2001: For Jones, winning is a New York state of mind

New Rochelle, N.Y.

Rosie Jones may want to think about moving to New York, considering how good the state has been to her career.

The Albuquerque, N.M., resident chalked up her fifth victory in the state July 22 when she finished one shot better than Laura Diaz at the Sybase Big Apple Classic. The winner’s check for $142,500 pushed her over $1 million in earnings in New York alone. It was the 12th victory of her career and the second this season. Jones shot 70 Sunday to finish at 12-under-par 272.

Jones, 41, finished third in this event in 1990 and was second in 1993 and again last year by one stroke to Annika Sorenstam at the 6,161-yard Wykagyl Country Club course. Her other New York victories are the Corning Classic and the Wegman’s Rochester International, twice each.

“So many great, important things have happened for me in New York,” said Jones. “I have no idea. I’m not really fond of the city but I really love the state, and I’m paying a lot of estimated taxes so I better love it. It’s not a bad problem to have.”

She had a three-stroke lead entering the final round of the $950,000 event. She was still up by two until three-putting the par-3 16th.

Diaz, who finished second for the fourth time this year, rallied from a bogey on the par-4 17th with a birdie from 20 feet on the par-5 18th to finish at 11-under 273 after a closing 66.

Jones drove into the right rough on 18. Her second shot landed in the first cut of rough 127 yards from the green. Her third shot landed just short of the pin and she made the 21⁄2 -foot putt to give her the victory.

Diaz, who has yet to win on tour but is seventh on the money list, was asked what she has to do to break through after the four runner-up finishes.

“I feel like I’ve broken through,” she said. “I shot 11 under. I didn’t win the golf tournament, but I played good golf and that’s all I can do.”

– From staff and wire reports

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