tour rookie Grace Park and England's Diane Barnard were another shot back after shooting 67. In all, 55 players bettered par in the round.
Pak, the 1998 Giant Eagle champion, and Redman took the lead after 36-holes with 10-under-par 134 totals.
The South Korean standout, who won during her rookie-of-the-year season, shot a second round 3-under-par 69, while Redman of Minneapolis, Minn., fashioned a 4-under-par 68 to share the lead.
Alfredsson, who shared the first round lead with Pak, bogeyed her final two holes of the round and dropped to 9-under and is tied with Hurst.
Two other golfers, second-year pro Laura Philo of Amelia Island, Fla., and Janice Moodie of Glasgow, England, were another shot back at 8-under-par.
Two-time Giant Eagle champion Tammie Green of Somerset shot the low round of the tournament when she blistered the course with an 8-under-par 64 which equaled the old tournament record. She was at 6-under-par for the tournament.