Prammanasudh Does It Again

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Futures TourAVON, Conn. -- This time, the timing was right. Stacy Prammanasudh, who had fallen just short of closing out a win in her last two tournaments, sealed the deal and collected her second professional victory at the $60,000 Lincoln Financial Futures Golf Classic presented by Mohegan Sun.
 
The native of Enid, Okla., matched final-round 67s with runner-up Soo Young Moon of Keumsan, South Korea, but recorded a tournament record 10-under-par finish of 203 at Blue Fox Run Golf Course. The previous record at the fifth-year event was 7-under-par 206, set by Riko Higashio in 1999.
 
'What I feel right now is relief,' said Prammanasudh, who collected an $8,400 winner's check to move into the top position on the Futures Tour Money List. 'For several weeks in a row, I've been there but I didn't pull off a win. All I can say is, 'Finally!''
 
The former University of Tulsa All-American had plenty of competition. Seol-An Jeon of Seoul, Korea shared the lead with Prammanasudh after nine holes. And with birdies on holes 13 and 15, Moon drew within one stroke of the Oklahoman. But Jeon bogeyed the 11th to drop back by one stroke, then recorded three straight bogeys on holes 14, 15 and 16 to finish third with an even-par 71 and 5-under-par finish of 208.
 
'I was trying so hard and I just screwed up,' said Jeon, who moved from 12th to ninth place on the Futures Tour season money list with her $4,500 third-place check. 'After No. 16, I didn't control my anger. And I had no timing, no rhythm and no tempo. I had a lot of chances to take the lead, but I have to be more patient to win.'
 
Moon also had several chances to make a run at Prammanasudh and trailed by one stroke with a hole to play on the 6,156-yard course west of Hartford. The Korean had not won since the season's first event in March, the Lakeland Futures Golf Classic, and now had her first real chance to win an event since her automobile accident in late May during the Aurora Health Care Futures Charity Golf Classic in Sussex, Wis.
 
'I tried to catch her with my birdie on No. 17, but she made birdie, too,' said Moon, 19, who moved to third on the money list with her $6,000 second-place check. 'The only way to catch her was on the last hole and I could not do it.'
 
Moon wasn't able to navigate her 30-foot birdie putt on the par-3 finishing hole to catch Prammanasudh and force a playoff. 'She did a really good job because she made a lot of birdies,' added Moon. 'I did a good job too, but she played better.'
 
Prammanasudh, who has averaged a 72.75 final-round score in the last nine events, found a way this week to get out of her own way. She recorded 27 putts and hit 13 greens in the final round. And she never got rattled as the competition made a run at her. A lesser player could have folded after consecutive bogeys on holes nine and 10, but Prammanasudh told herself that there were 'plenty of birdie holes left' and that there was nothing wrong with the way she was putting or striking the ball. In her last two tournaments, she finished tied for second at the Michelob Light Futures Charity Golf Classic in Decatur, Ill., and tied for third at the Bank of Ann Arbor Futures Classic in Michigan. The Oklahoman was determined not to let this chance to win slip away.
 
But there was still work to do. Prammanasudh's errant drive on No. 9 put her within a foot of a right-side water hazard and her short approach shot didn't allow her to get up and down for par from 12 feet. She three-putted from 30 feet on the 10th hole, which appeared to signal the same shaky finishes that had prevented her from winning in recent weeks.
 
'All week long, after each round, I kept working on whatever was going well with my game so that I wouldn't collapse,' said Prammanasudh. 'It wasn't like I walked my way through this week or that I outplayed them. I just made one more putt.'
 
And for the player known simply as Stacy P., that was the only stroke she needed to finally walk away with another tournament title.
 
TOURNAMENT NOTE / SUZY WHALEY: Blue Fox Run head professional Suzy Whaley of Farmington, Conn., who finished the FUTURES Tour tournament at even-par 213, recorded rounds of 73-70-70 in her tuneup for the PGA Tour's Greater Hartford Open in two weeks. Whaley, a PGA professional, qualified for that tournament as the winner of the 2002 Connecticut Sectional PGA Championship.
 
Whaley carded three birdies and two bogeys during her final round of the Lincoln Financial FUTURES Golf Classic at the course where she teaches. In her continuing preparation for the G.H.O., she will play in next week's LPGA tournament, the Sybase Big Apple Classic in New York.
 
'I'm playing these tournaments to get ready for the Greater Hartford Open and to give myself some competitive experience under the gun,' said Whaley, 36. 'Any time you can get that kind of pressure, it's helpful.'
 

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