Dottie Pepper turned the Nabisco Dinah Shore into a one-woman show Sunday, crafting a 6-under-par 66 and shattering the tournament record in a runaway victory.
| Pepper leans into the lead -- and never looks back. (AP)|
Pepper, whose only previous LPGA major title came in the 1992 Dinah Shore, did a little jig following her short par putt on the final hole, then after signing her scorecard, took the traditional winner's plunge into the murky lake that circles the 18th green.
Mallon, who led the first two days, began the final round three shots back of Pepper, with no other player within six shots of the lead. Mallon shot a 69, but that wasn't nearly enough.
Pepper bogeyed No. 13 to go to 16-under and allow Mallon within two shots, but Pepper opened the lead from there. She birdied No. 14 while Mallon bogeyed, then eagled No. 16, while Mallon bogeyed again.
By then, Pepper was 19-under, seven shots in front.
This year's win was very different from Pepper's seven years ago; that time, she had to beat Juli Inkster in a playoff. And Pepper stayed dry that year because jumping into the lake wasn't yet a tradition.
Karrie Webb, who came into the Dinah Shore with three victories in her last four starts, shot her way into third place with a closing 66, but again went away without a win in a major.
The round was Webb's only one in the 60s in the tournament, and she finished at 8-under.
Kelly Robbins finished fourth with a 72 that left her 7-under. Charlotta Sorenstam was one shot farther back and Inkster another stroke behind at 5-under.
Defending champion Pat Hurst, playing despite the fact she's six months pregnant, wound up far back, at 3-over.
The victory was the 15th for the 33-year-old Pepper, a former Furman star who joined the LPGA Tour in 1988.
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