Cristie Kerr poses for selfie after winning in the final round of the LPGA LOTTE Championship Presented By Hershey at Ko Olina Golf Club on April 15, 2017 in Kapolei, Hawaii. AFP Photo

KAPOLEI: American Cristie Kerr capitalized on a back nine stumble by Jang Su-Yeong to come-from-behind and capture the Lotte Championship on Saturday.

The 39-year-old overcame a three-shot deficit heading into the final round to fire a bogey-free 66 for her first US LPGA Tour win since 2015.

“It’s been an epic day,” said Kerr, who finished with a 72 hole total score of 20-under par 268.

“It didn’t start out so hot, but I knew if I just hung in there and made a couple birdies I would get it going, and the back nine was magic for me this week.”


Cristie Kerr hits from the first tee during the final round of the Lotte Championship LPGA golf tournament Saturday, April 15, 2017, in Kapolei, Hawaii. The Star-Advertiser via AP

The same could not be said for unheralded Jang, who needed a sponsor’s invite to get into the tournament.

Jang, who held a three-shot lead at the end of the third round and led for much of Saturday, made double bogey on the par-three No. 8 and had a bogey on the par-five 14th to drop to 17-under.

Kerr vaulted into the lead for good with three straight birdies on the back nine, beginning at No. 13 to get to 20-under.

Also tied for second were Kiwi Lydia Ko, and South Korean Chun In-Gee.

Alena Sharp, a 35-year-old Canadian trying to win her first title on the US LPGA Tour, finished another stroke back in fifth after she bogeyed the final hole for a 70.

Jang entered the final round with a big lead, but closed with a par 72. Ko made a run in a bid for her first title since last July, closing with a 64, and Chun finished with a 67.

Third-ranked Ariya Jutanugarn and Stacy Lewis tied for seventh, six strokes behind Kerr. Ariya shot a final-round 69 and Lewis a 66.

Ariya’s fellow Thai Nontaya Srisawang fired her second straight 71 to finish in a tie for 23rd with six others. --AFP

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