Cardinal star takes title again

Corey Perrine/Staff
Rebecca Durham (center) won the Georgia Top 60 Women's Classic at West Lake Country Club by four shots. Augusta's Laura Coble (right) was second and Emilie Burger was third.

While leaders Emilie Burger and Augusta's Laura Coble were sliding back toward the field on Wednesday, Rebecca Durham saw the door for a title wide open.


After rolling in three birdies on the final four holes, the defending champion walked right in.

Durham, of St. Simons Island, Ga., shot 3-under-par 70 to capture a four-stroke victory over Coble and back-to-back titles at the Georgia Top 60 Women's Classic at West Lake Country Club.

"My round was pretty boring early on. I was just playing par golf until those last four holes," Durham said. "But there at the end, my putts started dropping and that was key."

The field for the 36-hole tournament was made up of the 60 female amateur players from Georgia with lowest handicap indexes.

Durham, a rising senior at Stanford, carded consecutive birdies on Nos. 15, 16 and 17 to pull away.

"It was a grinding kind of day," said Durham. "With each putt I made, I began to feel more and more confident."

The pivotal shot of the three-hole spurt came on the par-4 16th. Durham landed her approach from 110 yards within a foot of the hole. She tapped in for what proved to be a dagger birdie, taking a three-stroke lead with two holes to play.

"I hit (that shot) just the way I had pictured it in my head," Durham said.

The surge followed struggles by Coble and Burger, who were playing alongside Durham in the final group.

Coble, the only local player in the championship flight, played even par through the first eight holes, but three bogeys over the next five holes proved to be her undoing.

"I didn't play 100 percent like I wanted," Coble said. "The putts didn't fall like they did yesterday."

Burger, the overnight leader after shooting 69 on Tuesday, played the front nine in 1-over. The University of Georgia golfer had a pair of double bogeys and one birdie on the back nine to finish with 77 and even par for the tournament, good for third place.

In the second flight, Elizabeth Kim, of Martinez, shot 79 and Mary Helen McElreath, of Augusta, shot 83 to finish at 18-over 164 and tied for third. Augusta's Elaine Montano shot 89 to finish at 32-over 178, grabbing a share of 11th.

Other locals in the field included: Evans' Paula Wilde (95-90-185) and Sandra Burton (91-89-180); Clarks Hill's Gigi Magoulas (94-91-185); and North Augusta's Shauna Snyder (96-98-194).


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