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Lauri Merten birdied two of the final three holes, closed with a round of 68 and watched and waited as challengers slipped back. The end result was a one-shot victory for Merten over Helen Alfredsson, of Sweden, and Donna Andrews, of Pinehurst, N.C. Merten, of Greenville, Del., shot 280, 4 under par.

Alfredsson and Ayako Okamoto, of Japan, shot opening rounds of 68 to tie for the first-round lead. And altogether, 20 players posted first rounds under par while another 10 were even.

Alfredsson led again after the second and third rounds, leaving the course Saturday with a two-shot lead over Japan's Hiromi Kobayashi. She was three ahead of Pat Bradley, of Camp Hill, Pa.

Only Alfredsson's slip to 74 in the final round gave Merten a chance. And she took full advantage of the opportunity. On Sunday at the 16th, Merten holed a 70-foot chip to move to 7 under. On the 17th she held her ground with two putts for a par 3. Then on the 18th, she nailed a 6-iron to within four feet and a final birdie.


Starts - 8

Best Finish - Winner in 1993

Rds - 26

Cuts Made - 5

Top 3 - 1

Top 5 - 1

Top 10 - 1

Top 25 - 3

Avg. - 74.35

Scores In 60s - 3

Rds Under Par - 7

Earnings - $163,927.83
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