July 2, 2011
CROWN POINT, Ind. -- Fresh from the Wegmans LPGA Championship the week before, Tiffany Joh showed up this week on the LPGA Futures Tour, simply wanting to get in one more tournament before taking off for a week at home in San Diego.
But the likeable Californian did more than just show up. She put together rounds of 68-70 to win the storm-shortened $100,000 South Shore Championship by two strokes at 6-under 138.
Joh edged out Jane Rah (69) of Torrance, Calif., Mallory Blackwelder (72) of Versailles, Ky., and Tiffany Tavee (69) of Tempe, Ariz., who tied for second at 4-under 140 at White Hawk Country Club.
Best of all, Joh had no idea she had won the tournament until she sat down to sign her scorecard and realized that some of the leaders she had been chasing out on the course had fallen off pace on the final holes.
"Honestly, I'm just really tired because this is my fifth week in a row, but I said `let's just try to play this week,'" said Joh, who carded three birdies and two bogeys in today's final round. "I didn't really expect anything, so I'm surprised and ecstatic to win."
Scheduled for a Saturday finish with a Thursday start, this week's inaugural South Shore Championship was hammered by more than four inches of rain on Friday and a full day of ferocious thunderstorms that suspended play Friday morning and never resumed.
With more storms forecast for this afternoon and a full field of players waiting, the tour canceled the second round and resumed play today for the final round. That made the 36-hole event a sprint to the finish.
Joh, Victoria Elizabeth (73) of Dayton, Ohio, and Leah Wigger (73) of Louisville, Ky., all were deadlocked at five under early in today's final round. But Wigger bogeyed three holes on her second nine to fall off pace, and Elizabeth hooked her approach shot into the left high rough on the ninth hole and was forced to take a drop for her unplayable lie. She doubled No. 9 - her final hole - to drop into a five-way tie for fifth at 3-under 141.
Rah and Blackwelder both played in the morning rounds today and moved into a tie at 4-under 140. But all either player could do was post their number and wait for another five hours before the winner would be determined.
"I did all I could do," said Rah, who carded four birdies and one bogey and logged only 27 putts in today's final round. "I'm just going to go take a shower and enjoy my afternoon."
Blackwelder was steady all day, hitting 16 greens and all but one fairway in regulation, but the former University of Kentucky collegian struggled on the greens, taking 34 putts with two 3-putt greens, each from 50 feet.
Tavee had a chance to finish second outright, but bogeyed No. 9 - her finishing hole. The former Arizona State University player hit her approach shot chunky from the soggy fairway and landed 35 yards short of the green. She chipped to 18 feet, but didn't get up and down for par.
And as the bogeys piled up on the final holes, Joh was the last woman standing at six under.
"I had no clue," said Joh, a 2010 Futures Tour tournament winner. "But a win is a win. I'll take it."
For complete scores and information, click here.