Hur pulls away for LPGA Classic win in Alabama
PRATTVILLE, Alabama (AP) — Mi Jung Hur held off top-ranked Stacy Lewis on Sunday to win the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic, finishing with a 6-under 66 for a tournament-record 21-under 267 total.
The 24-year-old South Korean player birdied four birdies of the final eight holes to beat Lewis by four strokes for her second LPGA Tour victory.
Hur opened with rounds of 64, 70 and 67 on Capitol Hill’s links-style Senator layout. She broke the tournament mark of 19 under set by Katherine Hull-Kirk in 2010. It was the best 72-hole score of Hur’s career.
She said she was in tears before her second shot on the final hole as she wrapped up her first victory since 2009.
“It’s definitely an exciting week for me,” said Hur, whose father, Kwan Moo, served as her caddie. “I started with two birdies and it made me so much more comfortable the rest of the round. But Stacy played so well and I definitely thought about her.
“I just played my own game, and after nine holes I made a few birdies on the back nine.”
Lewis won the tournament in 2012 before it was dropped from the schedule last year when it lost its title sponsor. She also closed with a 66.
South African rookie Paula Reto was third at 14 under after a 73. She shared the third-round lead with Hur at 15 under.
Hur gained two strokes on Reto with a long birdie putt on the first hole, while the South African two-putted for bogey. Hur then birdied the second hole, as well, before Reto bogeyed No. 3.
Reto worked her way back to 16 under before back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 11 and 12 put her four strokes back again.
Lewis, a three-time LPGA Tour winner this year, opened with four birdies in a six-hole stretch starting on No. 3. She finished her bogey-free round with five straight pars, not enough to close the gap on Hur.
Lewis said it was one of her best days striking the ball “in a long time.” She said the 18th hole was the only time on the back nine where she didn’t have a potential birdie putt of 15 feet or less.
“You get events where people kind of run away with tournaments,” Lewis said. “I’ve done it before. It’s just golf. I played well, gave myself a ton of opportunities for birdies, which that was the goal coming into the day.
“I would have liked to have made a couple of more to give her something to think about coming up those last few.”
Instead, Hur was able to relax at the end of her round, at least. She made a 36-foot birdie putt on No. 11 but left herself much easier birdies after that, including one on No. 16.
“After I made that, I definitely think about winning,” Hur said. “The last two holes, I really enjoyed the golf.”