Kerr Captures ShopRight Classic

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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- Cristie Kerr hit an 8-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole Sunday to win the ShopRite LPGA Classic, spoiling 17-year-old Paula Creamer's bid to make history.
 
With the tournament on the line, Kerr calmly made the putt to finish with a 3-under 68. The shot came after playing partner Creamer missed a 10-footer that would have sent them to a playoff hole.
 
Kerr, shot 66-68-68 for a three-day total of 11-under 202 to win her third LPGA title and the $195,000 top prize in the event, which finished on a breezy Seaview Marriott Resort course.
 
Creamer (69) and Giulia Sergas (71) finished one shot back at 203, followed by Juli Inkster (67) and Mi Hyun Kim (69) at 204.
 
Denise Killeen, who held a two-shot lead going into the final round and was hoping to win her first LPGA event since joining the tour 12 years ago, shot an 8-over 79 Sunday and finished seven shots from the top.
 
Creamer, vying to become the first amateur to win an LPGA title since Joanne Carner in 1969, used a hot putter to shoot 7 under Saturday. She started Sunday four shots back.
 
But she missed birdie putt after birdie putt Sunday, including the clincher on the 508-yard 18th hole.
 
Kerr, who won the LPGA Takefuji Classic in April, had her difficulties, too. Starting the day at 7 under -- five strokes back -- she had six birdies. But Kerr nearly fell out of contention after missing an 18-inch comeback putt to take a bogey on No. 12, and then a 10-footer on the par-3 No. 14 to drop to 9 under.
 
She missed a birdie opportunity on the 17th hole, leaving a downhill 5-foot putt about a foot short.
 
Coming into the final hole, she was tied with Creamer and Sergas, who was playing in the group behind them. Driving into a stiff wind, Kerr landed her tee shot in the fairway and landed her approach shot just past the pin, setting the stage for the birdie putt.
 
After she hit it, Kerr jumped up in the air and pumped her right fist before walking over to Creamer and giving her a hug.
 
She hadn't won yet. Minutes later, Sergas arrived on No. 18 with a chance to win if she birdied. But her approach shot landed in the rough right of the green and she couldn't make an 8-footer for birdie.
 
That clinched Kerr's victory, which came on the same course that she played her first tournament as a professional in 1996. She didn't make the cut.
 
Related links:
  • Full Coverage - ShopRite Classic

  • Leaderboard - ShopRite Classic

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