In her first career playoff, Japan’s Haru Nomura beat American Cristie Kerr on the sixth hole of the sudden-death playoff to take the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout at Las Colinas Country Club in Irving, Texas, on Sunday.
The win, Nomura’s third on the LPGA and first this season, came after a shaky final round. Nomura had a two-shot lead heading into the final day, but shot 5-over 74, including bogeys on 10, 11, 14 and 16 and a double-bogey on 17, in the final round to open the door for Kerr.
They both finished tied at 3-under 281 for the tournament before the playoff.
“I like tough conditions, so I keep concentrating on safe shots,” Nomura told SportsDay of the windy conditions. “I wasn’t looking at how Cristie played.”
It has been 25 starts since Nomura’s last victory at Swinging Skirts.
The 39-year-old Kerr was attempting to win consecutive tournaments after winning in Hawaii two weeks ago.
In the playoff, there were five matching pars before Nomura won almost 7 1/2 hours after starting her round. She narrowly missed an eagle, setting up a par-tap-in before winning when Kerr’s 12-foot birdie chance slid left of the cup.
“It was a tough day,” Kerr told SportsDay. “I had a great comeback to even be able to get into the playoff. I mean, I had it; I had her on that second playoff hole when I was behind the green there and I just made an error and you can’t do that in playoffs. You have to take advantage when you have the chance and I didn’t do that, so I lost.”
American Jessica Korda finished third at 283 followed by Park Sung-Hyun in fourth at 284.
Lydia Ko will remain the world’s No. 1 player for the 80th consecutive week, even though she was forced to withdraw because of allergies, because No. 2 Ryu So-yeon finished tied for ninth. --Reuters