SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Top-ranked Yani Tseng won what could be the final LPGA State Farm Classic on Sunday, closing with a 4-under 68 to hand Cristie Kerr her third straight second-place finish.
Tseng, from Taiwan, had a 21-under 267 total on the Panther Creek course for her seventh tour title in four years. She also won the season-opening LPGA Thailand and three other worldwide events this year.
In the 208 tournament, Tseng led by a stroke with a hole left, but flew the green, made bogey then lost to Ji Young Oh in a playoff when she three-putting the first extra hole.
“I just kept telling myself: ‘Focus! Focus!'” said Tseng, bogey-free the final two rounds. “I missed a couple of putts but I still was able to make some birdies.”
Tseng bought Annika Sorenstam’s house – with its giant trophy case – in Florida in 2009.
“I go back to my house and see all that empty space and I try to fill it up,” Tseng said. “I want to put all my amateur trophies in there and get closer.”
Kerr, the 2010 winner, finished three strokes back, shooting a 67.
“I played good. I just needed to get some of those putts to the hole, give ’em a chance to go in,” Kerr said. “It would have been nice to make birdie on the last hole, but it didn’t matter. She was too far ahead.”
Paula Creamer and Brittany Lincicome (70) tied for third at 16 under.
Title sponsor State Farm Insurance Companies had declined to renew its commitment after this year and a replacement sponsor has yet to be found, putting the event in danger of folding.
“I love this tournament since I was rookie, so I really look forward to coming back to defend my championship,” Tseng said. “I think the crowd every year is getting bigger and bigger, and all the fans, all the volunteers, the people here love this tournament. I can tell. It’s like big party all week and everybody was very excited, so I wish this is not the end. I wish I can come back.”