Jones Wins Firstar LPGA in Playoff
BEAVERCREEK, Ohio (AP) _ Rosie Jones parred the fourth playoff hole Sunday to beat Becky Iverson and Jan Stephenson and win the $650,000 Firstar LPGA Classic.
The three were tied at 9-under-par 207 after three rounds at the 6,302-yard Country Club of the North course in suburban Dayton. Jones and Stephenson both had final-round 68s, while Iverson closed with a 67.
The playoff alternated between the 18th and 10th holes, both par-4s.
Stephenson, who at age 47 was trying to become the oldest winner in LPGA history, was eliminated when she bogeyed the first playoff hole while Jones and Iverson both had pars.
The two had pars on the next two holes, then Jones made a par on the fourth hole after Iverson had missed a 15-footer for par.
It was Jones’ first victory of the year and 10th of her career. She earned $97,500.
Iverson, who had makable birdie putts on the first two playoff holes, saved par on the third when she pitched from fairway rough within 2 feet.
Nancy Scranton, who was tied for the lead with Akiko Fukushima after two rounds, almost made it a four-way playoff, but bogeyed No. 17 and finished with a 71. She was in a five-way tie at 208 with Leta Lindley, Mi Hyun Kim, Jill McGill and Hollis Stacy. Kim had the day’s best round, a 65.
Fukushima had a 75 to finish at 212.
Juli Inkster, winner of five tournaments this year, including two majors, had a 73 and was at 214.
Stephenson, who has won 16 tournaments but is winless since 1987, started the round tied at 5 under and bogeyed Nos. 2 and 3. She got back in the hunt with an eagle on No. 8, then birdied 10, 11 and 14 to go 9 under and parred out from there.
It was the first time in the tournament’s six years a playoff was needed.