Vicki Fergon, so unknown that even tournament officials confused her with another golfer, won her first LPGA tournament today when she made up seven shots on Judy Rankin by shooting a 69.
For Fergon, 23, who has spent three years on the women's pro golf tour, the $22,500 first prize of the $150,000 purse more than doubled her previous winnings of $19,856 to $42,356.
Rankin began the final round with a five-shot lead over Debbie Austin, with Fergon in sixth place. But in another day of near-constant rain, Rankin shot a five-over-par 77 while Austin slogged out of contention.
Rankin still had a one-shot lead until the 16th, where Fergon sank a three-foot birdie putt. Then came the 17th.
"I had a 10-foot putt for a par on 17," Rankin said. "When I drew the putter back -- I know this sounds funny -- fly landed on my ball. It made me twitch and I pushed that ball four feet past the hole. I missed the putt coming back".
Fergon said she didn't know she had the lead until she stepped up to her first putt on 18.
"I had a one-footer [to make] when I noticed they had changed Rankin's bogey on 17 to a double bogey on the leader board," she said. "The adrenaline really stated flowing then."
Fergon had shot a 69 on the second round, but three rain delays totaling three hours had kept her from finishing until dusk. By that time officials, who kept spelling her name Vickie instead of Vicki, already had a score posted for her. It belong to Sylvia Ferdon, however.
"Sometimes they give the two of us just one locker," Fergon said. CAPTION: Picture, Gil Morgan salutes crowd with club during Memphis Open playoff. UPI