Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Her Sunday Best

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Her Sunday Best

Article excerpt

BRADENTON

WOMEN'S GOLF: Rachel Rohanna gets first pro win at Sara Bay event

She started Sunday two shots in front and finished that way.

Consistent golf? Not to Rachel Rohanna.

"It didn't feel consistent," she said. "I had no clue what I was shooting. I just kept staring at the scoreboard."

And by the end of the three-day Symetra Tour's Guardian Retirement Championship at the Sara Bay Country Club, what Rohanna saw on that scoreboard was so very easy on the eyes. Her eyes.

A day after grabbing the lead from Giulia Molinaro with a 66, the Ohio State graduate shot a final-round 2-over-par 74, good enough to secure her first professional victory and a winner's check for $16,500.

Rohanna, who finished the three-day tourney with a 5-under 211, won by two strokes over Molinaro and four other golfers, each of whom earned $6,326.

The victory moved the native of Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, and part-time St. Petersburg resident from 16th to fourth on the 2015 Symetra Tour money list. The top 10 on the year-end list earn LPGA Tour membership for the 2016 season.

It was a breakthrough for Rohanna, who had four previous career top 10 finishes on the Symetra Tour, including a tie for fourth at last year's Guardian, but no wins.

On Sunday she managed to hold off a field consistently nipping at the heels of her spikes.

"I'd see Giulia making a charge and I just kept telling myself, 'Just make confident swings, confident swings,' " Rohanna said. "I was very pleased with how I played.

"I guess I ended up shooting 74. To me it felt like I shot 68. Obviously I was a little nervous but just glad to finally get a win under my belt."

The turning point for Rohanna and Molinaro came on the back nine. A Rohanna bogey on the par-4 12th hole drew both even. But over the final six holes, three Molinaro bogeys, the final one a 6 on the par- 5 17th, ended her hopes.

"I was right there," she said. "I don't really have an answer. I didn't hit the ball well (Sunday) but I kept it right there and I kept on doing a pretty good job and I made a lot of ups and downs, but on that par-3 (13th) I just didn't. …

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