WESTPORT, Conn. – Ashley Gersten of Norwalk snatched a victory on the final hole of the Met PGA New England Women's Open Championship last week at Birchwood Country Club in Westport.
With a steady rain turning over to a downpour at times for the entire back nine, Gersten, an LPGA teaching assistant at Burning Tree Country Club in Greenwich, battled from one shot back on 17 to birdie the final two holes. She finished with a 149 over the two-day tournament, besting Liz Caron by one shot and CJ Reeves by two.
Gersten buried a 30-foot butt on 17 to force a tie going into the final hole. After pulling her drive on 18 into some trees, Gersten made a blind shot for the green that somehow hit the pin. She then sank a 10-foot putt for a birdie, securing the dramatic victory.
"It wasn't the easiest putt, especially with the pouring rain," Gersten said. "I didn't know I was in a position to win at the time, but I had this weird feeling that it would win the tournament."
It was Gersten's first Women's Met PGA victory of the year. She finished second at the women's stroke play championship back in August.