HERSHEY, Pa. -- Colleen Walker has been a model of consistency in her professional golfing career. Since winning her first LPGA tournament four years ago, she has been one of the tour's top players.
On a hot, humid afternoon, Walker, 34, turned out to be th player in the right position when the leaders faltered in the 17th annual Lady Keystone Open at the Hershey Country Club yesterday.
Walker leaped over leader Beth Daniel with an eagle-3 at th 451-yard 16th, then made sure with a birdie at the 165-yard 17th and wound up winning the title by two shots.
The 10-year tour veteran from Florida won with the day's lo round, a 5-under-par 67, good for a 54-hole total of 9-under 207.
Daniel put a second shot into the gallery -- "a flyer out of the lef rough," she would say later -- back of the 18th green, pitched short and missed a 15-foot par putt to fall into a tie for second, 70-209.
Earlier, four-year pro Kris Tschetter, the only South Dakota nativ (Sioux Falls) on the LPGA tour, closed out a 68 with an 18-foot birdie putt from above the 18th cup to finish at 209.
"I was thinking win when I stroked the putt," she said. "Actually, this was the first time I thought about winning when I really had a chance to win." The putt turned out to be worth $17,000 ($32,000 instead of $15,000).
"Until Walker and Daniel got to 16, I was only a shot back an anything could have happened." It equaled her best finish, but she had come from way back with 69-66 at Tucson and still trailed winner Chris Johnson by four shots. "I didn't even know I got second until later."
Several groups back, Walker and Daniel were not overl concerned with leader boards. Daniel said she looked at No. 17, but didn't know Walker had eagled 16 in front of her. Walker saw she was a shot back at 14, and knew she had birdie holes ahead.
"No. 14 was the focal point of the round," Walker said. "I got th best up-and-down I had all week. I missed the green right, chipped 12 feet past and holed it.
"At 16, I had a great drive [about 280 yards], and hit 6-iron 8 fee [from the cup] and made it. I knew I needed another birdie because that was the least Beth was going to get at 16.
"I figured 17 was a payback because I had three-putted i yesterday [Saturday]. You have to land it short and let the ball roll up. I had a left-right breaking putt across the back of the green from 18 feet and made it.
"At 18, I just didn't want to make a mistake . . . get it on th green [25 feet], not have a second putt over a foot and get out of there."
NOTES: Second-round leaders Barb Mucha (73) and Jody Anschutz (74) fired, fell back, regrouped and moved back up the board, finishing tied for fourth and tied for sixth, respectively. . . . Until Walker and Daniel got to 16, Mucha was the only one to go 8 under, but she lost the shot at the next hole.