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Canada's Alena Sharp wins Symetra Tour opener

MESA, Ariz. (AP) - LPGA Tour player Alena Sharp won the Symetra Tour's season-opening Visit Mesa Gateway Classic on Sunday, beating Marissa Steen by two strokes.

The 32-year-old Canadian closed with a 1-under 71 for a 12-under 204 total at Longbow Golf Club. She finished second last year, two strokes behind Jaclyn Sweeney.

"It feels amazing, I've worked really hard the last five months and I've finished second a lot on this tour and this is my first win," said Sharp, who earned $15,000. "It feels really good. I struck the ball well all week, putted well and hung in there. ... It was a little bit of a grind today, but I used my mental toughness and training to get through it and I'm happy that I'm holding the trophy."

She will return to the LPGA Tour on March 20-23 at the LPGA Founder's Cup in Phoenix.

"This is a big confidence boost, I played well in the Bahamas and missed the cut in Australia so I was a little bit down coming into this week," Sharp said. "These three days have brought me back up and now I have a month off until the next tournament, the LPGA Founder's Cup, and I'm looking forward to that."

Steen finished with a 68.

Emily Talley (65), Becca Huffner (68), Sadena Parks (68) and Jennie Lee (71) tied for third at 9 under.

Cheyenne Woods, Tiger Woods' niece, had a 71 to tie for 14th at 3 under. She won the Australian Ladies Masters this month.


(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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