Joanna Coe earned one of the biggest victories of her golf career Tuesday.

Coe, who grew up in Mays Landing and is a 2007 Oakcrest High School graduate, won the three-round PGA Women’s Stroke Play Championship at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

Coe, a PGA professional at Baltimore Country Club, shot a 76-64-74—214 to gain a one-stroke victory over Brittany Kelly, of Indianapolis.

The 29-year-old received $1,800 for the win and a spot in this year’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, one of the LPGA’s five majors, at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota, on June 18-23.

It will be the second straight year she will play in that tournament.

Coe put herself in contention to win the tournament Monday, when she shot an 8-under 64 on the PGA Golf Club’s Par-72 Ryder Course. It was both a tournament record and personal best.

She followed that Tuesday with a 2-under 74 on the club’s Wannamaker Course, and that was good enough to hold off Kelly.

“Yesterday was special and today was a grind with lots of important par saves,” Coe wrote on her Instagram account Tuesday. “But that’s golf!”

Kelly, a PGA assistant professional at Wood- land Country Club in Carmel, Indiana, shot a 2-under 70 on Tuesday, but Coe responded to every challenge.

Coe made par on her last seven holes.

“It’s uncomfortable the day after shooting a 64, and I’m well aware of that,” Coe told on Tuesday. “I wanted to eliminate the big mistakes, and I made a couple of key par saves coming in.”

Coe is scheduled to return to Baltimore Country Club this week but will make another trip to Florida next month, when she will be inducted into the Rollins College Hall of Fame. Coe, who won the NCAA Division II individual championship as a freshman in 2008, already is a member of Oakcrest’s Athletic Hall of Fame, having been inducted in 2013.

The former LPGA Symetra Tour player also is expected to participate in the ShopRite LPGA Classic at Seaview Hotel & Golf Club on June 3-9. She won the ShopRite Classic’s Monday qualifier last year but failed to make the cut in the main tournament.

Also Tuesday, Frank Bensel, a PGA professional at Century Country Club in Purchase, New York, won the men’s Stroke Play Championship with a par on the third playoff hole against David Muttit, of Albuquerque, New Mexico. He earned $5,000.

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Contact: 609-272-7201 Twitter @PressACWeinberg


Member of The Press sports staff since 1986, starting my 27th season as The Press Eagles' beat writer. Also cover boxing, MMA, golf, high school sports and everything else.

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