Sunday, March 25, 2018

Cristie Kerr loses five-shot lead in Kia Classic

CARLSBAD, California -- Cristie Kerr blew a five-stroke lead Saturday in the LPGA Tour's Kia Classic to set up a final-round showdown at Aviara Golf Club.
A day after shooting an under-under 64 to open the big lead, Kerr had a 75 to drop a stroke behind playing partner Lizette Salas, Eun-Hee Ji and In-Kyung Kim. 
Kerr was tied with Caroline Hedwall, Wei-Ling Hsu and Cindy LaCrosse, and four players were another shot back in the final event before the major ANA Inspiration next week at Mission Hills.
"There is still Sunday," Kerr said. "Somebody else got to sleep with the lead."
The 40-year-old Kerr had a double-bogey on the par-4 15th after snap-hooking a drive into the trees and hitting a hybrid off a cart path.
"I just didn't have it today," Kerr said. "I've got to go work on my game a little bit. Kind of been a little bit of the story this year, a little bit of inconsistency. Just got to be grateful I'm only one back with a whole new Sunday."
The 2015 winner at Aviara followed the double-bogey with a two-putt birdie on the short par-4 16th and had a bogey on the par-4 18th.
"Mentally, just wasn't quite as sharp. Swing wasn't quite as sharp," Kerr said. "I mean, every putt I hit, like, bounced horribly. Like, a lot of putts didn't have a chance to go in the hole. I don't know why it was different today on the greens."
Ji had a 67 to match Salas (69) and Kim (69) at 11-under 205.
"Rough is really hard out there, so I try to keep in my fairway and try to keep it on the green," Ji said. "I really focus on that."
Salas had a chance to pull away but missed birdie putts of 1.5 feet on 16 and 2.5 feet on the par-5 17th.



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