MESA, Ariz. (AP) -- 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.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.