Inkster Beats Rizzo By 3 In Atlantic City Classic

Posted: August 25, 1986

ABSECON, N.J. — Neither gusty winds nor Patti Rizzo could keep Juli Inkster from completing her conquest of the LPGA's extended Philadelphia area yesterday.

Inkster broke open her head-to-head duel with Rizzo with birdies on the 11th and 12th holes and coasted to a 3-stroke victory in the inaugural Atlantic City LPGA Classic.

It was Inkster's fourth title on the 1986 women's golf tour and the third time she has won a tournament within a relatively short drive of Philadelphia.

She captured the McDonald's Championship at Malvern on June 8 and the Lady Keystone Open at Hershey the following week.

"That's pretty nice," said Inkster after taking the first prize of $33,750 from the $225,000 purse. "I like the golf courses up here. They have small greens, and you have to keep your driver in the fairway. That suits my game."

Inkster closed with a par 71 on the 6,005-yard Bay course of the Seaview Country Club to complete 54 holes at 4-under 209. Rizzo, who began the day tied with Inkster at 4 under par, faltered on the back side, closing with a 74 to take second place at 212.

The wind shifted again yesterday, coming out of the west to northwest at gusts of up to 30 m.p.h. But it did nothing to cool off the duel between Inkster and Rizzo, both 26.

"It was a tough day out there," Inkster said. "It was tough hitting the greens. The wind was swirling and you had to wonder if you had the right club in your hand when you were 180 yards away holding a 7-iron. But I thought if I shot even par, I would win it."

Inkster was right, although it wasn't easy early in the round.

Rizzo, whose previous best finish this year was a tie for eighth, drove into a 2-shot lead after four holes. But she bogeyed the 6th hole after hitting her second shot over the green, and the duel was tied at No. 8 when Inkster sank a 10-foot birdie putt. Both women made the turn at 4 under.

The wheels started coming off for Rizzo, however, beginning on No. 10, when she hit her second shot short of the green, struck a poor chip and missed a 6- foot par putt while Inkster had a routine par.

On the next hole, a par 3, Rizzo was looking at a 12-foot putt for birdie. But Inkster, putting first, canned a 20-footer for a birdie of her own, and her lead was 2 shots after Rizzo missed her putt.

Then at the par-4 12th, Rizzo pushed her drive to where she had a branch in her lie for her approach shot. She ended up hitting her second shot over the green, chipping up and missing a 15-foot putt for par.

Meanwhile, Inkster slammed the door on any further competition this day by making a 6-foot putt for her fourth birdie of the day, and the lead was 4 shots.

"The key to the whole thing was No. 10," Inkster said. "After that, I started getting a little more aggressive. I made a real good birdie putt at 11 and another at 12.

"After I made the turn at even par, I just started grinding away for the next nine holes. I was hitting a lot of greens, and my putting started coming around."

Inkster didn't slam the door completely. On the par-3 15th, she pushed her tee shot to the right, left her pitch in a bank short of the green and ended up with a double bogey. But Rizzo couldn't capitalize, making a bogey on the hole to cut into the lead by only 1.

"I played two stupid shots there," Inkster said. "It could have been a 2-shot swing. Fortunately, I went into the hole with a 4-shot lead."

For Rizzo, a two-time LPGA career winner whose previous best finish this year was a tie for eighth, it was a matter of not being able to get a chip close to the hole or to sink a putt.

"I knew one of us was going to pull away eventually," she said. "But when I missed an 8-foot putt for birdie on No. 9, I got down on myself. Then after under-clubbing myself on No. 10 and taking bogey, I got a little bit frustrated.

"The wind was totally opposite of yesterday, and it was a different golf course. I flew over a couple of greens. On the back side, I missed four greens and I hit four bad chips. Juli played real well. She made the putts that I didn't make."

After a bogey on No. 17 dropped her into a tie for second, Rizzo rolled in a 30-foot birdie putt on the 18th to assume second place by herself and take home $20,812.

Judy Dickinson, urged on by old friends from her former home town of Bridgeton, N.J., fired a 72 to take third place at par 213. Spain's Marta Figueras-Dotti was another shot back in fourth after a 72, and Beth Daniel shot a 74 to finish at 215.

Beth Solomon was next at 216 after a 71. Laurie Rinker, who began the day in third place and parred every hole on the front nine, played the back nine in 6 over par for a 77 to tie Penny Pulz (70) at 217.

Inkster had gone winless since capturing the Lady Keystone Open and hadn't even contended in the five tournaments she had entered since then. But she found the momentum once again to solidify her hold on second place on the LPGA money list, with more than $275,000.

