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Delasin begins pursuit of 3-peat



Published: Fri, July 19, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The two-time defending champion has an opportunity to make LPGA history.

By JAYME RAMSON

VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF

VIENNA -- The Los Angeles Lakers did it, the New York Yankees did it, and this weekend Dorothy Delasin will attempt it.

Delasin will tee off today on her quest for the historically elusive three-peat of the Giant Eagle LPGA Classic at Squaw Creek Country Club.

Only six players in LPGA history have won the same tournament three consecutive times.

No player has ever won the local tournament three consecutive times, but if any golfer is destined to win, it would be Delasin.

"I am very excited to go for the three-peat," said Delasin.

Jump-start

She has said that her season begins when she arrives in Vienna and she might have enough confidence and desire to win the tournament for the third straight time.

In June, Delasin talked about having a chance to three-peat. Today she knows the win is within her reach.

"It's anybody's game and anything can happen," said Delasin. "Even players that are five shots down going into the last day have a chance of winning."

Delasin has become accustomed to winning this tournament. Two of her three career wins have been at the Giant Eagle LPGA Classic. Asked about the significance of a three-peat at this point in her career, Delasin said, "It would mean a lot. I would have four victories then and that would be amazing."

Delasin placed 49th at last week's Jamie Farr Kroger Classic in Sylvania and has made some adjustments since the start of the season in preparation for this tournament. She switched to a heel-balanced putter, which she anticipates will be better for her game and will make her feel more comfortable on the greens.

With a field including some of the top names in women's golf, Delasin knows that the challenge of a three-peat will be a difficult feat.

"We are competing against the world's best players," said Delasin. "I feel I'll have to play better than last year [to win]."

Shot to remember

If Delasin plays anything like she did Thursday, a win could be possible for the 21-year-old from South San Francisco, Calif. Delasin made an eagle on the third hole from 115 yards with a choke A-wedge. The shot boosted her confidence, and she hopes she can save some of that magic for this weekend.

She credits the fans with her success at the Giant Eagle LPGA Classic.

"The crowds are great and the fans are wonderful," said Delasin. "I love playing with the crowds, and the fans really lift my spirits."

After winning her first tournament at the Avalon Lakes course in 2000, Delasin won in 2001 at Squaw Creek. This year she will defend her title on the same course, but she knows that almost everyone has played on the course before and does not see her victory last year as an advantage.

"The course is a little different this year," said Delasin. "I'll have to play smarter and I'll have to keep making good swings and putt well."

Delasin knew what it took to win the tournament the past two years. Fans will have to wait and see if she can do what it takes to win this year's tournament and become only the seventh golfer in LPGA history to three-peat.

jramson@vindy.com




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