Connie Pifer broke away from defending champion Andrea Kraus early in the round and went on to a six-shot triumph in the 55th annual Women's Golf Association championship yesterday at Hillendale Country Club.
Pifer, the 1997 titlist from Sparrows Point Country Club, added a 1-over-par 74 to an opening 75, and her 149 easily bettered two-time winner Kraus's 78-77155.
Kraus, from Woodholme Country Club, had moved into a share of the lead after three holes, but putting woes hindered her play thereafter.
Five-time champion Bonnie Fry, from Maryland Golf and Country Club, who began the round three shots off the pace and tied with Kraus, dropped back with 83 for 161.
Jane DuBois, also from Maryland Golf, won the senior prize with 82-85167.
Pifer reached two of the par-5s, Nos. 8 and 13, in two to set up birdies and overall putted well in her second tournament of the season.
Last month, she tied for second in the Greiner Titleholders.
U.S. Women's Amateur: Celeste Troche, of Paraguay and Miami, got up and down for par from in front of the second playoff hole to nip Bethesda's Leland Beckel, of Columbia Country Club, in the first round of match play at the Biltmore Forest Country Club in Asheville, N.C.
Even after regulation play, they halved the first extra hole in pars. At the 394-yard, par-4 second, both were short in two. While Troche, who qualified with 149 to Beckel's 150, saved her par, the Marylander missed a 3-foot putt that would have extended the match.
A second round yesterday and two rounds today will reduce the original 64-player draw to 16. The championship is scheduled for Saturday.