As Donna Caponi Young tossed in bed Saturday night, she thought about the words her husband had said: confidence, concentration and composure - the Three C's of Golf.
"I think I planted them in my subconscious," she said today in her hour of triumph.
The bubbly, sassy Young needed all three, plus the golfer's best ally - a scalding hot putter - to win the silver anniversary LPGA Championship today to three shots aver plusky Jerilyn Britz with a nine-under-par 279 total.
After her insomniac night, Young, who shared the third-round lead with Britz, shot a spectacularly erratic two-under-par 70 today amid wind, rain and rough at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Centre.
"I can't tell ya how bad I hit it, and how great I putted," Young exulted after setting a women's pro tour record of 50 consecutive holes without a bogey.
"I made every putt it was possible to make. It was incredible," said Young, 34, who had won two other "majors," back-to-back 1969-1970 U.S. Opens.
"Was that 10 years ago?" the incredulous Young said, and laughed. "How can that be? I'm only 24 now.
"Well, for 10 years I've been saying I was a crummy putter. I'll never say that again. I sank enough for about half a lifetime today."
Young's rounds of 69, 70, 70 and 70 were particularly brilliant since only three other players finished under par - Britz at 282, Amy Alcott at 284 and Sally Little at 286. Little's closing 68 was the only finishing score lower than Young's 70.
Young, one of the tour's most consistent money winners for years, actually had to win this $22,500 prize twice.
Tied with Britz at eight under when she came to the back nine, Young suddenly opened a three-shot lead when she birdied the 13th while Britz bogeyed the 12th and 15th.
When her husband, Ken Young, heard of the Britz bogey at 15, he pumped his fist in the air beside the 14th green where his wife was putting and said, "Get out the old coloring book . . . color this one gone. We got it. Where's that scorer's tent behind the 18th green?"
But hubby, who is tournament manager for several LPGA events, was counting the winnings too soon. Minutes later, a thunderstorm caused a 50-minute delay.
"I was sitting all alone, not talking to anybody," Donna Young related. "I just hoped the rain would stop quickly before I passed out from concentrating. Once the spell is broken, all the wheels can fall off."
Naturally, Young's only three-putt of the tournament came on her first hole after the rain delay at the 16th. But she bounced back with yet another birdie putt of 20 feet at the 17th, and Britz missed an eight-foot birdie try at 18, pushing the difference between them back to a safe three.
"I'm not sure I can remember how long all those putts were," said Young. "I don't measure them, I just make 'em."
Her 40-footer to save par at the third helped steady her. A two-putt from 100 feet at the fifth also helped. A 20-foot birdie at the ninth sent her out in 35.
The disappearing act continued on the back as a 10-footer saved par at the 10th and a number of three- to five-footers followed suit.
"This proves to me that I'm not over the hill, especially in a major tournament," beamed the red-haired Young, who is fifth on the '79 money list with $62,611.
"I have to give credit to Dave Stockton's putter. I stole it from him a long time ago and I won't give it back," said the 5-foot-5 champion. "Our rule is that I can keep it, but I always have to refer to it as 'Dave Stockton's putter.'"
Stockton won the men's PGA Championship at Congressional in 1976.
This tournament actually had two winners - Young and Britz, who did not quit her job as a schoolteacher until five years ago at age 31 to join the tour. Since then, Britz has earned only what she calls "movin'-on-down-the-road money."
"I thought after my first round (a 64) that I wouldn't be back to talk to the press any more . . . you never know about this game," said Britz, who moves from tournament to tournament in a travel trailer.
"But I held together for all four rounds, never backed off . . . I don't feel like I lost, just that Donna won.
"When I holed out a bunker shot at the 10th to get back into a tie for the lead, I can't explain the feeling. Those things happen to those who are supposed to win. I felt like I was honestly in the tournament.
"I always thought I could win, but maybe I didn't really believe it until today," Britz said.
As the blond in the peasant blouse walked off the final green, her collegeage caddie, who has been living in a tent near the trailer park, gave her a victory kiss for second.
"On the 18th green I took a nice long look at the leader board," said Britz, 36. "It's been a long struggle. . . . Whenever I hit a particularly good shot today, I'd just stand there and adore it all the way to the hole."
The largest total crowds in the history of women's pro golf turned out for this event - 101,592, a surprising 25,592 of them on this threatening day.Many, of course, came to see Nancy Lopez go for her fourth straight triumph. Instead, they saw her shoot 76 today for a 10th-place tie.