PALM HARBOR, Fla., Nov. 11, 2012 – Laura Davies, who has won tournaments around the world, added one more victory today to her ever-growing list of triumphs. The LPGA Tour veteran of Great Britain won the ISPS Handa Legends Tour Open Championship by two shots over Beth Daniel.
Davies carded rounds of 70-71 for a 5-under total of 141 to edge out Daniel and Barb Moxness of Edina, Minn., both at 3-under 143. The event was staged on the par-73 Island Course at Innisbrook, A Salamander Golf & Spa Resort.
Now with 82 worldwide victories, Davies captured a winner’s check for $30,000 in her debut on the Legends Tour -- the tour for LPGA Tour members age 45 and over. The big-hitting Brit owns 20 LPGA victories and is closing in on points that would make her eligible for the World Golf Hall of Fame.
"You've got to hit it straight ere and it's not a golf course I would have thought I would have done any good on,” said Davies. “It's a really tight golf course. But as it turns out, I controlled my game, hit a lot of irons - only used driver three times each day - and it worked out. It's a precision golf course."
Davies got off to a hot start with birdies on two of her first four holes, which gave her a shot of confidence early in her final round today.
“That got me settled because I was a little bit nervous,” she said. “I hit a couple of poor shots in the middle of the round, but overall I think I played solid."
Davies took bogey on the par-five 10th hole when her 6-iron left her with "an impossible shot,” but she rallied with two birdies on the back to hold off Daniel and Moxness, who gave chase for the lead. Daniel posted a final-round score of 2-under 71, while Moxness carded the low round of the tournament with a five-under score of 68.
Daniel got to three under through 12 holes, but took bogeys on Nos. 13 and 14. The Hall of Famer birdied No. 15 to get back to 3-under-par for the tournament. She birdied three out of five par-5 holes to take advantage of her length in today’s final round.
"You always feel like you're chasing Laura Davies as long as she hits it,” said Daniel. “I think this course was playing at about par-69 for her out here today."
Moxness took double-bogey on the fourth hole. She also missed some putts on the back nine, but today’s final-round 68 charged her up the leaderboard for a solid finish in the Legends Tour’s season-ending event.
"Overall, I'm really happy with the way I played," said Moxness. "And having Laura Davies here is fantastic. The better players we have out here, the more people are going to notice us."
Tied at one-under 145 was the trio of Jane Crafter (73) of Australia, Rosie Jones (72) of Atlanta, and last year’s tournament winner Michele Redman (72) of Plymouth, Minn.