PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- In the end, it wasn't enough for Cristie Kerr to just protect her final-round lead in the 56th LPGA Championship. She wanted to make a statement, so she fired off a bogey-free 66 on Sunday for a four-day total of 19-under 269. As her last birdie putt fell on 18, she finally allowed herself to let out her emotions: tears and laughter were mixed with a champagne bath courtesy of Natalie Gulbis and hugs and cheers all around.
*In her final round, Kerr drove the ball better and putted better than in any of her previous rounds: she hit 11 out of 14 fairways and only needed 26 putts. With this landslide victory, Kerr set a new record for lowest score in LPGA Championship history in relation to par (besting Betsy King's 17-under at Bethesda CC in 1992), a new record for largest winning margin in LPGA Championship history (her 12-shot advantage was one better than King's in '92) and she is projected to become the first American to take the top spot in the Rolex World Rankings since its inception in 2006.
When asked how she feels, Kerr said "Amazing, I couldn't feel better. I mean, to play here well on a golf course this tough and to win by that many hots in a major championship -- it's just unreal."
Song-Hee Kim finished second with a 7-under 281 and Ai Miyazato and Jiyai Shin tied for third with 5-under 283s.
*--Stina Sternberg *