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Green's fate is sealed by missed chip shot



Published: Mon, July 30, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Tammie Green needed a birdie to force a playoff with Dorothy Delasin, but was 2 feet wide.

By BRIAN RICHESSON

VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF

VIENNA -- Tammie Green's final opportunity to force a playoff in the Giant Eagle LPGA Classic came at the 18th green, in front of a gathering of friendly fans who watched her every move.

"I thought that it was going to slide a little to the right," Green said of a chip off the fringe at the front of the green. "It stayed straight as a string."

Green misread the potential tournament-tying chip and hit the ball about 2 feet left of the hole. She made the putt for par.

What followed was applause from the gallery; what she missed was her third victory in the history of the tournament.

One back: The Somerset, Ohio, native closed with a 12-under par 204, one stroke behind champion Dorothy Delasin.

"All in all, I felt good about the way I played," Green said. "Four-under par [68] is respectable on Sunday."

The scenario was set for a showdown on Sunday. Green, a gallery favorite, and Se Ri Pak, one of the Tour's hottest golfers, were paired with Sherri Steinhauer in the final group.

Green admitted she hadn't played well until this weekend.

She put together some good performances in July -- a tie for 17th and 15th, respectively, at the ShopRite LPGA Classic and the Jamie Farr Kroger Classic in Toledo. She took the last two weeks off.

Made her move: The round began with Pak leading Green by two strokes. Pak increased her lead with a birdie at the first hole before Green made her move.

Green birdied the second hole and evened the score when she birdied No. 6 and Pak bogeyed. Green took a two-stroke lead at No. 11 when Pak double bogeyed.

"I chipped in [at No. 6] and was able to convert to turn things around," Green said. "Se Ri had some tough luck off the [sixth] tee when she hit into the tree and bogeyed. I felt I built some momentum there."

Meanwhile, Delasin was steadily building enough momentum to overtake them, with consecutive birdies at Nos. 13-15.

"Dorothy came out of nowhere and played good golf," Green said. "She's young [20], and she has a lot of years left. This has to be very special for her."

Green learned of Delasin's exploits at the 14th hole.

"[My caddie] said Delasin went to 13-[under]," Green said. "It was just a matter of hitting good shots and catching her after that."

But it didn't happen.

"When we made the turn, I had a bad swing on 10," Green said. "From that point on, I didn't get a good swing; maybe I jammed my shoulder. I just wasn't clicking on the back side."

Wide on chip: When Green came to the 18th green, she had one last chance but came up just wide on her chip. Valley fans still presented her with a warm reception.

"The fan support was unbelievable," Green said. "The crowd was great off the 18th. When you know the crowd's behind you, it's special."

Green will not play in the British Open this weekend, electing instead to spend time with her family, including husband, Bill, and 2-year-old daughter, Tina.

"You take the good with the bad, and right now I feel good with the game and wonderful with my family," Green said.

richesson@vindy.com




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