SYLVANIA, Ohio — Beatriz Recari isn't so bold as to place herself among the greatest LPGA Tour players.
Instead, she hopes to continue plugging along and let the record book do the talking for her.
The 26-year-old Spaniard took the lead at the 14th hole and then made two more mammoth putts down the stretch to hold off Paula Creamer in a tense, one-on-one duel to win the Marathon Classic on Sunday.
It was her second win of the year and third of her young career. It was also a sign that she might be the best player nobody knows on the Tour.
"I have goals big enough that I want to accomplish," she said, still flushed from the victory. "There are great players out there, like Se Ri (Pak), Annika (Sorenstam), like Inbee (Park). All I want to focus on is to be the best I can be. I cannot control what other people think about me. All I can do is put a good score out there, get those wins and the wins speak for themselves."
Recari and Creamer started the day tied and spent most of the day trading the lead — as if it were match play. The head-to-head showdown in the heat in suburban Toledo might have been foreshadowing for when both players participate in next month's Solheim Cup at the Colorado Golf Club, Recari for the European side and Creamer for the United States.
"Back and forth, back and forth," Recari said of their Sunday showdown. "It totally felt like the Solheim Cup."
Recari closed with a 5-under 66 to finish at 17-under 267. Creamer, who was seeking her 10th career win and first since the 2010 U.S. Women's Open, was just a stroke back. She said she gave it everything she had.
"My goodness, there were so many great shots played today," Creamer said. "Do I wish I could go back and maybe change a couple of things here and there? Yes. But I played great. Beatriz just played one shot better."
Jodi Ewart Shadoff (66) shared third place at 13 under with Lexi Thompson, who shot a 67 and had a hole-in-one that won the 18-year-old a car.
Next came Angela Stanford (67) and Jacqui Cocolino (70) at 19 under. Meena Lee had the day's low round, a 62, and was with amateur sensation Lydia Ko (68), Toledo-born Stacy Lewis (64), Jennifer Johnson (66) and Chie Arimura (71) at 9 under.
But all of the focus on this day was on the co-leaders at the start.
Creamer took the lead twice with birdies — on the third and fifth holes — and each time Recari came right back with a birdie on the next hole. At the seventh, Creamer hit her approach to 6 feet. But before she could make her putt, Recari rolled in a 15-footer for birdie.
Still tied, there were a lot of fireworks on the 181-yard, par-3 14th. Recari hit her hybrid to 12 feet and Creamer's shot ended up 25 feet away. The third member of their group, Thompson, the budding American star-in-the-making, then holed her 6-iron to win a new car. She slapped high fives with her caddie then happily accepted congratulations from everyone along the rope line all the way to the green.
After Creamer almost rolled in her lengthy birdie putt, Recari took the lead for good with a birdie of her own.
Creamer's wedge to the green at the par-4 16th left her just 3 feet away, but Recari sank a 25-foot uphill birdie putt to negate Creamer's eventual 3 on the hole.
"I had a really good read," Recari said. "I stroked it and the hole got in the way."
The drama continued at the 17th, the first of back-to-back par-5 closing holes.
|Tennessee||12/18/14 7:25 PM|
|Philadelphia||12/20/14 3:30 PM|
|San Diego||12/20/14 7:25 PM|
|Minnesota||12/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Baltimore||12/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Detroit||12/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Cleveland||12/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Atlanta||12/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Green Bay||12/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Kansas City||12/21/14 12:00 PM|
|New England||12/21/14 12:00 PM|
|NY Giants||12/21/14 3:05 PM|
|Buffalo||12/21/14 3:25 PM|
|Indianapolis||12/21/14 3:25 PM|
|Seattle||12/21/14 7:30 PM|
|Denver||12/22/14 7:30 PM|
|Atlanta||55||2nd Qtr 3:26|
|Phoenix||44||2nd Qtr 4:20|
|Dallas||18||1st Qtr 4:48|
|Utah||16||1st Qtr 5:23|
|Orlando||20||1st Qtr 5:13|
|James Madison||30||1st Half|
|SIU Edwardsville||30||2nd Half|
|St Francis-PA||40||2nd Half|
|North Florida||25||1st Half 3:30|
|Gardner-Webb||43||1st Half 1:08|
|Arkansas State||35||2nd Half|
|NC A&T||26||2nd Half|
|Robert Morris||28||2nd Half|
|Char Southern||26||2nd Half|
|Kennesaw St||46||1st Half 0:33|
|Detroit||16||1st Half 9:55|
|Liberty||9||1st Half 11:05|
|TX A&M-CC||7:00 PM|
|Ark-Pine Bluff||7:00 PM|
|UT Martin||7:00 PM|
|Abilene Christian||7:00 PM|
|USC Upstate||7:00 PM|
|Alcorn State||7:00 PM|
|Central Mich||7:00 PM|
|Georgia State||7:00 PM|
|TX-Pan American||7:00 PM|
|Texas State||7:00 PM|
|Stephen F Austin|
|SC State||7:00 PM|
|Missouri State||7:00 PM|
|Chicago State||7:00 PM|
|Morehead State||7:00 PM|
|Northern Colorado||7:00 PM|
|New Mexico St||8:00 PM|
|San Diego St||8:00 PM|
|Eastern Mich||8:00 PM|
|Loyola Marymount||8:00 PM|
|Incarnate Word||8:00 PM|
|Central Arkansas||9:00 PM|
|Grambling St||10:00 PM|
|Nevada||12/20/14 10:00 AM|
|Utah State||12/20/14 1:20 PM|
|(23) Utah||12/20/14 2:30 PM|
|Western Mich||12/20/14 4:45 PM|
|South Alabama||12/20/14 8:15 PM|
|BYU||12/22/14 1:00 PM|
|Marshall||12/23/14 5:00 PM|
|Navy||12/23/14 8:30 PM|
|San Diego St|
|Central Mich||12/24/14 11:00 AM|
|Fresno State||12/24/14 7:00 PM|
|(21) Miss State||66||FINAL|
|Florida A&M||39||2nd Half 6:18|
|Oklahoma||45||2nd Half 15:55|
|Savannah State||25||2nd Half 15:41|
|Northern Colorado||12||2nd Half|
|Youngstown St||20||2nd Half|
|Siena||38||2nd Half 19:26|
|(1) South Carolina||37||2nd Half|
|Fla Gulf Coast||41||2nd Half|
|Texas Southern||49||2nd Half|
|NC A&T||38||2nd Half|
|NC Central||24||2nd Half|
|Alabama State||25||1st Half 0:49|
|Morehead St||29||1st Half 1:44|
|Arkansas State||30||2nd Half|
|American Univ||24||2nd Half|
|UNC Greensboro||34||2nd Half|
|Arkansas-Monticello||16||1st Half 11:21|
|Prairie View||0||1st Half 13:50|
|Sam Houston St||7|
|McNeese State||7:00 PM|
|Eastern Kentucky||7:00 PM|
|North Texas||9:00 PM|