SUN CITY WEST, Ariz., March 8, 2015 – She’s seen more snow piles than fairways over the last several weeks, but Kris Tschetter, who lives in northern Virginia, was able to edge out Juli Inkster today on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to win the Walgreens Charity Classic. Inkster and Tschetter were tied at 6-under 138 after 36 holes of regulation. Inkster carded a second 69, while Tschetter caught Inkster on the last hole with a 4-under 68 today to move into a share of the lead at Grandview Golf Course.
The two players returned to No. 18 for the playoff. Inkster’s tee shot landed in the left rough and the LPGA Hall of Famer’s second shot found the back greenside bunker. She extracted the shot cleanly from the sand, but her ball rolled five feet past the hole and Inkster missed her par putt coming back.
Tschetter’s tee shot split the fairway and she hit her approach to within 20 feet of the hole. Tschetter missed her birdie attempt, but made her par putt from one foot to secure the playoff win and the $30,000 winner’s check. It was her first victory on the LPGA Legends Tour.
“I've been in the snow for a while, but I felt pretty good coming into this week,” said Tschetter, of Warrenton, Va., a two-time LPGA Tour winner. “I just tried to swing smoothly and not let any errant shots rattle me.”
Tschetter added that it was important to hit the fairway off the tee on today’s playoff hole to erase her 18th-hole memories there from the 2014 tournament.
“Last year, I remember taking a triple-bogey on that hole, so it was really nice to finish like this,” she added.
But for most of today’s final round, Tschetter was a chaser. Inkster had built a lead to seven under after 17 holes and appeared ready to close out her first win on the Legends Tour, but she missed the green on her approach into the 18th hole in regulation.
The Californian chipped her third shot, but the ball rolled six feet past the hole and Inkster was unable to save par. That dropped her into a tie with Tschetter, with whom she was paired in today’s round.
“You never expect Juli to bogey,” said Tschetter, whose last LPGA win was in 1992. “I thought she hit a really good chip ... and I expected her to make [her putt]. When she didn't, I knew what I needed to do.”
Rosie Jones (71) and Barb Mucha (70) tied for third at 4-under 140. First-round leader Martha Nause carded a 3-over score of 74 today to drop into a tie for fifth at 3-under 141 with Dawn Coe-Jones (69), Pat Hurst (69), and Laurie Rinker (73).
Judy Dickinson won the Super Legends Division with a two-day total of 151.
Note: More than 6,000 fans attended the tournament and helped raise funds for the event’s official charities. A sum of $25,000 was awarded to the Phoenix Children’s Hospital, while $25,000 was presented to the American Diabetes Association.
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