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Jan Stephenson, 58, still feels competitive fire on course

Jan Stephenson studies the line on the ninth green. She says her biggest struggle Sunday was with the greens.

Joseph Garnett Jr. | Times

Jan Stephenson studies the line on the ninth green. She says her biggest struggle Sunday was with the greens.

PALM HARBOR — Jan Stephenson may be 58, but she knows deep down she has a few more wins left in her. She is not on the Legends Tour just to shake a few hands and sign autographs. Stephenson wants to win.

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She got an up-close view of the competition Saturday when she was paired with eventual tournament winner Rosie Jones. While Jones was impressive, Stephenson said she wasn't too far behind.

"(Jones) didn't do anything from tee to green that I didn't do,'' Stephenson said. "But she made a lot more putts. I still think I can win. If I didn't think that, I wouldn't be out here trying.''

Stephenson finished the tournament tied for 14th at 4 over par. She shot a respectable 1-over 73 Sunday. Stephenson said she was fooled by the greens.

"I thought I would be better because I knew the greens, but I overplayed every break,'' she said. "It's usually lightning fast, but they were slower. This whole golf course is about the greens. I played with Rosie Jones (Saturday) and she was making everything. When it's a 36-hole tournament and you get off to the start she did, it's hard to catch her. I get off double bogey, bogey, so I'm already behind. When it's 36 holes, there no room for error.''

Hole-in-one: Jane Crafter aced the par-3, 13th hole Sunday, the first hole-in-one in the two-year history of the Legends Tour Open Championship and Crafter's second ace in competition. Her first hole-in-one came in the early 1980s at Pasadena Country Club in St. Petersburg.

"I won $10,000 for that one, and it put me into third place,'' Crafter said. "This one will probably cost me drinks at the bar.''

She hit a 6-iron into the uphill, 135-yard hole. She said the ball bounced twice then fell into the cup.

"There were a few people around the hole so I could tell it went in,'' said Crafter, an analyst for the Golf Channel. "I played pretty well considering this is my third tournament in five years.''

Crafter shot 3-under 69 Sunday and finished at even par in fourth place.

Daniel flashes, fades: LPGA Hall of Famer Beth Daniel made her Legends Tour debut at Innisbrook and crept up the leaderboard Sunday. She started the day 1 under par, four behind Jones, and made the turn at 3 under. But four bogeys on the back nine, including the 17th and 18th holes, left her in a tie for fifth at 1-over 145.

"I just couldn't get anything going,'' Daniel said.

Locals: Tampa's Dawn Coe-Jones shot 3-under 69 in the final round and rallied to finish in a tie for 14th. Tampa's Colleen Walker followed Saturday's 73 with 76 to fall into a tie for 18th. And Tampa's Dale Eggeling followed Saturday's disastrous 89 with 78. She finished last at 23 over.

Next year: The Legends Tour Open Championship will be held at Innisbrook again in 2011. Dates are Nov. 11-13.

Jan Stephenson, 58, still feels competitive fire on course 11/21/10 [Last modified: Sunday, November 21, 2010 10:02pm]
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