Hurst Avenges Heartbreaking Loss


2005 State Farm ClassicSPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Pat Hurst avenged a heartbreaking loss to Cristie Kerr last week by hanging on Sunday and winning the State Farm Classic at The Rail Golf Course.
'Last week, she played well and I want to congratulate her,' said Hurst. 'This week was my turn. It feels great. I didn't think this day would come again. I'm so proud.'
Pat Hurst
After a disappointing loss last week, Pat Hurst had her eyes on the prize this week at the State Farm Classic.
On Sunday of last week's Wendy's Championship for Children, Hurst and Kerr were tied for the lead when Hurst reached the 18th tee. She hit it out of bounds, then made double bogey and lost the tournament by two strokes to Kerr.
This Sunday was a different story as Hurst shot a 2-under 70 and defeated Kerr by three shots at 17-under-par 271. It was her fourth win on the LPGA Tour and her first since the 2000 Electrolux USA Championship.
Kerr, the 2004 champion, made things interesting on the back nine, but came up short. She shot a 3-under 69 to finish at minus-14, one shot better than Natalie Gulbis and Heather Bowie, who both posted rounds of 4-under 68 on Sunday.
Perhaps the happiest person on Sunday beside Hurst was Nancy Lopez. She will lead the United States Solheim Cup team of which Hurst, Kerr and Gulbis are all members.
'Pat Hurst winning is just fantastic,' said Lopez, as she was surrounded by several members of the team, which will head to Crooked Stick Sunday afternoon. 'The team's playing great and the players are awesome.'
Amateur Morgan Pressel, who tied for second at this year's U.S. Women's Open, fired a 6-under 66 and tied for fifth place with Maria Hjorth, a European Solheim Cupper, who shot a 3-under 69 on Sunday. The duo came in at minus-12.
Hurst began the final round with a three-shot lead, but flew out of the gate with back-to-back, 7-foot birdie putts. Kerr also got off to a solid start, but after Hurst played the next nine holes in 2 under par, Hurst held a five-shot lead.
That margin was short-lived as she drove into the right rough off the 12th tee. She knocked her second out of bounds and left with a double bogey and a three-shot lead.
At the 13th, Hurst once again missed the fairway and landed in the front bunker with her second. She blasted her third 9 feet past the hole and missed the putt left. That bogey dropped her to 16 under par and gave her a two-shot lead over Kerr, who parred every hole since three birdies in her first four holes.
Hurst quickly atoned for her mistakes with a 25-foot birdie putt at No. 14. She hit a long drive into the short grass at the par-5 15th, but pulled her second into water. After a drop, Hurst chipped her fourth 6 feet past, but holed the clutch par save.
She needed the par putt because Kerr, in the group in front of Hurst, hit an 8-iron inside 6 inches at the par-3 16th. Kerr tapped in to get within two and Hurst missed a chance at the same hole when her 8-footer hung on the lip.
Kerr made a tough par from the back bunker at 17, but played the 18th horribly. She pulled a 4-footer for par and now Hurst, in the fairway at 18, held a three-shot margin.
Hurst came up 20 feet short with her approach and nearly sank her birdie try. She marked, waited for her playing partners to finish, then tapped in for the win with several of her Solheim Cup teammates storming the green with congratulations.
'The back nine was one of the toughest nines that I've played,' said Hurst, who pocketed $195,000 for the win. 'I have a lot of confidence going into next week. Nothing could be better than representing my country.'
Catriona Matthew, another Solheim Cup player from Europe, managed an even-par 72 and tied for seventh place with Hee-Won Han, who carded a 2-under 70 on Sunday. The duo was knotted at 11-under-par 277.
Audra Burks (68), Moira Dunn (68), Karine Icher (68), Sung Ah Yim (68), Aree Song (70) and Kim Williams (74) tied for ninth place at 10-under-par 278.
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