By Doug Gorman
Not too many golf fans had ever heard of Jennifer Rosales when her week started at the Chick-fil-A Charity Championship.
Those who braved the rainy weather at the Eagle's Landing Country Club in Stockbridge for Sunday's final round might have witnessed the unveiling of one of the LPGA's newest stars.
With a strong showing over the final 18 holes, Rosales fired a 7-under-par 65 on the tournament's final day to finish 14-under par. The performance was good enough for her first LPGA victory.
Rosales held off four other players who finished tied for second to win the event by one storke.
She out played several more seasoned professionals, including defending tournament champion Se Ri Pak and Annika Sorenstam.
"I can't explain it," said Rosales of her first win. "It hasn't sunk in yet."
Rosales collected $250,000 for the victory.
With her win, Rosales became the 13th different winner of the Chick-fil-A Charity Championship.
The tournament field played through rain during most of the final round, but it didn't seem to bother Rosales, who charged into the lead with consistent play.
Rosales finished her round ahead of several groups and had to wait to see if any of the golfers still on the course would catch her.
The first-time winner spent the time talking with her mom on her cell phone, and trying to keep her nerves in check.
"I was trying not to watch it too much.," she said. "I was preparing myself to play the sudden death if necessary."
Becky Morgan had a chance to send the tournament into its second straight playoff, but a six-foot putt for birdie stopped less than an inch from the hole on the 18th green dropping her a stroke back.
"I had a chance to tie, but I just missed the putt, so I can't beat myself up over that," Morgan said.
Atlanta resident Rosie Jones, Jung Yeon Lee, and Grace Park all finished one stroke back at 13-under par.
"I'm very pleased with the way I played," said Jones, who drove from her Atlanta home each day during the tournament. "I didn't have any bogies. It was good to have a solid Sunday."
Starting Sunday's round at 7-under par, Rosales put together a collection of six birdies to jump to the top of the leaderboard.
But it was her par on the par-5 No. 18 that turned into her most dramatic shot of the day.
After hitting her second shot off the bleachers, Rosales recovered to sink a 4-foot par to maintain the lead.
"I was so pumped up, I don't know what happened. I'm just glad nobody got hurt," she said.
Rosales started her day with a birdies on the first hole, and finished the front nine at 10-under par.
Birdies on No. 10, 11, 13 and 14 moved her into the lead for the first time.
For a time, it looked as if Aree Song, who led after the third round, was going to become the youngest player to ever win an LPGA event, but the 18-year-old fell off the pace with problems on the back nine. After rounds of 69, 66, and 70, Song settled for a 78 on Sunday.
Pak finished tied for seventh in her bid to become the tournament's first two-time winner.
Sorenstam, the No.-1 ranked player in the world, who has also won the event, finished the tournament 10-under par. It was Sorenstam's first trip back to the Eagle's Landing Country Club after skipping the event last season.