Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Perry Swenson held off a late rally by Tiffany Chudy Jan. 24 to win the Doherty Championship on the 20th hole.
The 21-year-old University of Texas junior capped off a three-week run that included top-10 finishes at the South Atlantic Ladies Amateur and the Harder Hall Invitational, moving her to No. 4 in the Golfweek/Titleist Amateur Rankings.
Down three holes after the 12th, Chudy rolled in a 25-foot birdie putt on No. 15 to pull within one. Chudy, 17, then converted a 24-foot birdie putt on the 17th to square the match.
“She made some incredible clutch putts coming down the last few holes,” Swenson told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “We were both under so much pressure. It was hard standing over the ball knowing this could be for the match. It was probably the best finish to a match I’ve ever competed in.”
After reaching Coral Ridge Country Club’s par-5 18th hole in two, Chudy rolled her eagle putt 6 feet past the hole. The high school senior failed to convert the birdie putt and halved the hole with par.
On the first playoff hole, Chudy again had a chance to close the match on No. 1 after Swenson three-putted from the front fringe. But Chudy missed her 5-foot par attempt, sending the match to the 20th hole.
Swenson’s approach on the second extra hole landed 15 feet from the pin, while Chudy found a greenside bunker. Chudy failed to blast out of the bunker in her first two attempts and conceded the match after Swenson’s birdie putt stopped inches from the hole.
“I thought I played well, but Perry played better,” said Chudy, who will be a freshman at the University of Florida next fall. “We were neck and neck, and I loved it . . . loved every second of it.”
In the senior division, Karen Ferree of Hilton Head Island, S.C., downed Liz Haines, 5 and 4.
– Staff reports