continued “I didn’t want to go 10 feet past the hole,” said Elizabeth of the putt. “I committed to the line, and it went in.”
No more birdies followed on the front nine. Six straight pars allowed Elizabeth to hit the turn with a four-shot lead, only needing to avoid mistakes the rest of the way.
Yet when Elizabeth made a bogey on 11, Lee-Bentham emerged as a threat. Three under when Sunday began, Lee-Bentham also had a front-nine 33 and birdies on 10, 12, 13 and 15 to sprint to 10 under, just two shots back.
Miffed at her bogey, Elizabeth responded with a dead-on iron to 8 feet on the par-three 12th, which she made for a birdie. When another Elizabeth birdie followed on the par-five 13th and Lee-Bentham could only par out for a tournament-best 64, it looked over.
But Suwannapura added one more twist. After 11 straight pars, Suwannapura, who doesn’t even turn 20 until November, caught fire with four birdies in five holes on 13, 14, 16 and 17.
That, plus a bogey by Elizabeth at 15, meant that, with one hole to play, Elizabeth’s lead was down to a single shot. What’s more, Suwannapura drove straight down the middle on the 18th as Elizabeth’s tee shot drifted left.
Now, though, it was Suwannapura who slipped, hitting her approach long and right of the final green. From 133 yards out, Elizabeth drilled a nine-iron to 6 feet, and though the birdie missed, her safe par clinched the title – and a victory shower from friends and fellow players as soon as she holed out.
Suwannapura’s final-hole bogey left her tied with Lee-Bentham at 203. Canadians had a great week overall, with Samantha Richdale and Nicole Vandermade sharing fourth place at 204, nine under par. Dunn, with a final-round 73, shared 15th place at 211.