DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) – Cristie Kerr won the Wendy’s Championship for Children on Sunday, closing with a 3-under-par 69 shortly after Pat Hurst fell from a tie for the lead with a double-bogey on the last hole.

This was Kerr’s second victory of the year and sixth of her career. She finished at 18-under 270, one shot ahead of Paula Creamer and Annika Sorenstam. Creamer, the third-round leader, had a 71 and Sorenstam a 66, matching the day’s low round.

Kerr parred the 17th to remain in front, hitting a 12-foot par putt after chipping past the pin from over the green. She rolled in a 4-foot par putt on the final hole.

Hurst shared the lead with Kerr as she stepped to the final tee. But her drive was far to the right and ended up in a ditch lined with trees. Taking an unplayable lie, she took four drops – apparently the first three were not within the allotted two club lengths from where the ball went in the trees. The fourth drop hit on the back edge of the wooden tee she stuck in the ground to mark the two-club drop distance and caromed back deeper into the overhanging bushes and trees.

Hurst punched out into a trap and then hit her fourth shot to the right fringe on the par-4 18th, two-putting from 60 feet.

Kerr, playing in the group directly behind her, drove into the fairway on 18 and hit her iron approach about 30 feet from the pin. Her first putt came up 4 feet short, leaving her a slippery downhill putt to win the tournament. After nailing the putt, she pumped her fist.

Hurst’s closing 70 left her at 272 and tied with Jeong Jang, who closed with a 67. Karrie Webb (70) and Soo-Yun Kang (72) were at 273, with Michele Redman alone at 274 after a 72. U.S. Women’s Amateur champion Morgan Pressel finished with a 70 and was at 278.

Kerr earned her way on to the U.S. Solheim Cup team, finishing No. 1 in the points standings.

Creamer, who clinched the LPGA rookie of the year award with her tie for second, began the day with a one-stroke lead over Kerr and Kang. Kerr pulled even by hitting a 51/2-foot birdie putt on the par-4 second hole.

Kerr and Creamer, playing in the same threesome with Kang, continued in a stalemate for the next eight holes until Kerr strung together three straight birdies on Nos. 11-13.

Kerr played slowly, deliberating with her caddie and frequently backing off shots before resetting again. Kang and Creamer appeared to be upset with the pace, walking far ahead of Kerr while she took practice swings and analyzed her next shot.

Sorenstam began the day five shots off the lead but made things interesting. She had birdies at the 15th and 18th holes and came close to running in birdie putts on the two holes in between.

Creamer never got going and was forced to overcome two bogeys.

AP-ES-08-28-05 1621EDT


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