Late rally helps Hull capture Navistar LPGA
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
PRATTVILLE, Ala. – Australia’s Katherine Hull rallied to win the Navistar LPGA Classic on Sunday for her second career LPGA Tour title, pulling ahead with a birdie on the par-5 17th and finishing with a two-putt par for a 5-under 67 and a one-stroke victory over Brittany Lincicome.
Hull, the former Pepperdine player who also won the 2008 Canadian Women’s Open, finished at 19-under 269 on the links-style Senator layout at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail’s Capitol Hill complex. After opening with a 68, she had three straight bogey-free 67s.
“It’s actually really validating,” said Hull, who began the round three strokes behind Cristie Kerr. “I feel like my game’s the best its ever been, and I know it’s going to get better, too. I think I’ve always struggled to try to put four good rounds together and I was able to do that this week.”
On the par-4 18th, Hull missed the fairway to the left and was faced with a challenging lie. She hit her approach on the green, 50 feet from the hole. Her birdie try stopped 5 feet short and she saved par for the victory and $195,000 first-place check.
“I would have liked a tap-in, for sure,” Hull said. “Putting is the best part of my game, so (I was) glad to see it drop.”
Lincicome closed with a 65.
“You know, 65 on the final day, that’s pretty cool,” Lincicome said.
Lincicome was the first to congratulate Hull, running onto the green and spraying her with a victory beer.
“It’s a little overwhelming,” Hull said. “It probably won’t hit me until later. You just get so focused on executing and just finishing that you don’t think about anything else.”
Kerr shot a 72 to tie for third at 17 under with Na Yeon Choi (69). Kerr played the first 50 holes in 20 under, then was 3 over on the final 22.
“Today, things just didn’t go my way,” Kerr said. “If I had played half as well as I had played the first three days, it would have been no contest.”
Playing in the final group with Hull, Kerr pushed her approach shot to the right of the green on 18 and two-putted for a bogey. Had she won the tournament, she would have earned enough points to take over first place in the Rolex Player of the Year standings. She remained third behind Yani Tsng and Ai Miyazato.
Lindsey Wright shot a course-record 63 to tie for fifth at 16 under with Amy Yang (66) and Se Ri Pak (69).