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Wrigley chews up SAWGA field again with 21-stroke win

The stranglehold Beth Wrigley has placed on the Spokane Area Women’s Golf Association city tournament continues to choke all suspense out of the region’s premier women’s golf event.

Wrigley, who entered Thursday’s final round of the three-day, 54-hole tournament with a commanding 10-stroke lead, shook off a double-bogey on the sixth hole at Hangman Valley Golf Course to post a closing score of 5-over-par 77 and capture her record seventh consecutive SAWGA title by a whopping 21 strokes.

The former assistant golf coach at Whitworth University and now part-time registered nurse at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center drove the ball straight and long and made several tough par putts – which helped her effectively deal with a strong and persistent breeze that sent most scores soaring.

Her final-round effort, coupled with Tuesday’s opening-round 76 at Wandermere Golf Course and Wednesday’s second-round 81 at Chewelah Golf Course and Country Club, gave Wrigley a 54-hole total of 234. Janet Skaife, who shot 88 on Thursday, finished second at 255, followed by Karen Gilmore at 257 and Cindy Vig at 261.

Nancy Johnson and Rose Jones were another stroke back at 262 and tied for fifth.

“I felt comfortable out there again today and hit the ball pretty well,” said Wrigley, whose only major hiccup came at No. 6 when she knocked her approach shot into a greenside bunker and needed two strokes to get out. “I had a few blips, but nothing major.”

After making the turn five strokes over par, Wrigley managed to offset a bogey on No. 12 with a birdie on the par-3 11th and toured the back nine in even-par 37. She missed another excellent birdie chance on the par-5 13th, when she took three shots to get down from the front fringe.

“Somebody might get hot and beat her one day in this thing,” Skaife said of Wrigley, “but nobody is going to beat her all three days. She’s just too consistent.”

Wrigley was happy with the way she played at Hangman after struggling around the short, but tight, Chewelah layout the day before.

“A couple of the drives I hit today don’t work at Chewelah,” she said. “And they really tricked up the pin placement there on the back nine, for some reason. It was tough up there on Wednesday, but I played much more consistent today.”