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Wrigley wraps up sixth straight title

Beth Wrigley seems determined to put her record streak of victories in the Spokane Area Women’s Golf Association’s annual championship tournament out of reach of whoever eventually dethrones her.

The former assistant golf coach at Whitworth University, who works part time as a registered nurse at Sacred Heart Hospital, used her short game to “get up and down from everywhere” at Esmeralda Golf Course on Thursday to fashion a final round of 8-over-par 78 and claim her sixth consecutive title in Spokane’s biggest women’s golf event.

She finished the 54-hole tournament at 22-over 235, four strokes better than runner-up Kathy Cunningham, who used Thursday’s lowest round of tournament – a 4-over 74 – to finish at 239, five strokes clear of third-place finisher Kathy Johnson.

While Wrigley’s victory margin was far less impressive than the 22-stroke advantage she had over last year’s field, it was satisfying nonetheless.

“I was never in any real big trouble,” she said. “I started taking lessons last week, trying to add some length, and it takes awhile to groove everything back into the right time zone.

“My ball striking wasn’t as good as it was last year, and I didn’t expect it would be. But my short game saved me.”

Wrigley birdied the second and ninth holes to make the turn at even-par, but struggled to a 42 on the back nine.

“Play was little slow out there, again, and I lost my focus and started daydreaming,” she said. “But fortunately, it didn’t hurt me.”

Wrigley plans to return to the SAWGA championship tournament next year and compete for a seventh straight crown.

“One of these days, I’ll step aside and give someone else a chance, but it won’t next year, because I want to come back and see how the swing changes I’m making work out,” she said.

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