Apr 16, 2017: Riding a streak of 52 holes without a bogey, American Cristie Kerr captured the LOTTE Championship Presented by HERSHEY by three shots over three players.
Aditi Ashok produced a brilliant 68 in the final round to finish inside the top 50 in Hawaii.
Kerr, who has now won 19 times on the LPGA Tour, fired a 6-under-par 66 Saturday, after a 10-under-par 62 on Friday on the Ko Olina Golf Club, to leapfrog the third round’s overnight leader Su-Yeon Jang.
“It feels amazing,” she said of her win. “You know, on Friday morning I wasn’t playing too well and then I just found something and was able to turn it on and I just kept it going. I can’t remember two and a half days after I struggled with my swing feel, and then made so many birdies in my life. It was an unbelievable run.”
Kerr’s four-day total of 20-under 268 broke the tournament record. She earned $300,000 – moving her into fifth on the 2017 LPGA Official Money List – pushing her over $18 million in her career (she sits third on the LPGA Career Money List).
AMERICANS BACK IN THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Cristie Kerr’s win represents the second win by an American player in 2017 (Brittany Lincicome, Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic). The United States is now in second place in wins by country this season – the Republic of Korea remains in first with five wins. Sweden is the only other country represented with Anna Nordqvist’s win at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.
KO STILL NO. 1
Thanks to a runner-up finish, her best result since her win at the Marathon Classic, Lydia Ko’s position as the top player in the Rolex Rankings is safe for at least another two weeks leading into the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout.
This week at the LOTTE Championship presented by HERSHEY So Yeon Ryu could have become the No. 1 player in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings if she were to win and if Ko finished 5th or worse. Ryu had to win for a chance at the top spot, and Ko would remain No. 1 with a second, third or fourth place finish. Ariya Jutanugarn had no chance of becoming No. 1 this week even with a win.
Lydia Ko is winless in her last 16 starts, the longest streak of starts without a win in her LPGA career.