LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Japan's Haru Nomura birdied the sixth hole of a sudden-death playoff to beat Cristie Kerr on Sunday (April 30) for the LPGA Texas Shootout title in suburban Dallas.
Nomura was the last woman standing on a brutally windy day that turned into even more of a marathon as she and Kerr both parred the first five playoff holes - all played at Las Colinas Country Club's par-five 18th hole.
As they returned for one more time before darkness fell, Nomura gave herself an eagle chance and tapped in from inches for the birdie. She then watched as Kerr's birdie attempt from outside 10 feet slid by.
"I'm so happy to win again. I'm so excited," said Nomura, who captured her third LPGA crown, to go with the Women's Australian Open and Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic titles she won last year.
She had to dig deep to do so on a day when the scoring average was more than five strokes over par thanks to winds gusting up to about 65kmh.
Nomura started the day with a two-stroke lead and did well in the conditions to finish the front nine in even par after one bogey and one birdie.
She led by five heading into the back nine, but she bogeyed 10 and 11, and dropped two more shots at 14 and 16.
She made a 12-footer to salvage a double-bogey at 17, but that left her a stroke behind Kerr who had made the only birdie of the day at the par-three 17th.
After Kerr had completed her three-over 74 for a three-under par total of 281, Nomura birdied the 18th for a five-over 76 that forced the playoff.
"I had a great comeback to even get into the playoff," Kerr said. "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."
The top two finished regulation two strokes in front of American Jessica Korda, whose two-over 73 gave her a one-under total of 283 - the only other under par total for the week.
South Korea's Park Sung Hyun was fourth after a 74 for 284.
World number two Ryu So Yeon had the best weekend (68-75) of anyone in the field - but her share of ninth didn't come close to the first or second place finish she needed to have a chance of toppling Lydia Ko from the number one ranking.
Third-ranked Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand also had a shot at unseating Ko with a victory this week, but finished alongside Ryu on 286 - neither player able to take advantage after Ko withdrew from the tournament on Saturday with an eye infection.