Pat Meyers rolled in a critical 35-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole and her two-under-par 71 gave her a one-stroke win in the Greater Baltimore Golf Classic, her first triumph on the LPGA tour.
Meyers, 25, from Ormond Beach, Fla., has been a runner-up five times in the past two years. She completed the three rounds at Pine Ridge Golf Course with a nine-under-par total of 210 to collect the $11,250 first prize in the 54-hole event.
Defending champion Nancy Lopez shot a 72 today and was never really in contention after double-bogeying the 377-yard par-4 13th. She finished tied for ninth with three others.
Although most of the 22,000 who attended the three-day tournament were almost exclusively Lopez-watchers, the 10,152 who came today witnessed frequent changes on the leader board between four players.
In the end, Meyers edged Sally Little of Dallas and Dot Germain of Greensboro, N.C., who tied for second with an eight-under-par 211. Each won $6,450.
Meyers, who went into the final round with a seven-under-par 139, picked up birdies on the third and sixth holes, but bogeyed the seventh.
She shot par over the next eight holes, as the cast of tying players shifted among Little, Germain and Cindy Chamberlin who, with Bonnie Bryant, had trailed Meyers by one stroke at the end of the second round.
Aware that she was in a tie for first, Meyers said, "As I came up to the 16th, I knew there was a leader board there, but I was bound and determined I wasn't going to look at it."
Meyers then birdied the 16th with a 35-foot putt, taking a one-shot lead that held up through the finish. "After I made that putt - which I thought I hadn't made - I felt better," she said.
Meyers, playing in the last threesome, took the lead from Little and Germain at that point.
Meyers hit her first shot onto the green at the par-3 17th and two-putted to maintain the advantage.
On the par-5 18th hole, Meyers was 25 feet from the hole after three shots. She lagged her first putt to within six inches, and sank the second for the victory.
"When we got to the 18th, I looked at the leader board," Meyers said. "When I hit that first putt, I said to myself, "Now don't leave it short." When I looked at it and saw it was only six inches (away), my hands were shaking so that I didn't know if I could make the six-inch putt."
She did, despite the shakes.
"It's a big win," she said. "The first one always is. It's kind of like you finally broke the barrier. I hope I can win again and again."
All those second-place finishes, Meyers said, "were probably in the back of my mind.... I guess (winning) is a matter of playing the odds.
"It's a big difference," she said. "I really can't tell you how I feel because I'm not feeling too much. I'm kind of numb."