LPGA Tour: Lotte Championship – Cristie Kerr
Cristie Kerr carded a flawless final-round 66 to see out a three-stroke victory with a tournament record-breaking 20 under par total at the Lotte Championship in Hawaii, her 19th LPGA Tour title.
The 39-year-old held off Lydia Ko, In Gee Chun and Su-Yeon Jang for the $300,000 top prize that takes her career earnings past the $18 million mark.
Kerr, who hadn’t won since the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship in 2015, was four under at the halfway stage of the tournament after opening rounds of 71 and 69, but a stunning 10-under 62 on Saturday put her in contention, and she followed it up with a 66 that included birdies at five, six and 11, then three on the bounce from 13.
Since November, the American has suffered from complications after knee surgery that kept her out for almost two months.
“It feels so good to have overcome so many things to be sitting here,” Kerr said. “I played great the last couple weeks coming into here, and I just have a different perspective on life now. I felt it on the golf course today.
“I was able to keep going forward because I didn’t put that extra pressure on myself.”
She added: “Experience is huge. Very few players are lucky enough to have a career as long as I’ve had and be competitive as long as I’ve been competitive. Having that experience and being competitive, it’s an advantage.
“I felt like I didn’t have it on the first four or five holes. I didn’t worry. I didn’t rush, and soon as I made my first birdie, it was kind of like off to the races. So experience definitely helps.”
LET: Lalla Meryem Cup – Klara Spilkova
Klara Spilkova produced a stunning final round to overhaul Suzann Pettersen and claim her maiden LET title in Morocco.
The Czech, who started the day four back from Norwegian Pettersen, rolled home six birdies in a flawless 66 to finish eight under at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam, where Edoardo Molinari also won on the European Tour.
Pettersen looked set to force a play-off, but inexplicably missed a short birdie putt at 18 and had to settle for second, a shot better than England’s Annabel Dimmock.
“I just took almost a two-month break to work on myself more than anything else, and I didn’t play much golf,” Spilkova said. “I was trying to get my mind in the right place and it worked. I feel much better than last year.
“The hardest challenge is always your ego. I just won for myself, because I felt no ego. I can’t believe it. It’s just great. I don’t really have any emotions now.”
Pettersen added: “Obviously I’m very disappointed not to win, I didn’t have my best game from tee to green and it’s cost me this tournament. I had a putt on the last, which ended short when it was in my hands to at least get into a play-off.
“I kept the hope alive with a birdie on 17 but when you shoot 66 on Sunday you should be there or thereabouts to win the tournament so credit to Spilkova.”