Cristie Kerr Wins Kia Classic
Cristie Kerr returned to the winner’s circle in impressive fashion on Sunday. She fired a 7-under par 65 to capture the Kia Classic in Carlsbad, California.
She came from three shots off the pace to score two-shot win and set a new tournament scoring record in the process after completing the 72 holes at 20-under par 268
It was Kerr’s 17th career win but her first since since winning the King’s Mill Classic in 2013.
It was also her first win since becoming a mother. Her 16-month-old son Mason was on hand to greet his mother as she came off the final green with her victory secured.
“I think when I got in contention last year I thought about winning a little too much,” she said, “wanting him to be on the green, but you know, everything happens for a reason, and last year he couldn’t have run out to meet me. So maybe that was fate, too. But (the win) was just huge.”
Miriam Lee, who had the lead at the start of the final day, finished alone in second place after a 2-under par 70 that nailed her to all better the previous tournament scoring record. Lydia Ko’s 67 brought her home at 271. The 17-year old has now finished under par in 28 consecutive LPGA rounds, one off the all-time record. Alison Lee came in at 272.
The top four finishers all had at least a share of the lead at various points during the final round.
Kerr’s win is her first in her last 43 starts. She is the first player from outside the Republic of Korea to win on the LPGA Tour this season.
Four players matched the course record during the week. Dori Carter, Morgan Pressel, Se Ri Pak and Ilhee Lee, in that order, all shot 64s.