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Piller: No regrets over late start taking up golf

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SAMMAMISH, Wash. – Gerina Piller is a throwback.

She’s old school in the way she came to golf.

Unlike so many of today’s youngest stars, who came to golf early, Piller grew up playing multiple sports in New Mexico before trying golf when she was 15. Now that she’s a late-blooming 31-year-old, looking Sunday to make her first LPGA title a major at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, she was asked if she regretted getting such a late start in golf.

“I played probably every sport you could think of growing up,” said Piller, who trails leader Lydia Ko by one shot. “I don't regret anything.” Piller was an All-State volleyball player, and even a cheerleader for a year, but she said she especially relishes her memories as a tomboy.

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“I loved playing baseball with the guys,” Piller said. “I was a pitcher and a catcher. And nothing brought me more joy than to stand on the mound, warm up, and you could see the little boys talking over there, `Oh, home run,’ ... And I'd fire it in there and send them back to the dugout, tail between their legs. I loved it.”

With seven top-10 finishes this year, Piller has been knocking hard on the door to her first victory.

“I do feel like winning is definitely close,” Piller said. “I feel that my game is good enough and it's just a matter of time when the pieces fit altogether and it just comes together.”

Piller wasn’t sure if her husband, PGA Tour pro Martin Piller, would make it to Sahalee for Sunday’s final round. He was back at their Texas home Saturday packing for the couple’s move to a new house.