Earns spot in KPMG Women’s PGA Championship
POST ST. LUCIE, Florida (March 9, 2021) – Sandra Changkija of Kissimmee, Fla., shot a bogey-free, 3-under 69 Tuesday to win the PGA Women’s Stroke Play Championship on Feb. 16 at PGA Golf Club.
The victory earned Changkija $2,250 and a spot in this year’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship June 24-27 at Atlanta Athletic Club. The top eight finishers earned berths in the major.
Changkija started the final round with a one-shot lead and made three birdies in a four-hole stretch in the middle of the round on the Wanamaker Course to cruise to a five-shot victory over Samantha Morrell of North Kingstown, R.I. Changkija finished at 4-under 211 – the only player under par.
“My goal was to hit fairways and greens, and hopefully roll in some putts, and I was able to do that,” Changkija said. “I know my routine is a good routine and my course management helped me today.
“I’ve played in a couple KPMG Championships, and I think they are always good, tough courses. I’ve never played the Atlanta Athletic Club, but I like Georgia courses that are hilly and tree-lined.”
Changkija, 31, qualified for the LPGA Tour in 2012 and had four career top-10 finishes before she started working as a PGA Professional last year at Walt Disney World Golf. She won 16 tournaments at Nova Southeastern University in Davie and is the only four-time Division II Player of the Year (2008-’11).
Ashley Grier of Glen Falls, Pa., who won the Women’s Stroke Play Championship last year and in 2018, shot 74 to finish third at 217. Alisa Rodriguez (74-218) of Austin, Texas was fourth.
The top eight finishers earned berths in the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Joining Changkija, Morrell, Grier and Rodriguez are four players who tied for fifth at 219: Stephanie Connelly-Eiswerth (69) of Fleming Island, Fla.; Allie Knight (73) of Knoxville, Tenn.; 2019 champion Joanna Coe (76) of Lutherville, Md.; and Moira Dunn-Bohls (74) of Tulsa.
The eight spots were available because the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional National Championship was canceled last year due to COVID-19.
Seul-Ki Hawley (72-220) of Winchester, Mass., missed qualifying by a shot. Jupiter’s Jenny Suh (73-221) was 10th.