Kerr rallies to win in Mexico
Guadalajara, Mexico – Cristie Kerr carded a 3-under 69 on Sunday and that helped her come from behind to win the Lorena Ochoa Invitational.
Kerr finished at 16-under-par 272. The victory was her 15th on the LPGA Tour, but first since the 2010 LPGA Championship.
"It feels amazing. You know, coming in those last couple of holes it didn't feel like I had won before. I kind of just squeaked in," Kerr stated. "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."
Angela Stanford closed with a 68 to end in the second place at minus-15. She was joined there by third-round leader Inbee Park, who managed an even-par 72 in the final round.
Stacy Lewis and Candie Kung both shot 4-under 68 in the final round. They shared fourth at 12-under-par 276, while Haeji Kang (67) and So Yeon Ryu (73) tied for sixth at Guadalajara Country Club.
With her tie for fourth place, Lewis wrapped up the Player of the Year award. She became the first American to win that crown since Beth Daniel in 1994.
"After I finally made my last putt there on 18, I think it finally hit me. It's just crazy to think that there have been so many great American players and I am the one after Beth in '94. It's just crazy to even think of," said Lewis. "I mean it's an honor to win the award, and I think this will spur on with the rest of the Americans to get out and keep playing well because Solheim Cup is coming up."
Tournament host Lorena Ochoa, who was playing her first tour event since 2010, shot 71 on Sunday to finish tied for 18th at minus-4.
Kerr was two back to start the day, but cut that deficit in half with a birdie at the first. Park tripped to a bogey on the par-4 fifth to slip into a share of the lead with Kerr.
Park and Kerr, who were paired together in the final group, both stumbled to bogeys at the par-3 sixth. Both players quickly got back on track. Park birdied the seventh and eighth to get back to 15-under.
Kerr also birdied those two holes, and made it three in a row with a birdie on the ninth. That gave Kerr a 1-stroke lead at 16-under. Kerr kept that lead as she and Park matched birdies on No. 12.
Park stumbled to bogeys on 13 and 14 to drop three behind Kerr, who also bogeyed the 13th, but erased that mistake with a birdie at the 14th.
Kerr faltered to a bogey at 15 to trim her lead to two. She closed with three straight pars to seal the victory.
Park parred three in a row from the 15th, then birdied the last to grab a share of second.
"I gave my best, but Cristie played very good today and I made some mistakes with my long game. When I was putting, it seemed like today wasn't the day so maybe next week," Park admitted.
Stanford bogeyed the third, but came right back with a birdie at the fourth. She birdied the eighth to get to 12-under. Around the turn, Stanford moved within two of Kerr when she eagled the par-5 10th. Stanford birdied No. 14 to move to 15-under, and she ended there with four pars in a row to close out her round.
NOTE: Kerr earned $200,000 for the win and she climbed to 15th on the money list ... Last year's winner, Catriona Matthew, stumbled to a 74 to fall into a tie for 22nd ... The tour heads to Florida next week for the CME Group Titleholders, where Hee Young Park won by two last year.