State Farm Classic
State Farm Classic
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Pat Hurst gains three shot victory

Pat Hurst put a final-hole collapse behind her in a hurry -- and put herself in a perfect frame of mind for the Solheim Cup.

A week after making a double bogey on the final hole to finish two strokes behind Cristie Kerr in the Wendy's Championship for Children, Hurst closed with a routine par Sunday to beat Kerr by three strokes in the LPGA State Farm Classic.

``You try to look at the present not the past,'' Hurst said. ``I think last week was just a stepping stone and I think it helped a little bit.''

The 36-year-old Hurst finished with a 2-under 70 for her fourth LPGA Tour victory and first since 2000. She had a 17-under 271 total and earned $195,000.

A little more than an hour after finishing play, Hurst and Kerr boarded a bus with five other U.S. Solheim Cup players for the trip to Carmel, Ind., for the matches next weekend against Europe at Crooked Stick.

``What more can you ask for? ... Representing your country, it makes you feel good,'' said Hurst, the 1995 LPGA rookie of the year.

On Sunday, Hurst birdied four of the first five holes and had a five-stroke lead after 11 holes, but dropped three strokes on her next two holes with a double bogey and bogey. She rebounded with a birdie on No. 14 and finished with four straight pars.

``I'm glad that last putt is in and that back nine is over,'' Hurst said.

Kerr, the State Farm winner last year, shot a 69.

``I hit it the best I've hit it in over a week. My putting left me totally. I was shocked,'' Kerr said.

Kerr, who earned a $100,000 bonus for topping the State Farm LPGA Series, led the 10 automatic qualifiers for the U.S. Solheim Cup team.

``The whole team is playing well,'' Kerr said. ``We're psyched to play.''

Natalie Gulbis, another U.S. Solheim Cup player, shot a 68 to tie for third with Heather Bowie (68) at 13 under.

``Everybody seems to be coming around with their game right at the same time,'' U.S. captain Nancy Lopez said.

U.S. Women's Amateur champion Morgan Pressel closed with a 66, her best round on the tour this year, to tie for fifth at 12 under with European Solheim Cup player Maria Hjorth (69). The 17-year-old Pressel will play in the Junior Solheim Cup next week.

``I just started to make more putts and just hit shots closer to the hole and give away less and less shots as the week went on,'' Pressel said.



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