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Published: Monday, 7/9/2001

Bowie's best is good for 3rd

BY RON MUSSELMAN
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Heather Bowie shoots onto the 18th green after posting her highest LPGA finish. Heather Bowie shoots onto the 18th green after posting her highest LPGA finish.
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Heather Bowie went to Mass yesterday morning at St. Joseph Church in Sylvania with the three young children of her host family.

But that didn't end her revelations for the day.

Bowie went out in the afternoon at Highland Meadows Golf Club and earned her highest finish (a tie for third) and her biggest paycheck ($60,384) on the LPGA Tour.

She carded a 3-under-par 68 in yesterday's final round of the Jamie Farr Kroger Classic to tie Marnie McGuire with an 11-under 273 total.

Bowie had a chance to finish in third place alone but her chip shot from the fringe on the back of the 18th green stopped an inch short of going in the hole for a birdie.

“One more revolution and the place would have gone nuts,” said Bowie, whose previous best finish was a tie for fifth at the 2000 Farr Classic.

“I have no complaints. I played very consistent today. I didn't make a single bogey. I made 15 pars and three birdies, which is pretty good.”

Bowie, the NCAA individual champion in 1997 while playing for the University of Texas, is in her second season on the LPGA Tour.

She turned her full-time attention to golf as a high school junior after her father, Dennis, urged her to give up soccer and basketball for fear of injury.

Bowie came into the Farr Classic ranked 47th on the LPGA money list, having earned $130,856 in 17 events.

She jumped 12 spots to 35th with $191,240 after her showing at the Farr Classic.

“I hit the ball well this week, and my putting really came around for me,” Bowie said. “This was the best I putted all year.”

Bowie, who had six top-20 finishes as an LPGA rookie last season, had two birdies on the front nine yesterday, making a 30-footer on No.3 and a 15-footer at No.9. She also bogeyed No.4.

On the back nine, she made a 3-foot birdie at No. 17.

“The longest par putt I had all day was no more than 18 to 25 inches,” she said. “I was really rolling the ball well all round.”

Bowie, who is just 5-3, averaged 259.1 yards during her four rounds at the Meadows. She hit 40 of 56 fairways and 54 of 72 greens.

Overall, she made 18 birdies, seven bogeys and 47 pars while averaging 28.75 putts per round.

“To have your best finish ever on tour, it's a great feeling,” Bowie said.



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