Moon finishes strong to edge Materne

Korean Soo Young Moon edged Nicole Materne by three shots to win the Futures Tour's season-opening Florida Challenge on Sunday.

The non-exempt LPGA Tour rookie fired a 4-under 68 for a 10-under 206 total at The Club at Eaglebrook, taking home the $8,400 top prize.

Moon trailed by three strokes at the turn Sunday, but rallied to pass Materne on the back nine. Materne triple-bogeyed the 13th hole to open the door for Moon.

Materne also bogeyed the 14th, while Moon birdied it to take the outright lead.

"I was a little nervous, but I did not want to think about anybody else's mistakes on the course," Moon said. "I was concentrating very hard on what I had to do to win. I knew that it was not impossible, but I needed to work hard."

The 19-year-old Moon bogeyed the 15th to drop back into a tie for the lead with Materne, but birdies on 16 and 17 put her ahead for good.

"I like this course," Moon said. "I can't believe I won. I never expected that this would happen. I practiced a lot this winter and just wanted to do my best."

Moon plans on trying to Monday qualify for 10-15 LPGA events in 2003.