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Home : Golf NewsBack to News

Kerr captures LPGA's Lotte Championship

 

American veteran Cristie Kerr capitalized on a back-nine stumble by overnight leader Jang Su-Yeong to come-from-behind and capture the Lotte Championship on Saturday.

The 39-year-old overcame a three-shot deficit over the last 18 holes with a bogey-free 6-under 66 to capture her first LPGA Tour title since 2015.

"It's been an epic day," said Kerr, who closed with a 20-under par 268 total.

"It didn't start out so hot, but I knew if I just hung in there and made a couple of birdies I would get it going. The back nine was magic for me this week."

Not so for little-known Jang, who needed sponsor's invitation to play in the tournament.

Jang, who led by three at the start of the day and stayed out in front for much of the final round on Saturday, eventually stumbled out of the race with a double bogey on the par-three 8th and a bogey on the par-five 14th.

This while Kerr was surging into a lead she would not lose with three straight birdies from the 11th which would take her to her to her 66 and 20-under winning total.

Looking better than she has in months, World No 1 Lydia Ko of New Zealand, tied Jang and fellow South Korean Chun In-Gee for second place.

Alena Sharp (70), a 35-year-old Canadian trying to win her first title on the LPGA Tour, finished another stroke back in fifth with Thailand's World No 3 Ariya Jutanugarn (69) and American Stacy Lewis (66) tied for seventh, six strokes behind Kerr.

LEADING FINAL SCORES
(Par 72)

268 - Cristie Kerr (USA) 71-69-62-66
271 - Lydia Ko (NZL) 73-69-65-64, Chun In-Gee (KOR) 70-69-65-67, Jang Su-Yeon (KOR) 67-67-65-72
272 - Alena Sharp (CAN) 67-69-66-70, Ryu So-Yeon (KOR) 68-69-69-67
274 - Stacy Lewis (USA) 68-68-72-66, Ariya Jutanugarn (THA) 69-66-70-69
275 - Danielle Kang (USA) 69-71-69-66, Cydney Clanton (USA) 69-69-69-68
277 - Katherine Kirk (AUS) 68-70-72-67, Jenny Shin (KOR) 71-71-67-68, Lizette Salas (USA) 67-73-69-68, Brooke M. Henderson (CAN) 70-69-70-68, Park In-Bee (KOR) 69-68-72-68

FOOTNOTE
Klara Spilkova made golfing history on Sunday when she became the first Czech player to win a Ladies European Tour event, this when she beat the seasoned Suzann Pettersen of Norway by a stroke in the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco.

The 22-year-old from Prague fired a stunning final round 66 on the Blue Course at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam – it tied the best round of the week – to came from four strokes back and capture her first Tour win with a 72-hole total of eight-under-par 280.

Pettersen, the overnight leader who closed with a 71, had a 15-foot birdie putt to tie the game at the 72nd hole, but came up short.

Spilkova, who represented the Czech Republic in the Rio Olympics in August, was meditating on the practice putting green when she learned that had won.

She reacted by exclaiming: "I'm so happy, it's crazy."

Neville Leck

suggestions to neville@golfweather.com.

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