Category – Member Events
Sandra Changkija Rallies to Win Third Consecutive PGA Women’s Stroke Play Championship
However, the end was not what we expected.
Changkija won eagle-birdie birdie to overcome a deficit of three shots with three holes to play to win by one stroke over Stephanie Connelly Eiswerth, Fleming Island. Changkija finished at 6-under-209 on the Wanamaker Course with a 6-under-66 score.
“It feels amazing to win three in a row,” said Changkija, a PGA Assistant Professional at ChampionsGate near Orlando. “I don’t really know what to say other than I hit really good golf shots.
Connelly-Eiswerth responded to Changkija’s brilliant second shot at No. 16 hit her third shot to five-foots and made the putt to maintain her lead at two. Changkija putt her long putt on No. 17 to make it a one stroke deficit heading to No.
“I three-putted two holes, but sure enough I made 60-footers on two par-3s, so that helped,” Changkija said. “After 17, I just knew I had to play 18 well.”
Connelly -Eiswerth (72-210) opened the final round with three shots lead over Allie Knight. This advantage was maintained through 15 holes. However, she was caught between the clubs at 18 and failed to move from behind the green.
Loretta Giovannettone of Jupiter, Florida, finished tied for third with Knight to earn a spot in the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship June 21-25 at Baltusrol Golf Club in New Jersey. Giovannettone was at 216, with Meaghan Francella at 70-217. She shot 1-under-71. After her drive almost hit the water, Giovannettone putt a 6-foot par putt on the 18th hole.
“It feels really good,” said Giovannettone, a 31-year-old PGA Assistant Professional at the Country Club of Florida. “That’s my goal when I play in this tournament every year. From the tee, I couldn’t tell if I was in the water or not. It was closer than what I expected. I was proud to make that 6-foot putt.”
Changkija, Connelly-Eiswerth, Knight, Joanna Coe and Samantha Morrell already had qualified for the KPMG through their finishes in the LPGA Teaching & Club Professional Championship.
Lisa Grimes, Arizona, defended her title at the Senior Division. She shot 1-over-73 to win by 12 strokes at 4-under-211.
GolfPass and On Location present the PGA Winter Championships.