Pat Bradley took advantage of a second-hole double bogey by Nancy Lopez Melton and sank a seven-foot birdie putt on the final hole to win the Greater Baltimore Golf Classic by one stroke today at Pine Ridge.
Bradley shot 67-207 for a 207 total, bettering by one stroke the 54-hole Pine Ridge record set by LPGA Hall of Famer Mickey Wright in 1967. Bradley won $15,000, which made her the fifth LPGA player this year to earn more than $100,000. Par at Pine Ridge is 37-36 -- 73.
Lopez, who at the start of the day appeared to have the tournament wrapped up, won $9,800 with 72-207.
"It's been two long, long years since I've won and it's marvelous," Bradley said. "I feel tremendous. In rochester (earlier this season) Nancy and I were in the same situation and I bogeyed and Nancy won."
Bradley pulled even with Lopez for the second time with a 20-foot birdie putt on the 15th hole. After they parred the next holes, it came down to a hot, tense duel on the 496-yard par-5 finisher, the type of hole Lopez eats for breakfast.
"I knew I needed a birdie on the 18th to win," said Bradley, who has won almost a half-million dollars in six years on the tour. "I made a helluva putt coming down.
On the decisive 18th, Bradley pulled her drive into trees on the left and her four wood second shot came up 70 yards short of the green. Lopez, with a long drive, appeared in birdie position, but her second shot, with a fairway wood, fell short of the green in a bunker.
Bradley hit a wedge six feet above the cup. Lopez was left with the pressure and one of the hardest shots in golf, 60-footer from the bunker. She hit the shot out of the bunker, but it was 20 feet short of the hole.
Lopez just missed her birdie putt and Bradley hit her seven foot down-hill putt squarely into the cup and leaped for joy. The drought had ended.
Lopez, after storming to the second-round lead by shooting a course-record 66, started the day three stokes ahead of LPGA champion Sally Little and four in front of Bradley. She appeared ready to make it a rout when she birdied the opening hole and Little and Bradley parred.
On the par-4 second hole, Lopez popped up her three wood tee shot and the ball failed to carry over trees guarding the dogleg, and plopped into a lateral hazard. She took a penalty drop and hit her third shot back to the fairway. She pitched onto the green and two putted for double bogey 6, her first hole of the tournament over par.
" i made a mistake on the second hole," said Lopez, a gracious loser. "But I pulled myself together. I played well the rest of the day. Pat played super today."
Bradley, a chain smoker who uses a graphite driver and gives little distance away to Lopez, birdied the par-4 third to pull within two strokes of Lopez. Bradley, putting well all day, sank a 20-foot birdie on the seventh to pull even.
Lopez regained the lead with birdie on the par-5 12th, but Bradley, fighting the heat with a wet towel draped around her neck, pulled even once again with a birdie on the tough 15th.
At different points, Lopez was tied with Beth Daniel, Bradley and Cathy Morse. Big hitters Morse and Daniel faded in the middle of their rounds.
U.S. Open champion Amy Alcott crept to within one shot of the lead but double-bogeyed the 15th to fall back.
It boiled down to the back nine shootout between two bombers, Lopez and Bradley.
Beth Solomon shot 68 and tied Little (72) for third at 210.