Monday, March 12, 2007

MasterCard Classic – Final Round

Meaghan Francella defeated Annika Sorenstam on the fourth playoff hole to win the MasterCard Classic Honoring Alejo Peralta. Stacy Prammanasudh, Kyeong Bae and Angela Stanford finished tied for third three shots back at -8 while Lorena Ochoa, Shi Hyun Ahn and Hye Jung Choi finished at -7.

By the time the last group reached the turn, only Francella was under par for the day (-2). Stacy P and Seon Hwa Lee were stuck at -7 and -6, and they never were able to make a run. As usual, Annika began to make her Monday (?) push with birdies at 4, 5 and 6. She birdied the 9th to tie for the lead then birdied 10 to stay tied as Meaghan had birdied 9. At this point the two were three-up on the field. Stanford birdied 11, 12 and 13 to close to within two shots, but never got any closer. Sorenstam birdied 13 to take sole possession of the lead for the first time, then birdied 14 to open up a two shot lead (that made 7 birdies in a span of 11 holes).

Just as the Fat Lady was starting to warm up, the Ice Queen bogeyed 16 to open up the door (how would Grant Boone have explained that?). Francella birded 16 to tie them up at -11. Both parred the last two, necessitating the playoff. Playing the 18th again, both players made birdie. I don’t know what happened on the second hole, but they both parred the third. Unfortunately I don’t have any info about the fourth hole, either. I’ll update this post tomorrow if/when I find out more details.

The scoring conditions must have been ideal. 29 players carded final rounds under par. In addition to Annika’s 66, Stanford, Bae and Ahn all fired 67s while four others managed 68. The Big Surprise this week goes to Meaghan Francella, of course. Winning in only her sixth career event is a heck of an accomplishment. Winning it by coming from two strokes down to tie and then beat The World’s Number One Player in a playoff – I can’t imagine the rush she got from that! This week’s Big Disappointment is Paula Creamer, who missed the cut after winning the SBS and finishing T10 at Fields.

I hope the folks at TGC are kicking themselves thoroughly for not televising this duel. Excuse me while I go watch Big Break VII…NOT!

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