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Golf : Blalock Comes From 4 Back to Win

<i> From Times Wire Services </i>

Jane Blalock came from behind with a spectacular eight-under-par 64 Sunday to win the $300,000 Mazda Japan women’s golf tournament by two strokes over Taiwan’s Tu Ai Yu.

Tu, Taiwan’s No. 1 woman pro, who held at least a share of the lead for the first two rounds, shot a 70 and finished second with a 208 total.

Blalock, who started the final round four strokes off the pace, quickly birdied the first two holes and added birdies on holes No. 6, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13 and 16.

She only had one bogey, on the 10th hole, on the 6,398-yard, par-72 Musashigaoka Golf Course.

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Blalock earned top prize money of $45,000 and a sports car. Tu, the current leading money winner on the Japan LPGA tour, won $27,750.

“The score of 64 was the best in my life. I hit the ball very well this week and my concentration was very good,” Blalock said.

“The last few years I’ve had some physical problems. I had a very bad back and, as a result, my swing suffered, but now I feel healthy. I’ve been very fortunate, with the help of my friends and the help of my family, to make a comeback. It’s a very special time for me right now.

“Just to play as well as I have this year after having three very bad years makes me feel good. I just turned 40 a month ago, and it means age doesn’t make any difference.”

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Nancy Lopez and Debbie Massey, both of the United States, and Taiwan’s Wu Ming Yeh shared third at 212 after Lopez shot a 72 Sunday, Massey a 68 and Wu a 69.

Said Lopez, who is expecting a baby in May: “I was tired. I want to go home and take a rest. It was not my turn to win.”

Dennis Saunders, formerly of La Habra and currently playing out of Phoenix, fired a 70 to lead a group of 64 qualifiers into the match play competition of the Mid-Amateur Golf Championship at the Vintage Club in Palm Desert.

Saunders, who had a first-round 67, finished the two days of qualifying three shots ahead of Bill Holstead of Wichita Falls, Tex.; Marshall Marraccini of McKeesport, Pa.; and Agim Bardha of Birmingham, Mich.

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Thomas E. McGraw of Westminister, Colo., was another shot back at 142.


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