After high winds, blowing upwards of 40 mph, wreaked havoc on the players during the final round of the Volunteers of America Shootout presented by JTBC, 72 holes wasn’t enough for Cristie Kerr and Haru Nomura, who played six playoff holes before Nomura finally birdied the par-5 18th to capture the title.
At one point during the final round, Nomura, who won twice in 2016, was leading by five.
She was 5-over par on the back nine, however, and her 5-over-par 76 left her tied with Kerr after regulation, who had shot 3-over during Sunday’s blustery finale.
Both Kerr and Nomura had a chance to close out the other at some point during the near two-hour playoff, but given the trickiness of the par-5 18th, neither were able to get it done, both parring No.18 five times in a row.
Thanks to a fantastic approach on the sixth extra hole, Nomura finally closed the deal.
“I’m so happy to win again. I’m so excited,” said Nomura, who also said that she enjoyed the tough conditions provided by Las Colinas Country Club all week.
Kerr, who is bucking the youth movement trend on the LPGA Tour this year, has a victory and a playoff loss in her last two starts. She said she felt good about where her game is at, but admitted Sunday was a tough day.
“I had a great comeback to even get into the playoff,” said Kerr. “I had her on that second playoff hole when I was behind the green, and I just made an error and you can’t do that in playoffs. You have to take advantage of when you have the chance, and I didn’t do that, so I lost.”
Still, Kerr said it was a ‘pretty good week.’
“I played awesome coming in and had a lot of birdie putts that could have gone in on the back (nine),” she said.
Only two golfers – Amy Yang and Eun-Hee Ji – were under par on the day.
Jessica Korda was the only other golfer to finish under par for the week, finishing third alone at 1-under. She shot a 2-over-par 73 Sunday.
So Yeon Ryu had the best weekend (68-75) of anyone in the field, and moved into the top ten after Sunday (T9). Ryu has not finished outside the top ten yet in 2017.
Michelle Wie, who finished at 3-over after a 5-over-par 76 Sunday, took to Instagram after her round was finished and called the conditions “some of the hardest” she has ever played in.
Eun Jeong Seong, the amateur who was tied for second going into Sunday’s final round, struggled in the wind and ended up with an 15-over-par 86, the highest score recorded on the LPGA Tour in 2017.
Despite the potential for a shake-up at the top of the Rolex Rankings after Lydia Ko withdrew and Ariya Jutanugarn was sniffing the lead at the halfway point, there was no change at the top.
The top five on the money list remains the same after Sunday’s final round in Dallas, but Kerr leapt all the way to second place, behind just So Yeon Ryu. Lexi Thompson, Ariya Jutanugarn, and Inbee Park follow her.
The LPGA Tour heads to Mexico next week for the Citibanamex Lorena Ochoa Match Play presented by Aeromexico and Delta, last year won by Carlota Ciganda.
Written by: Adam Stanley