Mon, Apr 17, 2017 - Page 11 News List

Kerr comes from behind to claim Lotte Championship

AFP, KAPOLEI, Hawaii

Cristie Kerr celebrates on Saturday after winning the Lotte Championship in Kapolei, Hawaii.

Photo: AP

American Cristie Kerr capitalized on a back nine stumble by South Korea’s Jang Su-yeong on Saturday to come from behind and capture the Lotte Championship.

The 39-year-old overcame a three-shot deficit heading into the final round to fire a bogey-free 66 for her first US LPGA Tour win since 2015.

“It’s been an epic day,” said Kerr, who finished with a 72 hole total score of 20-under par 268.

“It didn’t start out so hot, but I knew if I just hung in there and made a couple birdies I would get it going, and the back nine was magic for me this week,” Kerr said.

The same could not be said for unheralded Jang, who needed a sponsor’s invite to get into the tournament.

Jang, who held a three-shot lead at the end of the third round and led for much of Saturday, made double bogey on the par-three No. 8 and had a bogey on the par-five 14th to drop to 17-under.

Kerr vaulted into the lead for good with three straight birdies on the back nine, beginning at No. 13 to get to 20-under.

Also tied for second were New Zealand’s Lydia Ko, and South Korea’s Chun In-gee.

Alena Sharp, a 35-year-old Canadian trying to win her first title on the US LPGA Tour, finished another stroke back in fifth after she bogeyed the final hole for a 70.

Jang entered the final round with a big lead, but closed with a par 72.

Ko made a run in a bid for her first title since July last year, closing with a 64, and Chun finished with a 67.

Taiwan’s Chien Peiyun was tied for 69th place. All other Taiwanese had missed the cut.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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