England international Meghan MacLaren shot a final round of 65 to come from six shots back and snatch her seventh victory on the US women’s college circuit.
She had five birdies – four of them in a row – and an eagle in a bogey-free round at the C-USA Women's Golf Championships in Fort Myers, Florida.
Crucially, though, she pulled off a great up-and-down for par on the 16th and holed a tricky six-footer for another par on 18 to seal the one-shot victory over Samantha Gotcher.
MacLaren, from Wellingborough in Northamptonshire, commented: “I managed to make an up and down on 16 for par which I would probably only make one out of 20 times – and it was a better feeling than any of the birdies! I didn't know how important it would be because Samantha finished with two birdies in a row.
“The18th hadn't been my favourite hole and my first putt just refused to stop, so I was left with a side-hill six-footer for par. I knew it was to win, so seeing it sneak in the right side was one of the happiest moments I've ever had on the course!”
The 20-year-old student from Florida International has been confident with her putting all week and it paid off with three consecutive birdies from the seventh. She made it four in a row when she chipped in for another birdie on 10.
“It just felt like one of those days where everything was going to go right, but I actually missed the shortest chance I had on 11 for birdie, and things slowed down a bit. I just made regulation pars and then hit two great shots to give myself a 12ft eagle putt on 15, which I missed, but made birdie to get to seven-under.”
Her 65 was the second-lowest round in her university’s history and she set a personal and a college record for a 54-hole total of 206.
"When I was trying to figure out how to go about the last round - I changed my strategy a little. I knew I hadn't made as much of the par 5s as I should have, so I decided that one of them I would play as a 3 shotter no matter what (9th), and the others I was going to try and step on my driver and give myself a chance of getting there in 2. I did that, made birdie on the '3 shotter', went for 2 of them and had 2 eagle putts, and laid up on the other one. Made my game plan more specific, stuck to it, and it worked!"
MacLaren, a member of the England Golf women’s squad, staged a similar charge to win the British women’s stroke play championship last summer. In that event she shared 16th place at the halfway stage and played the final 36 holes in nine-under to win by a shot
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