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Cristie Kerr clinches victory by 1 shot
November 11, 2012

Cristie Kerr, 2012 Lorena Ochoa Invitational

Cristie Kerr -16, Rolex Rankings No. 15
Inbee Park -15, Rolex Rankings No. 4
Angela Stanford -15, Rolex Rankings No. 19
Stacy Lewis -12, Rolex Rankings No. 2

Rolex Rankings No. 15 Cristie Kerr fired a final-round 3-under 69 and overcame a two stroke deficit to win this year’s Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and Jalisco.

“It feels amazing,” said Kerr. “You know, coming in those last couple of holes it didn’t feel like I had won before. I kind of just squeaked in. I won by a shot, that’s all that it takes, I’ve lost plenty of tournaments by a shot, but winning by a shot feels a lot better.”

Kerr entered today’s final round two-strokes behind second round leader Angela Stanford but carded six birdies and three bogeys to secure her first LPGA Tour victory in two years. The Floridian fired rounds of 67-69-67-69 to take home her 15th win on the LPGA.

Stacy Lewis Clinches Rolex Player of the Year. With her T4th finish at this week’s Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and Jalisco, Stacy Lewis clinches this year Rolex Player of the Year and becomes the first American since Beth Daniel in 1994 to win the award.

After sinking her final putt on the 18th for a final-round 4-under 68, Lewis finally came to the realization of her amazing accomplishment.

“After I finally made my last putt there on 18, I think it finally hit me. It’s just crazy to think that there have been so many great American players and I am the one after Beth in 94. I it’s just crazy to even think of. I mean it’s an honor to win the award, and I think this will spur on with the rest of the Americans to get out and keep playing well because Solheim Cup is coming up.”

Fellow American and 2011 U.S. Solheim Cup teammate Angela Stanford couldn’t hide her excitement for her close friend.

“Well, I’m really happy for her,” said Stanford. “You know, she’s a great person, and probably has a bigger heart than she is player. I mean she’s just a great girl and I’m very happy for her. So I think it’s great.”

Coming into this week’s Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and Jalisco Cristie Kerr had not won on the LPGA Tour since the 2010 Wegmans LPGA Championship. With nearly a two year hiatus from the winner’s circle, Kerr felt the pressure standing over her 4-foot par putt on the final hole which she needed to make to win.

“Yeah, I was nervous,” said Kerr. “I haven’t been in this position to win in a while. You know, to even have one putt to win, or two putts to win, I wasn’t nervous for messing up but it was hard to control the amount of adrenaline that was in my system. So I just tried to take some breaths and calm myself down and I still can’t believe how hard I hit that first putt. I gave the fans and myself a heart attack, but you know what I stayed in there mentally until the end you know, I tried to give it away but I wasn’t going to.”

After clinching her 15th career win, Kerr was overcome with emotion during the award’s ceremony when she thanked husband Erik Stevens for his support during a difficult two years.

“He’s been really encouraging, you know, my solid rock,” said Kerr. “Like never letting me doubt myself, always helping me to believe in myself and to move forward when things aren’t going well, this is great for us.”

With the fate of this year’s Rolex Player of the Year award looming on this week’s Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and Jalisco, the pressure Inbee Park placed upon herself increasingly mounted.

After she failed to win this week, Stacy Lewis clinched this year’s Rolex Player of the Year award allowing Park to take a step back and enjoy next week’s season-ending CME Titleholders.

“Just, no pressure right now I don’t feel much pressure,” said Park. “I’ll just try to enjoy myself next week because I tried to put too much pressure on myself this week so next week will be better.”

Park has already experienced a career-best year this season as she rebounded after a missed cut at the season-opening ISPS Handa Australian Open to notch two victories and finish in the top-5 in eight events.

“Everything has improved in my game and I’m really just happy I’m in contention almost every week,” said Park. “That’s given me a lot of experience and it gives me a lot more to do next year and I’ll just try my best every game.”

Rolex Rankings No. 19 Angela Stanford already has one victory under her belt this season but with only one event remaining on this year’s LPGA Tour schedule the Texan is hungry for another win.

“Yeah, you know I’ve been working on things with my swing and to get this result just kind of gives you confidence in what you’re doing,” said Stanford. “It makes you believe it a little bit more, and you never know.”

This week’s Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and Jalisco marks the second time this season Stanford has finished runner-up

“Yeah, I mean, it’s hard because you have to have a little bit of perspective,” said Stanford. “You know people say you have to take the good out of everything but you know there’s always that sense of disappointment.”

Tanya Dergal and Kristy McPherson punched their "Ticket to CME Group Titleholders" at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and Jalisco, each earning a spot in the season-ending CME Group Titleholders event, which will be held Nov. 15-18, 2012 at The TwinEagles in Naples, Fla. The second annual CME Group Titleholders is a season finale with a field made up of three qualifiers from every LPGA Tour tournament.

With her victory at the 2012 Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and Jalisco, Cristie Kerr earned an all-inclusive stay for two at a Canyon Ranch resort. In a combined effort to promote health and overall well-being among Tour players, Canyon Ranch will provide every winner of an LPGA event with one all-inclusive stay at one of Canyon Ranch's two destination resorts.


Click here for full results and prize money.

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