Cristie Kerr wins LPGA Lotte in Hawaii

Michelle Wie

Kerr, whose previous win on the United States women's golf tour came at the CME Group Tour Championship in 2015, carded a bogey-free six-under-par 66 to finish on a combined 20-under 268 for the tournament.

Kerr's 20-under 268 total set the tournament record. She earned $300,000 to top $18 million in her career.

The Kiwi teenager mixed nine birdies with one bogey, completing a fine weekend which began with a 65 on Saturday. "I went swimming with the turtles on Friday afternoon and I inadvertently touched one", she added. "It's just that once I know it's in, I walk after it". "It's been an epic day", Kerr said.

The 39-year-old Kerr becomes the second American to win on the LPGA Tour this year after Brittany Lincicome at the season-opening Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic. "You know, I battled through so much this offseason, and this just feels is good". "I've come this far and I don't plan on quitting golf any time soon. I was able to keep going forward because I didn't put that extra pressure on myself".

Americans Beth Allen and Lizette Sales, South Koreans Jang Su-Yeon and Ji Eun-Hee, and Canadian Alena Sharp are all tied for second at five-under-par.

Kim, a 28-year-old from Seoul who already has a pair of top-5 finishes here, had five consecutive birdies during one stretch for the lowest round of the day.

Third-ranked Ariya Jutanigarn (69) and Stacy Lewis (6) were 14 under.

Five players are just one more shot back at 7-under including Brittany Altomore, Nontay Srisawang, Amy Yang, Inbee Park, and ANA Inspiration victor So Yeon Ryu, meaning it will be a tight race to the finish.

"Considering where I was after the first day I'm pretty pleased with where I finished at the end of the week".

Jang is playing on a sponsor exemption for the second time.

She made six more birdie putts the final round, taking the lead on the 14th hole. "It was an unbelievable run".

South Korea's Ryu So-yeon, who won the first major of the year at the ANA Inspiration earlier this month, finished alone in sixth place, five shots behind Kerr.

Lydia Ko has finished strongly at the Lotte Championship on the LPGA Tour, to claim her best result in 10 months. "I was very happy with how I played".

Ko said she is unfazed by talk around her ranking - she acknowledges the talent on course but just wants to continue to improve her own game. "So experience definitely helps".

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