Dorothy Delasin became the second repeat champion in tournament history.
By PETE MOLLICA
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
VIENNA -- For the second straight year, Dorothy Delasin overcame big odds to win the Giant Eagle LPGA Classic at Squaw Creek Country Club.
The 20-year-old Delasin, a California native, came from four shots behind, just as she did in 2000 when she won her first Giant Eagle crown as a 19-year-old rookie at Avalon Lakes Golf Course.
Delasin became the third two-time champion of the Giant Eagle event, joining Ohio native Tammie Green and Michelle McGann.
Delasin shot a 7-under-par 65 in the final 18 holes to win by one stroke over Green.
Delasin's total for the 54-hole tournament was 203, 13-under par. Green shot a 68 on Sunday and finished at 204.
Se Ri Pak, of Daejeon, Korea was the leader after the first and second rounds.
The 1998 Giant Eagle champion finished with a 1-under-par 71 to take third with a 205 total.
"I really didn't know what was going to happen today," said Delasin, who now resides in Albuquerque, N.M.
"I knew that I just wanted to go out and play my best and play my own game."
Delasin started out strong on Sunday making birdies on the par-5, No. 2 hole and the par-4 No. 3, which played as one of the toughest on the course all three days.
She birdied No. 6 and No. 8 to make the turn at 4-under and found herself back in the hunt.
She birdied the par-4 10th and had her only bogey of the day at No. 11 before bouncing back with birdies on 13, 14 and 15 to gain the tournament lead that she would not relinquish.
Pak and Green both battled for the lead on the front nine and were deadlocked after 12 holes.
Pak's downfall came at No. 11 when she made double bogey and then missed a short birdie putt on No. 13.
Green, who played her final nine holes in even par, needed to make a 60-foot chip for birdie at 18 to tie Delasin, but the shot just slid past the hole.
"I gave it a run," Green said. "I thought the chip would move a little bit right, but it went straight as a string."
Four players finished tied for fourth place at 9-under, 207 -- Sherri Steinhauer, who had a final round 70, Dina Ammaccapane, Becky Iverson and Janice Moodie.
Delasin took home $150,000 and the William Lyden Memorial Trophy.
She didn't get a chance to defend the title on the same course, but she was still very happy.
"Actually it meant more to me to have won the tournament on two different courses," she said.
In 2000 at the awards ceremony, Delasin had a nose bleed and was embarrassed.
"No nose bleed, but I was still shocked to have won," she said. "I was down in the locker room when they came and told me that I had won and I was very surprised."
She is the only player to have defeated Pak when the South Korean has had the lead going into the final round. She has now done it twice.
Pak, who has won four LPGA tournaments in the state of Ohio, shared the first round lead with 13-year veteran Maggie Will and fourth-year player Marnie McGuire, all shooting 5-under-par 67s.
Pak, who also was in her fourth season, started off on the back nine and quickly birdied three of the first four holes, but then went eight straight holes without a birdie.
Will had three birdies on the front nine and then eagled the par-4 10th hole with a perfect 157-yard 5-iron to take sole possession of the lead.
She was 6-under going to the 15th hole, but made back-to-back bogies and had to make a spectacular birdie on 18 just to get a share of the lead.
McGuire, a native of Auckland, New Zealand, started birdie-birdie and was five under after eight holes.
She bogied the par-3 9th hole and than managed just one birdie over her final nine holes.
Delasin shot 3-under 69 in the first round and was tied with 11 others including Green and Jane Geddis. In all 22 players were within three shots of the lead.
Geddis, by the way, made a hole-in-one on her final hole, the ninth, knocking in an 8-iron from 137 yards. Ironically that same hole back in 1991 was where she lost a sudden-death playoff to Deb Richard.
The others shooting 69's were Diana D'Alessio, Vicky Odegard, Suzy Green, Moodie, Audra Burks, Dina Ammaccapane, Steinhauer, My Hyum Kim and Jane Egan.
Seven others including 1999 Giant Eagle champion Jackie Gallagher-Smith were at two under-70.
Pak continued her steady play in the second round as she matched her first-round total of 67. She had her first bogey of the tournament on the No. 7 hole when she hit an errant tee shot.
She was at 134, 10-under par for the tournament.
Pak held a two shot lead over Green, who also shot 67, but had six birdies and a bogey on the same No. 7 hole as Pak. Green's total was 136, eight under par.
Steinhauer was one stroke back at 137 after shooting 68 on Saturday, while five golfers, led by Ohioan Marianne Morris, were another shot back at 138.
Morris who fired the low round of the day with a 66, was tied with Delasin, Iverson, Laurel Kean and McGuire.
The tournament cut was at 3-over-par 147 with 73 players surviving. One of the causalities was two-time Giant Eagle champion Michelle McGann, who had a 3-over-par 75 in the second round and finished at 149.