Kerr Rallies for First Title in 2006


04 Franklin American Mortgage Champ.FRANKLIN, Tenn. -- Cristie Kerr posted a 5-under 67 on Sunday to erase a four-shot deficit and win the Franklin American Mortgage Championship. She finished at 19-under-par 269 and won by two shots for her seventh LPGA Tour title.
'I just had a feeling this whole week it was going to be my week,' acknowledged Kerr, who pocketed $165,000 for the win. 'I just knew that I just had to hang in there and just keep going and applying pressure. That's what happened.'
Cristie Kerr
Crisite Kerr jumps into the arms of her fiance after winning the title in Tennessee.
Angela Stanford squandered her four-shot lead en route to a 1-over 73 on Sunday. She tied for second place with Lorena Ochoa (66) and Pat Hurst (68) at minus-17.
Ji Yeon Lee carded a 3-under 69 in the final round to finish alone in fifth place at 16-under-par 272.
Kerr did not look like she would threaten Stanford's lead as she pulled her approach at the first, but she drained the 50-footer for birdie. Stanford actually holed a 7-foot par putt of her own at the first, but Kerr continued to apply the pressure.
Kerr hit an 8-iron to 12 feet to set up birdie at the fifth, then got within one of the lead thanks to a 9-foot birdie putt at No. 7. When Stanford missed a 4-foot par putt at eight, the two were tied.
At the par-4 10th, Kerr hit an 8-iron inside a foot to set up a tap-in birdie. That put her one ahead, but the par-4 13th became the pivotal hole of the round.
Stanford hit a poor 5-iron approach shot and chipped to 10 feet. Kerr knocked a 6-iron to 20 feet and sank the birdie putt. Stanford missed her par effort to fall three off the pace.
Ochoa briefly cut the gap to two, but had a chance to challenge Kerr. Ochoa found the fairway off the par-5 18th tee, but dunked her second in the water. She made par, but knew she would need Kerr's help if she was to have a crack at a playoff.
Hurst flew up the leaderboard with five birdies in a row to close her round, but it was not enough. If anyone was going to catch Kerr, it would have to be Stanford.
The 54-hole leader never got anything going down the stretch, but did birdie 18 to get into the tie for second place.
'It was a rough day,' admitted Stanford, whose only win on tour came in 2003. 'Any time you can be in the lead and put yourself out there; you're going to learn something. And the more times you can do it, the more chances you have to win. I haven't been in that position in a while, and I plan on being in that position a few more times this year.'
For Kerr, it marked her first trip to the winner's circle this season.
'You can really only control what is in your control, and I just tried to play a solid round of golf,' said Kerr. 'I knew I was going to have to shoot 5- or 6-under. At times, hit it great; at times didn't, and I was managing my golf game out there.
'It feels great, just absolutely great.'
Marisa Baena fired a 9-under-par 63 and tied for sixth place with Sophie Gustafson, who posted a 1-under 71 on Sunday. The pair finished at 15-under- par 273.
Young Kim carded a 7-under 65 and shared eighth place with Patricia Meunier-Lebouc, who shot a 71, at minus-14.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Franklin American Mortgage Championship
  • Full Coverage - Franklin American Mortgage Championship