Robbins Wins LPGA Champions
Oct. 11, 1998
OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) _ Kelly Robbins closed with a 2-under-par 70 Sunday and won the LPGA Tournament of Champions, her first victory since the opening event of the season.
Robbins finished with a 12-under 276 total, four shots better than runner-up Juli Inkster and the same lead she held over the field starting the final round.
Inkster had four birdies on the back nine in a 69 as matched her best finish of the year. Sherri Steinhauer started the final round in second place, but her 71 was her worst round of the tournament and left her at 281.
The anticipated showdown between player of the year contenders Annika Sorenstam and Se Ri Pak didn't pan out.
Sorenstam, the defending champion, had a 70 and finished at 283. A double-bogey on No. 12 effectively took her out of the running for her fifth win of the year. Sorenstam avoided media interviews and autograph seekers alike coming off the 18th green.
Pak, the leader at seven under after two days, double-bogeyed No. 1 to go two over. She finished with a 72 and was at even par for the tournament. Pak, who has also won four tournaments this year, including two majors, had a string of 103 holes without a bogey snapped in the second round. She had 12 bogeys over the final two rounds.
Robbins, 29, earned $122,000 for winning the tournament at the 6,300-yard, Grand National and passed the $3 million for her career. She has eight wins on the LPGA tour, including the HealthSouth Inaugural in January. Robbins had only five top 10 finishes in her last 22 events coming in and had missed three of the last four cuts.
Inkster was two strokes behind Steinhauer after 12 holes, but birdied No. 18 to pass her for second.
Cindy Figg-Currier had 69 to finish fifth at 284.