HERSHEY, Pa. -- In case there were any doubters, Danielle Ammaccapane punctuated her star status on the LPGA Tour with an exclamation point yesterday, staring down Nancy Lopez and an assortment of others in the final round of the 18th annual Lady Keystone Open tournament.
Ammaccapane, who claimed $60,000 from the $400,000 purse, shot a 3-under-par 69 over Hershey Country Club's West Course for a 54-hole total of 208.
Her third win of the season, and fourth in the past 15 months, vaulted her past Dottie Mochrie into the money lead with $440,311.
Lopez, who began the day a stroke in front of Ammaccapane, had trouble with her putter all day. Although never more than two back, she could not make the putts when she most needed them. A bogey at the last hole left her at 210.
The bogey created a three-way tie for second at 210 with Muffin Spencer-Devlin, who posted the day's low round, a 67, and little-known Lori West, who had two birdies and 16 pars for 70.
Former Kensington resident Michelle Mackall used the only other round in the 60s, a 69, for a 213 total and a seventh-place finish, her best of the year.
This was the best of the three with Maryland ties. Baltimorean Tina Barrett could not get a putt to fall, using 35 of them en route to 77-222, and Kim Williams of Potomac rebounded from an out-going 41 to shoot 2-under 34 on the back and finish 75-223.
Ammaccapane, who knew the situation on the 18th tee, later admitted to being very nervous. "In past years, I had played the hole poorly," she said.
This time, she drove it in the fairway and, "hit the greatest little 4-iron shot" that rolled up on the green. "I shook all the way down the fairway," she said with a laugh.
Lopez, from a poor lie in the left rough, hit a 6-iron shot that came up short of the green and when she pitched short, the match was all but over.
"I don't hit it far, but I just play my game," Ammaccapane said. "I don't try to keep up with anybody or match anybody."
The Phoenix resident, a fifth-year pro at 26, not only had to contend with the weather -- windy and unseasonably cold -- but also a last grouping of Lopez, a past Lady Keystone champion and longtime favorite here, and Hollis Stacy, who has three U.S. Women's Open titles among her 18 tour wins. Stacy finished 74-212.
"I'm a 'feel' putter, and my putting felt good coming in," Ammaccapane said. "Then, I got on a roll."
For the last round, she had four birdies and one bogey. One birdie was a 50-foot putt and another -- one she called the biggest -- was a 15-footer at No. 15 that restored a two-stroke margin.
While the leader was making those putts, Lopez, 35, was enduring a round that included four three-putts. There were five birdies and two "saves," which is typical Lopez. But four three-putts?
"I'm disappointed and angry," she said. "The last three months, I've hit it the best I have in a long time, but my putting left me. Those putts I had, I used to make and I expect to make them now.
"I'm stroking it well, but I'm not trusting my mind. I'm not hitting it with the speed I'm thinking about."
Of the winner, she said, "She can hit any shot and she's very consistent. She doesn't get into trouble often, hits a lot of fairways and greens, and makes few if any bad swings."
NOTES: West's finish was her best in nine tour years, bettering a tie for eighth three years ago. Her check for $28,514 yesterday was about $12,000 more than she had earned in any previous year. . . West, 36, might have set a tournament record with just two bogeys in 54 holes. Spencer-Devlin, 38, said, "This was the best focus, best concentration week I've had since 1989 [when she won the most recent of her three titles]."