HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) — The LPGA is catching up in 3-Tour Challenge victories.
Cristie Kerr shot 4-under 32 on the back nine to lead the LPGA team to a win Tuesday in the Wendy’s 3-Tour Challenge. It is the LPGA’s fifth win in the made-for-TV event that pits three-person teams from the PGA Tour, Champions Tour and LPGA. The PGA Tour leads with seven wins and the Champions Tour has six.
The LPGA team of Kerr, Suzann Pettersen and Natalie Gulbis had a combined score of 6 under on the final nine holes to beat the PGA Tour team of Stewart Cink, Fred Couples and Bubba Watson by two strokes and win $300,000.
Combined with their $100,000 purse from the opening nine, the women won the overall title by $70,000 over the Champions Tour team of Nick Price, Fred Funk and Jay Haas, which won the front nine with a team score of 9 under to earn $200,000.
The women struggled to a third-place finish at 4-over on the front nine, while the PGA Tour team came in second at 3-under. The PGA finished third overall with $270,000.
Playing with Couples and Nick Price, Kerr came to the 18th tee with the LPGA leading by two strokes. She left her approach shot nearly 30 feet away with a large ridge between her and the hole, but hit a strong lag to 4 feet and sank the par putt.
“I knew I had to two-putt that,” Kerr said. “I didn’t want to give them any room.”
Kerr hit long birdie putts of 45 feet at the par-4 10th and 20 feet at the par-4 13th, helping her to the low individual score of the back nine. Pettersen also performed very well on the final nine, sticking her 75-yard approach within 4 feet and making birdie at the par-4 15th before hitting a tricky 12-footer for birdie at the par-3 16th and another short birdie putt at the 17th.
“I had struggled with the speed on the greens all day,” Pettersen said. “Sometimes you’ve just got to make sure you get the job done.”
Pettersen had a 3-under 33 on the back nine after firing 1-over 37 on the front. Gulbis shot 1-over 37 on both the front and back nines. The victory was the third in 3-Tour play for Kerr, the second for Gulbis and the first for Pettersen.
Watson led the PGA Tour team with a 3-under 33 on the front nine, then shot 1-under 35 on the back. Couples paced the team on the back at 3-under 33 after shooting even-par 36 on the front. Cink shot par on both sides.
The low player on the front nine was Haas, who played steady golf throughout the day, with a 4-under 32. He shot 2-under 34 on the back and didn’t record a bogey in his round. Price shot 3-under 33 on the front nine before struggling to a 2-over 38 on the back. Funk went out in 1-under 35 and came in with a 1-over 37.
The event will air nationally on ABC on Dec. 19-20 on ABC.