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Mrs. Susie Maxwell Berning became the third player to win the Championship three times when she shot 72-77-69-72290, and won by five strokes at the Country Club of Rochester, Rochester, N.Y. Miss Gloria Ehret and Miss Shelley Hamlin were second with 295.

Mrs. Berning won the Championship previously in 1968 and 1972. Miss Mickey Wright won the Championship in 1958-59-61-64 and Miss Betsy Rawls in 1951-53-57-60. Miss Marilyn Smith extended her own record by completing 72 holes; since 1953 she had played through 21 Women's Opens. Miss Cynthia Hill, an amateur, also set a new record with 68 in the opening round; this was the lowest first round score ever shot in the Women's Open.

Mrs. Anne Quast Sander, three-time winner of the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship, was the low amateur. She finished fourth with a score of 296. Miss Pam Higgins was tied with Mrs. Berning going into the final round. She bogied the first hole to Mrs. Berning's par, then played even with Mrs. Berning for the next four holes. On the sixth, both players were in a greenside bunker in two. Miss Higgins made a marvelous recovery to within three feet of the hole, while Mrs. Berning played a poor shot out.

Mrs. Berning bogied and it appeared that Miss Higgins would pick up at least one stroke and pull even. She 3-putted, however, to let Mrs. Berning go two strokes up. That was the end for Miss Higgins. A bogie on the 8th and a double bogie on the 10th ended her challenge. She shot 79 and finished fifth. The only other contender was Miss Hamlin, who started the final round three strokes behind the leaders.

After a 38 on the first nine she was four behind Mrs. Berning. She then birdied the 10th and chipped in at the 12th for another birdie and was only one stroke behind Mrs. Berning. She then three-putted the 13th and never recovered. The entry reached 150 and 142 started.

Prize money totaled $39,490, a record. Mrs. Berning's share was $6,000.


Starts - 18

Best Finish - Won in '68, '72 & '73

Rds - 64

Cuts Made - 14

Top 3 - 4

Top 5 - 6

Top 10 - 8

Top 25 - 10

Avg. - 75.80

Scores In 60s - 3

Rds Under Par - 5

Earnings - $33,815.28
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