Originally created 05/15/00

Hurst gets Mother's Day gift: an LPGA title



FRANKLIN, Tenn. -- Pat Hurst made her first Mother's Day unforgettable.

With her husband pushing their son around the course in a stroller the final nine holes, Hurst won the inaugural Electrolux USA Championship on Sunday for her first LPGA victory since 1998.

"Of course, it's going to be my only first Mother's Day," she said. "And to do that here in Nashville on this golf course, to lead from Thursday on, yeah, it definitely feels good."

Hurst, who took off four months last year for the birth of her first child, closed with a 2-under-par 70 for a four-stroke, wire-to-wire victory.

Hurst played it safe, leaving short a few possible birdie putts. She sealed her victory with birdies on the final two holes and finished with five birdies and three bogeys for a 72-hole total of 13-under 275.

Her only serious challenge came from Juli Inkster, who tried to rally from six shots down. Inkster (69) pulled within two strokes with three holes left before finishing with two bogeys for a 279.

"She came back a lot quicker winning tournaments than I did," said Inkster, a mother of two daughters. "I'm very proud of her. I'm glad she won. We need her on the Solheim Cup, so I'd like to see her keep picking those points up and join us on the team."

Karrie Webb came into the tournament as the hottest player on tour with four victories, not counting two overseas. But she matched her worst round this year with a 74 and a 281 total that left her tied for sixth. At one point, going for birdie, she was interrupted by a cell phone and missed the putt.

Wendy Doolan (69), Michelle McGann (69) and Michele Redman (72) tied for third at 280.

This was Hurst's third title and her first since the Nabisco Dinah Shore in 1998. She also led wire-to-wire in that tournament, something she said scared her this time.

"I don't know why this one felt a little bit tougher," Hurst said. "Walking to the 18 tee, I told my caddie Dan (Wilson) that sometimes I think I want to come from behind, be one stroke down and make that putt to go into a playoff and win it that way."

The 1995 rookie of the year had few problems with the Ironhorse Course at The Legends Club despite winds that caused golfers trouble all week. Only Inkster made a move, pulling to 10 under with three holes left only to drop back the next hole.

Hurst started with a two-stroke lead and pushed it to four with her third birdie of the day on No. 8. Her bogey on No. 12 dropped her to 12 under and gave Inkster a chance.

Inkster responded with a birdie on the par-4 No. 15 to go 10 under. But she hit a 7 iron into the water on the next hole and hit into a bunker on No. 17. She called her 7 iron probably the worst iron of her life.

"I was between a hard 7 and a little 7, so I choked up on it and I hit it hard and I chunked it," she said.

Webb had come from behind in nine of her 20 career victories, but she never got her momentum going, starting with a bogey.

The lowlight came on No. 8. Webb was lining up a birdie attempt when a spectator's cell phone went off. She realigned but missed the putt and wound up parring the hole to remain four strokes behind Hurst.

Webb approached the spectator, told him he cost her a stroke and made him show that he had turned off the phone. Webb then bogeyed the par-4 No. 9 and finished with five bogeys and three birdies.