Florida’s Sandra Changkija Wins PGA Women’s Stroke Play Championship; Earns Spot in KPMG Women’s PGA Championship

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Sandra Changkija of Kissimmee, Fla., shot a bogey-free, 3-under 69 Tuesday to win the PGA Women’s Stroke Play Championship at PGA Golf Club.

The victory earned Changkija $2,250 and a spot in this year’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship June 24-27 at Atlanta Athletic Club. The top eight finishers earned berths in the major.

Changkija started the final round with a one-shot lead and made three birdies in a four-hole stretch in the middle of the round on the Wanamaker Course to cruise to a five-shot victory over Samantha Morrell of North Kingstown, R.I. Changkija finished at 4-under 211 – the only player under par.

“My goal was to hit fairways and greens, and hopefully roll in some putts, and I was able to do that,” Changkija said. “I know my routine is a good routine and my course management helped me today.

“I’ve played in a couple KPMG Championships, and I think they are always good, tough courses. I’ve never played the Atlanta Athletic Club, but I like Georgia courses that are hilly and tree-lined.”

Changkija, 31, qualified for the LPGA Tour in 2012 and had four career top-10 finishes before she started working as a LPGA Coaching & Professional last year at Walt Disney World Golf. She won 16 tournaments at Nova Southeastern University in Davie and is the only four-time Division II Player of the Year (2008-’11).

Ashley Grier of Glen Falls, Pa., who finished third at last year’s Women’s Stroke Play Championship last year and won the event in 2018, shot 74 to finish third at 217. Alisa Rodriguez (74-218) of Austin, Texas was fourth.

The top eight finishers earned berths in the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Joining Changkija, Morrell, Grier and Rodriguez are four players who tied for fifth at 219: Stephanie Connelly-Eiswerth (69) of Fleming Island, Fla.; Allie Knight (73) of Knoxville, Tenn.; 2019 champion Joanna Coe (76) of Lutherville, Md.; and Moira Dunn-Bohls (74) of Tulsa.

The eight spots were available because the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional National Championship was canceled last year due to COVID-19.

Seul-Ki Hawley (72-220) of Winchester, Mass., missed qualifying by a shot. Jupiter’s Jenny Suh (73-221) was 10th.

The Women’s Stroke Play Championship is part of the PGA Winter Championships, which are presented by GolfPass and PrimeSport.