Originally created 09/24/01

LPGA newcomer wins big at Mount Vintage



A first-time event got a first-time winner.

Tina Fischer, a season removed from the Futures Tour and less than a week shy of her 31st birthday, stayed steady while those around her faltered at the inaugural Asahi Ryokuken International Championship at Mount Vintage Plantation in Edgefield County, S.C.

The German-born Ms. Fischer, playing her first full season on the LPGA Tour, shot a closing 70 to finish at 10-under-par 206 in the rain-reduced 54-hole event. She extended the streak of first-time LPGA winners to four consecutive events.

"Obviously I'm very happy, because that's what everybody's trying to achieve out here," Ms. Fischer said. "And I did it in the last (full field) tournament of the season, so that's really wonderful."

Americans Emilee Klein and Tracy Hanson tied for second at 9-under while marquee attraction Annika Sorenstam of Sweden and Lorie Kane of Canada were a shot back at 8-under each.

Kris Tschetter, who held a two-stroke lead entering the final round, was derailed by her putting - including a double bogey on No. 8 - en route to a 75 that left her tied with five others at 7-under.

Ms. Fischer's first victory earned her an $180,000 check - more than twice what she had made in her entire career.

Reach Scott Michaux at (706) 823-3219.