"I got off to a real good start Friday and played well in the second round," she said. "Patti started real hot today, but I knew there were a lot of holes left. If I was in the hunt on the back nine, I thought I would win."

Absecon might be too far away to call it part of the "Philadelphia Slam," but Inkster will take it.

THE RESULTS

Juli Inkster, $33,750 67-71-71-209

Patti Rizzo, 20,812 70-68-74-212

Judy Dickinson, 15,187 69-72-72-213

Marta Figueras-Dotti, 11,812 73-69-72-214

Beth Daniel, 9,562 70-71-74-215

Beth Solomon, 7,875 72-73-71-216

Penny Pulz, 6,244 69-78-70-217

Laurie Rinker, 6,243 71-69-77-217

Alice Ritzman, 4,099 72-75-71-218

Sally Little, 4,099 71-76-71-218

Nancy Scranton, 4,099 77-69-72-218

Kathy Postlewait, 4,099 74-71-73-218

Dawn Coe, 4,098 75-70-73-218

Amy Alcott, 4,098 76-68-74-218

Val Skinner, 4,098 70-73-75-218

Jane Geddes, 2,870 69-77-73-219

Margaret Ward, 2,870 73-72-74-219

Hollis Stacy, 2,869 71-74-74-219

Becky Pearson, 2,869 74-70-75-219

Jo Ann Washam, 2,332 74-74-72-220

Connie Chillemi, 2,332 73-74-73-220

Nancy White, 2,331 71-76-73-220

Colleen Walker, 2,331 73-74-73-220

Lynn Adams, 2,331 75-71-74-220

Deb Richard, 2,331 69-73-78-220

Kathy Whitworth, 1,848 76-75-70-221

Jane Crafter, 1,848 76-75-70-221

Shelley Hamlin, 1,847 76-73-72-221

Allison Finney, 1,847 79-70-72-221

Shirley Furlong, 1,847 76-72-73-221

Sherri Turner, 1,847 72-74-75-221

Penny Hammel, 1,847 76-70-75-221

Marlene Floyd, 1,458 76-74-72-222

Karin Mundinger, 1,458 74-76-72-222

M. J. Smith, 1,458 75-74-73-222

Bonnie Lauer, 1,457 74-74-74-222

Sandra Palmer, 1,457 75-72-75-222

Cathy Morse, 1,457 70-72-80-222

Sue Fogleman, 1,154 73-78-72-223

Cindy Figg-Currier, 1,154 75-75-73-223

Dot Germain, 1,154 72-76-75-223

Jane Blalock, 1,154 74-74-75-223

Sherri Steinhauer, 1,154 79-68-76-223

Dana Howe Chancellor, 922 76-74-74-224

Linda Hunt, 922 77-72-75-224

Muffin Spencer-Devlin, 922 71-78-75-224

Lisa Young, 922 71-75-78-224

Ayako Okamoto, 922 69-75-80-224

Julie Cole, 711 75-76-74-225

Kathryn Young, 711 73-78-74-225

Terry-Jo Myers, 711 78-72-75-225

Cindy Rarick, 710 72-77-76-225

Missie Berteotti, 710 72-73-80-225

Sue Ertl, 523 75-76-75-226

Therese Hession, 523 75-76-75-226

Denise Strebig, 523 76-75-75-226

Jackie Bertsch, 523 74-75-77-226

LeAnn Cassaday, 522 71-78-77-226

Mary Dwyer, 522 77-69-80-226

Joan Joyce, 358 74-77-76-227

Debbie Massey, 358 75-75-77-227

Cindy Ferro, 358 75-74-78-227

Kris Monaghan, 358 73-76-78-227

Gail Lee Hirata, 358 72-76-79-227

Deedee Lasker, 358 75-73-79-227

Susan Sanders, 358 73-74-80-227

Heather Farr, 287 74-77-77-228

Silvia Bertolaccini, 287 78-73-77-228

Judy Ellis-Sams, 286 74-75-79-228

Amy Benz, 286 72-77-79-228

Joanne Pacillo, 253 73-75-81-229

Caroline Gowan, 252 75-73-81-229

Nina Foust, 177 76-75-79-230

Deborah Skinner, 177 77-74-79-230

Debbie Meisterlin, 177 78-72-80-230

Elaine Crosby, 176 72-77-81-230

Kathy Hite 75-76-80-231

Amelia Rorer 73-77-82-232

Karen Permezel 76-75-82-233

Nancy Tomich 79-72-82-233

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