Cheshire player Joanne Morley came very close to emulating Alison Nicholas' victory in the Cup Noodles Ladies Hawaiian Open. But she was narrowly defeated by Hall of Fame legend Betsy King who won for the first time since 1997, the 32nd of her career.
Morley had the tournament in her grasp; she was six under par through 14 holes and cruising. But a poor finish with a bogey on the 15th and a double on the 16th relegated the Cheshire player to third spot behind American Brandie Burton.
Tied for the lead at the start of the day with Sally Dee, King birdied three of the first four holes, then survived two bogeys on the back nine to finish at 12-under. Dee dropped six shots back with a double bogey at the sixth and Sweden's Sophie Gustafson dropped shots at the second, ninth, 11th and 12th to fall out of contention.
Burton started the day 6-under, and finished with birdies on the final four holes, but fell short in her attempt to get even with King.
The victory was worth $97,500 to King and boosted her career tour earnings to more than $6.4 million.
Morley can take some consolation from her performance in the knowledge that she can compete with the USA's best players in time for the Solheim Cup in the summer at Loch Lomond.