On the same weekend as the vettiest of PGA vets in Rocco Mediate was winning on the tour, one of the greenest of LPGA rookies was winning in the LPGA. And much like Rocco, Beatriz Recari needed a last-second putt to hold off a charging field. But she did, and she's got her first-ever LPGA win with a 13-under, one-shot victory.
Mostly Harmless, the best LPGA blog on this or any other planet, offers up this handy play-by-play on the thrilling back nine. Your cast of characters includes Recari, Gwladys Nocera, Michele Redman, Karine Icher and Wendy Ward:
Michele bogeyed 10 to fall out of the lead tie. Ward and Icher birdied 11, drawing to within two and three respectively. Nocera birdied 13 to draw within one. Recari responded immediately by doing the same to open up a two-shot lead. Mirroring each other again, Ward and Icher birdied 14 to stay within two and three shots. Beatriz responded again, birdying 14 to open up a three-shot lead with only four to play. She parred 15 and 16 but bogeyed 17, taking a two-shot lead to the 18th tee. Nocera birdied 18 to force Beatriz into parring 18 to avoid a playoff....which she did.
Clutch! Now, look, there's no way around this -- Recari is a highly attractive young woman. And until this weekend, she was verging on golf's version of Anna Kournikova, attractive but not particularly victory-minded. Before this weekend, Recari had only made the cut in three of her first 13 stroke-play events.
But she's a legit winner now, and like it or not, she's more marketable than most of her colleagues. Question is, how do she and the LPGA capitalize on it? Do they capitalize on it at all? (Let's table the whole "differing standards for male and female golfers" business. The LPGA needs any leg up -- no pun intended -- it can get.) 'Twill be interesting to see Ms. Recari's next move, no doubt.