For Michele Redman, it could not have been better.
After six years as an also-ran, she held off two of golf’s biggest, baddest names, set a tournament record at one of the LPGA’s most prestigious events and earned her first victory.
“It feels awesome,” said Redman, suddenly $112,500 richer after completing a start-to-finish victory Sunday in the JAL Big Apple Classic in New Rochelle, N.Y.
“My coach told me last night I deserved this, and he’s right,” Redman said. “I’ve paid my dues.”
Redman dropped two shots over the first three holes but rallied with three birdies the rest of the way for a 1-under-par 70 and a 72-hole total of 272, one stroke better than the old record in a tournament the LPGA players generally rank among the top three on their tour.
She also scored a three-stroke triumph over the intimidator of women’s golf, playing the final round head-to-head with Annika Sorenstam, the winner of four tournaments this year and 10 overall. Also mounting a last-day challenge was Karrie Webb, a five-time winner in two years on the tour.
Sorenstam finished at 9-under 275, with a final-day 69, while Webb was 1-under for the round and 7-under 277, tied with Chris Johnson for fourth behind Meg Mallon, who shot a 68 for a 276 total. Mallon birdied three of the last 10 holes.
Redman, a 32-year-old from Port St. Lucie, Fla., had never finished higher than third, never led a tournament after three rounds and never played with Sorenstam before they teed off on the 6,161-yard Wykagyl Country Club course Sunday.
Deposit Guaranty Golf Classic
Billy Ray Brown, who lost his PGA Tour exemption last year, made a 5-foot birdie putt on his last hole to avoid a playoff at the Deposit Guaranty Golf Classic at Madison, Miss., and win his first tournament in five years.
After losing a two-stroke lead with a three-putt double-bogey at the 409-yard 17th, Brown reached the green at the par-5, 532-yard 18th in two before the two-putt birdie that have him a 5-under-par 67
Brown finished at 17-under 271, a stroke ahead of his former University of Houston teammate Mike Standly, who birdied the same two holes in a closing 66.
Former Pullman resident Kirk Triplett picked up $17,667 for his sixth-place finish. He shot a final round 66 to finish at 12 under, five strokes back of the winner.
Five birdies over his first seven holes got Brown to 17-under. The fast start broke him out of a quartet of players that began the day two strokes behind second- and third-round leader Steve Jurgensen.
Burnet Senior Classic
Hale Irwin won his fifth Senior PGA Tour event of the year, edging Lee Trevino by two strokes to capture the $202,500 first-place check for the $1.35 million Burnet Senior Classic at Coon Rapids, Minn.
Irwin’s long birdie putt on the par-3 17th at Bunker Hills Golf Course gave him the lead for good in the back-and-forth duel between two golfers who have won a combined nine major PGA championships.
It was the ninth career Senior PGA Tour win for Irwin. Larry Gilbert had a final-round 68 to finish third at 204.
Runner-up Trevino will conduct a clinic today after playing in the Pro-Am tournament at The Creek at Qualchan Golf Course in Spokane. Tickets were expected to be available at Tidyman’s Latah Creek store, where shuttles can be boarded to the course.
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