DANVILLE, Calif. – Spain's Beatriz Recari won the CVS/pharmacy LPGA Challenge on Sunday for her first LPGA Tour title, overcoming soggy conditions and a late bogey for a one-stroke victory over France's Gwladys Nocera.
The 23-year-old Recari, a tour rookie who made cuts in only three of her first 13 stroke-play events this season, rebounded from a bogey on the No. 17 with a par on the 18th for a 2-under 70 and a 14-under 274 total on the Blackhawk Country Club course.
Nocera birdied the final hole for a 70.
Michele Redman (76) and Karine Icher (70) tied for third at 12 under.
Cristie Kerr missed a chance to overtake Ai Miyazato for the No. 1 ranking, closing with a 70 to tie for fifth with Wendy Ward (72) at 11 under. Kerr needed to at least tie for third to take the top spot.
The win ended a 14-month world victory drought for Recari, who nearly tripled her career winnings with the $165,000 first-place prize.
Her last win professional came on the Ladies European Tour at the Finnair Masters in August 2009 when she blew a five-stroke lead on the final day before winning in a playoff.
Recari hadn't had much success since leaving the LET. That changed when she calmly sank a 2-foot putt on the 18th, then immediately jumped into the arms of her caddie under a steady drizzle of rain.
The weather affected the final round and made it tough to gain ground after the tournament began in 95-degree heat Thursday.
The leaders found that out the hard way.
The 45-year-old Redman, seeking her first win since 2000, went into the final round tied with Recari and Ilhee Lee but couldn't hold on.
After falling a stroke behind when Recardi birdied No. 6, Redman pulled even with a birdie on the ninth but fell behind again after pushing her tee shot right on the par-3, 10th. The ball settled in thick, wet rough and Redman's chip shot fell 3 feet shy of the green. She settled for bogey.
Lee, a rookie from South Korea who nearly quit the tour this year after missing seven straight cuts, bogeyed three of the first four holes Sunday and fell off the pace with a 78. Lee tied for 15th at 6 under.
Recari had her problems, too.
She birdied the third but gave the stroke back two holes later with a bogey on the par-5 fifth. A birdie on the sixth put her in front again and she added birdies on Nos. 13 and 14.
Recari's bogey on 17 coupled with Nocera's birdie on the 18th cut the lead to one. With Nocera standing close by, Recari avoided a playoff by two-putting from just off the front of the green.
Brittany Lincicome, the first-round leader after a course-record 61, shot a 70 to tie for eighth at 9 under.