DELRAY BEACH, Fla., Nov. 7, 2015 – Liselotte Neumann shared the lead after the opening round of the Walgreens Charity Championship, but the Swede ran away from the field in today’s final round to close out her second Legends Tour victory. The 13-time LPGA Tour winner posted rounds of 68-68 to win by three shots at 8-under 136, edging out Legends Tour rookie Nicole Jeray of Illinois.
Jeray carded the tournament’s low-round of 6-under 66 today at The Seagate Country Club, finishing as runner-up at 5-under-139.
“It’s a wonderful feeling to win because there are so many great players out here now,” said Neumann, 49, who resides in Rancho Mirage, Calif. “The little butterflies in my stomach came out, which is good, because it shows that it means something to me.”
Neumann birdied five of her first eight holes before making her first bogey on No. 9, but she answered with birdies on holes 11 and 12. On her closing six holes, Neumann wrestled with an exchange of birdies and bogeys and recorded a double-bogey on 17 after her approach shot clipped a tree.
But the Swede’s putter kept her alive with plenty of birdie chances from 10-12 feet throughout the round.
“I putted great today and I think I hit a lot of quality shots with good distance control,” said Neumann, who earned $30,000 for the win. “This course seems to fit my game and when I got a hot putter, it all worked out.”
Jeray, who turned 45 three weeks ago to become eligible to compete on the official senior tour of the LPGA, gained entry into the field through the Wednesday qualifying tournament. She earned her starting spot when she won the four-way playoff with a 10-foot birdie putt on the first extra hole.
The Chicago native charged up the leaderboard from 14th in Friday’s opening round. And she went from being the oldest player on the Symetra Tour, where she spent most of the 2015 season, to being the youngest player in the field this week for her Legends Tour debut. She also played in two events this year on the LPGA Tour, where she has limited status.
“My expectation was to play well so I can continue to play on the Legends Tour,” said Jeray, who earned her largest check of the year with today’s runner-up prize of $18,000. “These [Legends Tour] players are the people I’ve looked up to all of my career. I wasn’t expecting to come in second, but I was expecting to play decent golf.”
Pat Hurst posted a 4-under 68 today to move into a tie for third with Juli Inkster (69) and Rosie Jones (70), all at 4-under 140. First-round co-leader Wendy Doolan (73) finished sixth at 3-under 141.
Inkster was never able to get closer than four shots behind frontrunner Neumann.
“I played the par-fives horrible and that’s what killed me,” said Inkster, runner-up at the 2014 Walgreens Charity Championship. “I putted pretty good, but you have to birdie the par-5s.”
Jan Stephenson won the Super Legends Division (for players 63-over) at 3-over 147, edging out Judy Dickinson at 4-over 148.
“I really didn’t hit the ball well, but I knew that I had to hang in there,” said Stephenson. “Judy played in front of me and she just kept making putts.”
For complete final results, visit http://leaderboard.thelegendstour.com/?TID=62.
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