Kerr ends victory drought on LPGA Tour

While Lewis locks up player of the year award

Andy Roberts's picture
Mon, 12 Nov 2012

Kerr ends victory drought on LPGA Tour

Cristie Kerr claimed her first LPGA Tour victory in more than two years at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational, on a day when Stacy Lewis wrapped up the player of the year award.

Kerr, who last tasted victory at the 2010 LPGA Championship in June 2010, held off compatriot Angela Stanford and 54-hole leader Inbee Park by one shot on 16-under at Guadalajara Country Club in Mexico.

But despite having won a previous 14 times, the experienced 35-year-old American, who has played in five Solheim Cups and won two major championships, admitted to feeling every bit like a rookie.

“This feels amazing but I was nervous out there,” said Kerr, who carded a final-round 69 but not before holing a clutch four-footer for par at 18.

“Coming in those last couple of holes it didn’t feel like I’d won before. I kind of just squeaked in. I won by a shot. That’s all that it takes. I’ve lost plenty of tournaments by a shot, but winning by a shot feels a lot better.

“I haven’t been in this position to win in more than two years. To even have one putt to win, or two putts to win, I wasn’t nervous for messing up, but it was hard to control the amount of adrenaline that was in my system.

“I just tried to take some breaths and calm myself down. I still can’t believe how hard I hit that first putt on 18. I gave the fans and myself a heart attack, but I stayed in there mentally until the end.”

Lewis, coming off her tour-leading fourth victory of the year inJapan, finished in a tie for fourth to become the first American player of the year since Beth Daniel in 1994.

“After I finally made my last putt on 18, I think it finally hit me,” said the World No.2.

“It’s just crazy to think that there have been so many great American players and I am one after Beth. It’s just crazy to even think of.

Tournament host and former No.1 Ochoa, who retired at the age of 28 in 2010, finished in a tie for 19th on 4-under.

Lorena Ochoa Invitational Final Leaderboard

-16 C Kerr (US)
-15 I Park (Kor), A Stanford (US)
S Lewis (US), C Kung (TPE)

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