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Rosie Jones ends American drought

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C., May 11 (UPI) -- Rosie Jones gave the United States its first win on the LPGA Tour this season Sunday, shooting a 2-under-par 70 to post a three-shot victory over Wendy Ward at the Asahi Ryokuken International Championship.

It was the 13th career title for the 43-year-old Jones, but her first since capturing the 2001 Big Apple Classic. In the process, Jones halted, at least temporarily, the success of international players on the LPGA Tour.

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An American had not won an LPGA event since Meg Mallon captured the Canadian Women's Open last August. This was the eighth event of the season.

Jones, a native of California who resides in Atlanta, took a two-shot lead into the final round. She had birdies on the first, fourth and 12th holes, bogeyed the 15th hole and parred the rest of the way to finish at 15-under 273.

Ward, a native of Texas, shot an eventful 70 in the final round, posting five bogeys, five birdies and an eagle on the par-3 13th hole.

Another American, Laura Diaz, shot a 73 on Sunday and finished in a tie for third at 278.

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Patricia Meunier-Lebouc of France (67) and Lorena Ochoa of Mexico (70) joined Diaz at 10-under.

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