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19-Year-Old Wins LPGA Event

Like a lot of teen-agers, Dorothy Delasin's idea of celebrating is to grab a telephone.

"I'm going to call up my friends and say, 'Wazzupp? I've got some news!'" Delasin said.

The news is that the 19-year-old Delasin became the LPGA's youngest winner in 25 years when she birdied the last hole to force a playoff with Pat Hurst, and then beat her with a par on the second extra hole to win the Giant Eagle LPGA Classic on Sunday.

Playing without a sponsor, the Californian sidestepped a half-dozen contenders in the final few holes to pick up her first top-10 finish, let alone her first victory. She is the youngest winner on the tour since Amy Alcott took the Orange Blossom Classic at age 19 in 1975.

Delasin collected $150,000 almost $30,000 more than she had picked up in her first 18 tournaments combined.

"This is like a really big stepping stone," she said. "I came from way down here and I just jumped 10 steps."

Her father, Arsenio, caddied for her. After Delasin hit the 3-foot putt to clinch the victory, he held the flagstick over his head and cheered loudly. After hugging Hurst, he wrapped up his daughter in a bear hug and carried her around the green. Her mother, Salfe, was watching from the gallery.

"It's incredible. You're sharing your moment with your family," Delasin said.

Hurst, seeking her second win of the year, barely missed her 10-foot par putt catching the lip as the ball sped past on the left side on the decisive hole. She had found trouble in the right rough off the tee, then put her approach into the rough fronting the par-4 hole. Her chip came up short, setting up the touchy putt for par.

"I had lost in two other playoffs, so I thought this might be the one the third one would be a charm," Hurst said.

Hurst, who has won three times including a major, said there's something magical about winning for the first time.

"My first win was a little different. I made probably a 25-footer on the last hole to beat Juli Inkster," she said. "I'll never forget that, just like I'm sure she'll never forget the 2@1/2- or 3-footer she hit to win."

Both players had parred the first playoff hole.

Delasin, who had rounds of 71, 67 and 67 to finish at 11-under 205, began the day tied for seventh place and was a shot back of Hurst and Laura Philo as she walked to the 18th green.

But her 12-foot downhill birdie putt put her into a tie for the lead.

"I just wanted to par it," Delasin said. "I got up there on he green and I thought, 'Wow. This is pretty close."'

Hurst, who closed with a 2-under 70 after earlier rounds of 66 and 69, saved a spot in the playoff with a delicate two-putt from 60 feet on the 18th hole, hitting a 5-footer for par.

Philo, playing in the group between Hurst's and Delasin's, didn't fare as well. Tied for the lead when she teed off, she found the deep fairway bunker with her drive and was forced to blast out into the fairway. From there she hit her iron approach pin high but into the left rough, then chipped to 5 feet and missed the bogey putt.

"I didn't know I was tied going into the hole and I'm not sure it would have made a difference if I had known," Philo said. "You still have to play it. I made a 6; there's really nothing to talk about."

Despite that sour ending to her 71, Philo shared third place with Wendy Ward and Mi Hyun Kim. Ward shot a final-round 69 and Kim a 67 to also finish at 9-under 207.

Michele Redman, an Ohio native who had a piece of the lead until Hurst birdied at the 14th hole, double-bogeyed the 15th and bogeyed the closing hole to cap a 74 that left her alone in sixth place.

"I wasn't very happy with my round, especially the way I played the last three or four holes," she said.

Se Ri Pak, who started the day tied for the lead with Redman, faded with four bogeys in the last eight holes and had a 75.

"I've never backed up when I was leading. This is the first time," Pak said as she hurried to the clubhouse. "Sometimes that happens."

During the presentation of the first-place check and trophy, Delasin began crying and got a nosebleed. She had to apply ice to the back of her neck in order stop the bleeding.

The victory vaulted her from 52nd to 22nd on the LPGA money list.

Delasin's golf bag was a small, thin nylon model with tripod legs unlike the bulky leather models covered in advertising that many of the other pros play.

She wore no logos on her clothes and there was no prominent trademark on her ball, although she did draw a smiley-face logo with its tongue hanging out on both her visor and her ball.

Delasin said she hopes that and her relative anonymity on tour

changes in light of her victory.

"I had some people yell out my name and I thought, 'Cool! Some people know me!'" she said.

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