MESA, Ariz. (AP) - Former Arizona State player Jaclyn Sweeney won the Symetra Tour's season-opening VisitMesa.com Gateway Classic on Sunday, closing with 5-under 67 in windy conditions for a two-stroke victory.
Sweeney, from Bradenton, Fla., finished at 7-under 209 at Longbow Golf Club. She earned $15,000 and received a spot in the LPGA Founders Cup on March 14-17 at Wildfire in Phoenix.
``It's really exciting, but I didn't allow myself to think about it,'' Sweeney said about the exemption into the LPGA Tour event. ``I just kept thinking that Longbow is where the Monday qualifier is going to be, so if I can score well on this golf course, I can get into the tournament. Little did I know that I would play well and get in and not have to qualify. It means a lot.''
She birdied three of the last four holes, including the par-5 18th.
``It was a great feeling,'' said Sweeney, also the winner last year in Albany, N.Y. ``I wasn't as nervous as I was in Albany because I hit such a good shot in to the 18th hole and I played really smart today. I have played so much golf in the wind in Florida and, it was really windy today, so I think that helped.''
Canada's Alena Sharp, a regular on the LPGA Tour, shot a 71 to finish second.