Inkster Runs Away with Title

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EVIAN, France -- Juli Inkster fired a 7-under 65 on Saturday to easily win the Evian Masters by six strokes over Hee-Won Han. Inkster finished with a tournament record score of 21-under-par 267.
 
'I played really well today and got off to a good start with a birdie at No. 1,' said Inkster. 'I didn't make any bogeys today and played a lot of good, solid golf and gave myself opportunities for birdie out there.'
 
Rosie Jones, who shared the overnight lead with Inkster, could only manage a round of 1-over 73. She shared third place with Lorena Ochoa at 13-under-par 275. Karrie Webb posted her second straight 68 to finish one shot further back at minus-12. Se Ri Pak finished alone in sixth place at 11-under-par 277.
 
Inkster jumped out of the gate at Royal Evian Golf Club with a birdie at the first. While other players were making runs at her lead, Inkster remained calm and parred five straight holes.
 
She caught fire late on the front nine and ran home a birdie putt at the seventh to move to 16-under. Inkster followed that with another birdie at the eighth and capped a strong front nine with a birdie on the ninth.
 
The 2002 U.S. Women's Open champion headed to the back nine at 18-under par and with a comfortable lead. She was not satisfied, however.
 
She rolled in a birdie at the par-3 14th and Inkster closed out the tournament in style as she birdied each of the final two holes to break Annika Sorenstam's tournament scoring mark, which was set last year.
 
'I played the par-3s very well today and birdied three out of four,' said Inkster, who earns $315,000 for the win. 'I never faltered and never let anybody back in, which was what I was trying to do. I was just kind of chipping away at it and all of a sudden I had a big lead.'
 
Han began two shots behind Jones and Inkster and birdied the first to open her round. After a series of pars, she bogeyed the par-4 sixth. Han recovered from that mistake with a birdie at the eighth.
 
Around the turn, she dropped another shot at the 10th. Han recovered with a birdie at the 14th to climb back to minus-13. The South Korean then birdied the final two holes to claim solo second place.
 
'I'm happy with my play,' said Han, who won the Big Apple Classic last week. 'Last week's win gave me more confidence and I am more comfortable playing.'
 
Cristie Kerr and Michele Redman shared seventh place at 10-under-par 278. Lorie Kane and Soo-Yun Kang finished one stroke further back.
 
Sophie Gustafson and Carin Koch headed a group of six players that finished the event at 8-under-par 280. Sorenstam, the 2002 champion, and Grace Park ended at 7-under-par 281.
 

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