Cristie Kerr buries long birdie putt at final hole for 20th LPGA title

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Cristie Kerr buries long birdie putt at final hole for 20th LPGA title

LPGA Tour

Cristie Kerr buries long birdie putt at final hole for 20th LPGA title

Cristie Kerr collected her 20th LPGA victory in vintage Kerr-style. Staring a four-way playoff in the face, Kerr drained a 36-foot birdie putt on the 18th green to clinch the title at Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia.

“When I hit it, I could just tell it was going in,” said Kerr, who now has $19,142,286 in career earnings. She became the third player in LPGA history to cross that mark alongside Annika Sorenstam ($22,573,192) and Karrie Webb ($20,179,509).

Kerr, now in her 20th year on tour, turned 40 on Oct. 12, four days after winning the Lacoste Ladies Open de France on the Ladies European Tour. The victory was especially meaningful for Kerr given its ties to cancer. The same can be said about the Sime Darby event, which partners with Cancer Research Malaysia and hosts “Pink Saturday” tournament week.

“The average size of a tumor in America is the size of your pinky nail,” said Kerr, who has raised millions through her Birdies for Breast Cancer organization. “Here it’s the size of a fist.”

Kerr said she will donate a portion of her winner’s check to Cancer Research Malaysia. This marks her third victory of the season worldwide and second career title overseas. She’s now five points shy of LPGA Hall of Fame qualification.

Three players finished one shot back of Kerr’s winning tally of 15-under 269: Shanshan Feng, Danielle Kang and Jacqui Concolino.

Feng’s record in Malaysia is remarkable. She has placed 2-1-2-1-2 in her last five starts. Concolino posted a career-best finish thanks largely to a front-nine 29 on Saturday.

“Cristie making the putt on the last hole is kind of inevitable I guess,” said Concolino. “It was a great experience this week. Absolutely loved every second of it.”

While Kerr waited for photographers to line up on the 18th green for a trophy shot, she paced off her winning putt and relived it with caddie Brady Stockton. Kerr believed it to be the longest putt she’s ever made to win a golf tournament.

The dramatic finish made her the first winner over age 40 on the LPGA since Catriona Matthew won the 2011 Lorena Ochoa Invitational at age 42.

“It was meant to be,” said Kerr about the putt on 18. “What a way to win. I always said I wanted to get a win in my 40’s and I got it pretty quick.”

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