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Kerr drains 36-footer to win Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia

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Cristie Kerr drained a 36-foot birdie on 18 to complete an ultra-impressive week in Malaysia with a final-round 71 to win the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, her 20th career victory over 20 special years on Tour. Kerr made 20 birdies and four bogeys over the final three rounds at TPC Kuala Lumpur for her second win of 2017. She finished with a four-day total of 15-under 269 to win by one stroke over Jacqui Concolino, Danielle Kang and Shanshan Feng.

“It was meant to be,” said Kerr about the putt on 18. “What a way to win. I always said I wanted to get a win in my 40’s and I got it pretty quick.”

It was a milestone win for Kerr, who becomes the 27th player in LPGA history to record 20 career wins. She is also the first 40-year-old to win on Tour since 2011 when Catriona Matthew won the Lorena Ochoa Invitational at 42. Further, Kerr earns her 22nd point toward induction into the LPGA Tour Hall of Fame and is just five points away from qualification.

“To do what I do for a living is amazing,” said Kerr. “This tournament is a beacon for women’s health and raising awareness for breast cancer is near and dear to my heart. I’m so proud to be the champion of this tournament.”

Through the entire media whirlwind that follows Cristie Kerr’s dramatic win, she kept going back to one moment – that putt.

For a woman long known for her putting prowess, Kerr’s 36-footer for birdie to win the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia was perhaps one of the most dramatic moments in her spectacular 20-year career.

“When I hit it, I could just tell it was going in,” said Kerr, who moved into fifth in the Race to the CME Globe standing with her win. “I could just tell it was going in. It was the most amazing thing. Like it was perfect speed; if it missed, it was going to be two feet by. It was right in the center never even thought about missing.”

While waiting for photographers to line up for her post-tournament photo obligations at No. 18, Kerr paced off the putt again, just to make sure it was for real. She and caddie Brady Stockton continually marveled at the brilliance of that moment.

“I knew it was going to be like a five-way playoff,” said Kerr, who knew exactly where she stood thanks to the monsterboard adjacent to the 18th green. “I was just like, got to do it. Got to do it. I was just, the only thing I could control was trusting my line and hitting the putt with the speed to make it, and I did it.”

Making the day even better was the fact that Kerr, a long-time breast-cancer awareness advocate, won an event that is so inextricably linked to Cancer Research Malaysia.

“I love the work that they do and I’ve supported the charity forever,” said Kerr. “I haven’t been here in a few years due to scheduling. But you know, going to see the hospital center and what they do and how much money they spend on women and families getting more awareness to this disease is pretty unbelievable. I’m going to be making a donation. I haven’t wrapped my head around how much yet because this has been so crazy since the last putt, but we’ll be making a donation to the charity.”