Kerr rallies to win at Aviara

Cristie Kerr shot 7-under-par 65 and came from three strokes behind in the final round to claim a two-shot victory over Mirim Lee of South Korea in the Kia Classic at Park Hyatt Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad.

The 37-year-old Kerr claimed her 17th victory on the LPGA Tour, including two majors, but the first since the 2013 Kingsmill Championship.

“I love to win and golf has always been great to me, and it’s because of special moments like this that I play the game,” said Kerr, who will be one of the favorites next week in the ANA Inspiration, the first major of the year on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage.

”I found something this week. I’ve been working on some new stuff with my instructors and it worked this week. I just really happy right now.”

Lee, who won twice on the LPGA Tour last season, pulled to within one stroke of Kerr by holing a five-foot eagle putt on the 16th hole, but drove into a hazard on the next hole and took a double-bogey 7 on her way to a 70.

Top-ranked Lydia Ko closed with her third 67 of the week and finished three shots back in solo third, followed another stroke back by Alison Lee of Valencia and UCLA, who had a 71, and Inbee Park of South Korea, who finished five shots back in fifth after a 67.

Paula Creamer of Pleasanton closed with a 72 and tied for 10th.

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