BETHESDA, Md. -- Connie Chillemi, a 12-year veteran of the LPGA Tour, says she still thinks she'll cash a first-place paycheck some day.
Chillemi, eyeing her first professional title, bogeyed hole No. 17 Sunday to fall out of a three-way tie for first in the inaugural Greater Washington Open at the Bethesda Country Club.
The miscue forced a disappointed but undaunted Chillemi to settle for a second-place tie with Beth Daniel, a stroke behind winner Ayako Okamoto.
'This wasn't my time,' said Chillemi, whose best prior finish was a tie for third. 'I had some chances but I didn't take advantage of them. My time will come.'
Chillemi, 31, entered the final round of the Lady Keystone Open in Hershey, Pa., last month tied for first, but shot a 75 to finish in a tie for 14th.
The Ocala, Fla., native said she was delighted with her play at the Bethesda course.
'You bet I'm happy. (I won) almost $18,000 for one week's work,' said Chillemi, whose second-place paycheck was the largest of her career. 'It was a little frustrating out there. It just wasn't my time.'
Chilemi, the second-round leader of the 54-hole, $225,000 event, was tied for the lead with Daniel and Okamato Sunday on the next-to-last hole. She hit the par-3 green with her tee shot, but put a little too much on her 20-foot birdie putt and missed the comebacker to fall one shot behind.
Her long birdie putt on 18, which would have forced a playoff, stopped just short of the cup.
'I'll never back off. I'll always go down fighting,' said Chillemi, whose round of 64 Saturday was a women's course record.
When asked what prevented her from winning, Chilemi said, 'I really can't put my finger on it. I went out there and played as good as I could. My father, who is a pro, says 'Don't play your opponent. Just play against Old Man Par.' I felt like I was playing in the U.S. Open today.'