Frenchwoman Wins the Farm


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Patricia Meunier-Lebouc of France carded a 5-under 67 Sunday to earn her first victory on the LPGA Tour at the State Farm Classic. She posted a tournament total of 18-under-par 270 and finished two shots clear of overnight co-leader Mi Hyun Kim and Se Ri Pak.
'I'm very happy. I just had a wonderful day,' said Meunier-Lebouc, who earned $165,000 for the win. 'I was very confident and I was really feeling inside myself the fact that I was playing well and that I could just rip at it and be confident.'
Beth Bauer held a piece of the lead until dunking her tee ball in the water at 16. She shot a 5-under 67 and tied for fourth with Laura Davies and Emilee Klein at 15-under-par 273.
Klein's fourth-place finish moved her from 12th to ninth on the United States Solheim Cup points list and earned her an automatic berth on the squad. The U.S. will take on the European team when the Solheim Cup tees off at Interlachen Country Club in Minnesota in three weeks.
Kim built a one-shot lead thanks to four birdies on the front nine. Meunier-Lebouc collected three birdies of her own on the front side, then tied Kim at the top with a 30-foot birdie from the fringe at the 13th.
Kim landed in the rough at the 14th hole and knocked her second through the green. She failed to get up and down for par to drop one shot behind Meunier-Lebouc.
The duo both reached the par-5 15th in two. Kim missed her long eagle try, leaving only a tap-in birdie to tie Meunier-Lebouc atop the leaderboard. The tie did not last as Meunier-Lebouc had 18 feet for eagle but she missed that and settled for birdie to reclaim a one-shot advantage.
Meunier-Lebouc played conservatively the rest of the way, playing at the center of the green. Kim needed to go at more flags and landed in bunkers at both 16 and 17. Kim saved par at both holes but Meunier-Lebouc did not give Kim any room, safely parring both holes.
Kim bogeyed 18 when she played a poor bunker shot and Meunier-Lebouc parred from behind the green to preserve the win.
'When I made that birdie and went in front of her, then I put a lot of pressure on her,' said Meunier-Lebouc. 'And I think she didn't handle it that good.'
The victory was Meunier-Lebouc's first on the LPGA Tour but her sixth professional victory. She spent the early part of her career on the Ladies European Tour and represented Europe in the 2000 Solheim Cup.
Kim, a two-time winner this season, now has three runner-up finishes in 2002. She shot a 3-under 69 and once again found trouble closing out a possible win.
'I hit it good but I just didn't feel good,' said Kim, who won her first LPGA title at the 1999 State Farm Classic. 'I just think too much.'
Pak, who has three wins this season including the LPGA Championship, fired a 7-under 65 Sunday and finished runner-up for the first time in 2002.
Cristie Kerr shot a 3-under 69 to finish alone in seventh at 14-under-par. Angela Stanford posted a final-round 70 to take eighth place at minus 13.
Pat Hurst's last attempt at and automatic Solheim Cup bid came up too short. She finished alone in ninth, which was not enough to move her into the top-10 on the points list. However, American captain Patty Sheehan named Hurst and Kelly Robbins as her two captain's picks Sunday afternoon.
Final results from the State Farm Classic