Jaclyn Sweeney wins Symetra Tour event

Former Arizona State player Jaclyn Sweeney won the Symetra

Tour’s season-opening VisitMesa.com Gateway Classic on Sunday,

closing with 5-under 67 in windy conditions for a two-stroke

victory.

Sweeney, from Bradenton, Fla., finished at 7-under 209 at

Longbow Golf Club. She earned $15,000 and received a spot in the

LPGA Founders Cup on March 14-17 at Wildfire in Phoenix.

”It’s really exciting, but I didn’t allow myself to think about

it,” Sweeney said about the exemption into the LPGA Tour event.

”I just kept thinking that Longbow is where the Monday qualifier

is going to be, so if I can score well on this golf course, I can

get into the tournament. Little did I know that I would play well

and get in and not have to qualify. It means a lot.”

She birdied three of the last four holes, including the par-5

18th.

”It was a great feeling,” said Sweeney, also the winner last

year in Albany, N.Y. ”I wasn’t as nervous as I was in Albany

because I hit such a good shot in to the 18th hole and I played

really smart today. I have played so much golf in the wind in

Florida and, it was really windy today, so I think that

helped.”

Canada’s Alena Sharp, a regular on the LPGA Tour, shot a 71 to

finish second.