Delasin's purse helps her family
It was a symbol of success the teen-ager had as a rookie.
By BRIAN RICHESSON
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
VIENNA -- Dorothy Delasin thought it would be wise to save the $150,000 she won at last year's Giant Eagle LPGA Classic.
But she wasn't thinking of herself. The LPGA's Rookie of the Year -- at age 19 -- wanted to share the wealth that came with her first tour victory.
So she bought her family a house in South San Francisco.
"I wanted to put it to good use," Delasin said Monday during Media Day at Squaw Creek Country Club, the tournament's new venue following eight years at Avalon Lakes Golf Course.
"They're living in that house right now," Delasin said. "When they moved in, my mom had this sparkle in her eye. I was touched, and it was a feeling I'm never going to forget."
Memories: Some of the memories that came with Delasin's first victory returned Sunday night when she settled into a room at Avalon Inn.
The driving range, where she began her days, and the restaurants, where she ended them, brought back some of the most vivid images.
"I felt like it was just yesterday," she said.
Only, it was 10 months ago, and Delasin was putting the finishing touches on a two-hole playoff victory over tour veteran Pat Hurst.
"My emotions were like a roller coaster," Delasin said of competing in a playoff.
Winning hole: Delasin and Hurst began the playoff by matching birdies on the par-4 18th hole at Avalon Lakes. Delasin ended the suspense on the second playoff hole -- the par-4 10th -- when she parred and Hurst bogeyed.
"I think I had a 3-footer left to win," Delasin said. "It felt like a 10-footer and the hole looked like the size of a quarter."
A victory was never in Delasin's mind until it actually happened.
"I was looking at the scoreboard and I was seeing my name move up slowly," she said of final-round play. "I'm like, 'Cool, my name's up there. This is going to be my best finish of the whole year.'
"I didn't know I was going to win."
Delasin, a native of Lubbock, Texas, became the youngest player to win an LPGA event since Amy Alcott won the 1975 Orange Blossom Classic. Delasin went on to record seven more top-20 finishes in 2000 to earn rookie honors.
The Giant Eagle LPGA Classic remains Delasin's only tour win, but that doesn't mean she isn't improving.
Among top 10: Ranked 24th on this season's money list ($142,812), Delasin has three top-10 finishes and senses win No. 2 isn't far off.
"It really boosted my confidence," Delasin said of the victory. "I know now that I can go out there and play with the best and win."
Since her stop last year in the Valley, Delasin felt she strengthened her game in several areas.
"I've gotten longer with my drives, more consistent and I'm hitting the greens more," Delasin said. "I just have to work harder on my short game, especially putting.
"My dad says, 'You're only going to get better, Dorothy, so just keep going,' " she said. "That's what I'm going to do."