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Monday, July 30, 2012 - Page updated at 09:30 p.m.
Nancy Scranton wins LPGA Legends event at Inglewood in Kenmore | Golf
By Craig Smith
Special to The Times
KENMORE — In what the golfers and presenting sponsor hope becomes a fixture on the Seattle sports scene, Nancy Scranton won the 18-hole LPGA Legends Swing for the Cure tournament Sunday at Inglewood Golf Club.
Scranton, 51, hadn't touched a club since late June but shot a 2-under-par 71 to edge Patty Sheehan and Rosie Jones by a stroke.
Sheehan, a three-time winner of the LPGA Safeco Classic that ran from 1982 to 1999 at the Meridian Valley Country Club in Kent, had a dramatic final chance to force a playoff but a 15-foot birdie putt on No. 18 slid past the hole. With showmanship, Sheehan, 55, collapsed to her knees and then her stomach, as if shot. She got up smiling and waved.
Scranton was relieved to avoid a playoff. Her left pectoral muscle was aching on the back nine, a result of not playing for a month and also, she said, from flying from New Zealand to her home in Florida on Wednesday and then to Seattle on Saturday.
Scranton had arrived at Inglewood on Saturday in time to play only the front nine as practice. On Sunday, she relied on her caddie, 19-year-old Bellevue College student Colten Kleis, a Juanita High School graduate whose father belongs to Inglewood.
Scranton won with a streaky round. She birdied three of the first four holes and made the turn at 4 under with five birdies and one bogey. Then she gave it all back by missing four greens in a row (11 to 14) and bogeyed those holes. After a par at No. 15, she got hot again by hitting a rescue club off the tee to 3 feet on the 175-yard 16th hole and followed that birdie with a 15-foot putt for birdie on the par-4 17th hole.
Jane Blalock, CEO of the Legends Tour for former LPGA players 45 and older, was delighted with the crowd (estimated at 1,000), the Inglewood hospitality and the return of a women's pro golf tournament to the Seattle area for the first time since 1999.
"We'd give anything to come back," Blalock said.
Mitch Smith, CEO of MulvannyG2 Architecture, the worldwide firm headquartered in Bellevue that was the presenting sponsor, said, "Absolutely, we want to be back here." The company had held a golf outing the past nine years at Inglewood to raise money for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure charity. The Legends tournament and today's pro-am (closed to the public) dramatically upgraded the event.
Scranton, a three-time winner on the LPGA Tour and a four-time winner on the Legends Tour, won $15,000 of the $150,000 purse.
One of the tournament's biggest draws, Kirkland native JoAnne Carner, the oldest competitor at age 73, shot a 6-over 79 and said, "I had a good time in spite of my play."
"I felt my tee time was 11:50 instead of 12:50," she said. "I warmed up three times. I've already played 36 holes, maybe 45."
Carner called her mistake "rather stupid" and said she had only herself to blame.
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