JoAnne Carner sank a two-foot par putt on the second extra hole of an unprecedented five-way playoff today to win the $150,000 LPGA Kemper Open at the Mesa Verde Country Club.
Nancy Lopez, shooting for a third straight tournament win, bogeyed four of the final eight holes to wind up tied with Carner, Chako Higuchi of Japan, Jan Stephenson and Donna Young.
Lopez, Stephenson and Young fell by the wayside with bogeys on the first extra hole, leaving the $22,500 first prize up for grabs between Carner and Higuchi.
Carner, 39, a 19-year veteran of the LPGA tour, sank the par putt on the second extra hole after Higuchi missed an eight-footer.
Lopex bogeyed the 16th and 17th holes to fall back into the five-way tie and settled for $9,675, the same amount won by Higuchi, Stephenson and Young. Lopez started the day with a two-stroke lead.
It appeared the nationally televised event might go on for another hour or so after the five women finished in the dead heat, but Stephenson fell out with a poor chip shot and Young and Lopez missed four-foot putts on the first extra hole.
The five women tied at the end of regular play with totals of 286, two over par.
Carner said she never thought she was out of tournament - even in the last few holes - but added, "I never thought it was going to happen the way it did."
Lopez could have won the tournament in regulation play on the 18th hole with a birdie putt of about six feet, but the ball lipped the cup. She dropped her club and bent over in anguish.
"H felt like crying," she said. "I was tired of struggling to make those fivefoot putts and felt that it was finally coming to an end."
Jo Ann Washam made golfing history with a hole in one on the par-3 168-yard seventh hole, her second hole in one of the tournament.
Rookie Beth Daniels, two strokes back when the final round began, pulled into a tie with Lopez with birdies on the first two holes, but blew up down the stretch, struggling to eight bogeys while shooting a six-over-par 77.