Cristie Kerr won for the 19th time on the LPGA Tour and took another step toward the Hall of Fame.
The 39-year-old Kerr came from three shots behind in the final round with a bogey-free 6-under-par 66 to win the Lotte Championship by three strokes over top-ranked Lydia Ko of New Zealand and South Koreans In Gee Chun and Su-Yeon Jang at Ko Olina Golf Club in Kapolei, Oahu, Hawaii.
“It feels amazing,” said Kerr, who has 21 points, six shy of qualifying for the LPGA Tour Hall of Fame. “You know, on Friday morning I wasn’t playing too well and then I just found something, and was able to turn it on and I just kept it going. I can’t remember two and a half days after I struggled with my swing feel, and then made so many birdies in my life. It was an unbelievable run.
“I’ve always thought about (the Hall of Fame). I’ve come this far and I don’t plan on quitting golf any time soon. Sky is the limit. If you shoot for the stars you may get to the moon. That’s the old saying.”
Kerr, who got back into the tournament by shooting 62 in the third round, took control with three birdies in four holes through No. 15 in the final round and had a winning total of 20-under 268 to break the tournament record of 269 set by Suzanne Pettersen of Norway in 2013.
Jang, playing on a sponsor’s exemption, didn’t have a bogey in the tournament until the sixth hole of the final round and struggled home with a 72, while Ko collected nine birdies in a 64 and Chun had a bogey-free 67.
Alena Sharp of Canada was four back in solo fifth after a 70, one shot ahead of second-ranked So Yeon Ryu of South Korea, who carded a 67, while Stacy Lewis shot 66 to finish six behind in a tie for seventh with third-ranked Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand, who finished at 69.
Danielle Kang of Thousand Oaks and Pepperdine eagled the fifth hole in a 66 and wound up seven shots down in a tie for ninth with Cydney Clanton, who also eagled No. 5 in a 68.