Hur holds on to claim LPGA Yokohama Classic title

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PRATTVILLE, United States: Hur Mi-Jung fired a six-under par 66 to win the LPGA Yokohama Tire Classic, holding off a final-round charge from world number one Stacy Lewis.

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The 24-year-old South Korean Hur on Sunday won by four strokes over runner-up Lewis, who had captured this event the last time it was held in 2012.

Hur, who is ranked 94th in the world, finished at a record 21-under par 267 and snapped a five-year victory drought on the LPGA Tour with her second win on the US-based circuit.

“I have been struggling for five years but now I have another win so I am happy,” Hur said. “The last two weeks I started to get my confidence back and that is why I had a great time this week.”

American Lewis also closed with a 66 as she took second place with a 17-under total of 271 at the Capitol Hill Golf Club course.

Rookie Paula Reto, who was the co-leader after the third round with Hur, stumbled to a one-over 73. South Africa’s Reto took third place at 14-under-par 274.

Hur’s 267 total beat the prior tournament record of 269, which was set in 2010 by Australian Katherine Hull-Kirk.

She finished strong Sunday, making birdie on three of her final six holes. She made seven birdies in her round.

Hur said it is never easy to go through a major swing change which she has been trying to do for the past few years.

“I worked really hard after I struggled with my swing change. I knew I could win again,” she said.

Lewis entered the final round four shots adrift of the leaders. She rolled in four birdies on her first eight holes but couldn’t make up any more ground on the back nine.

“I gave myself a great chance, I just couldn’t get any putts to fall,” Lewis said. “It was little frustrating. MJ played some great golf.

“It was one of the best ball-striking rounds I have had in a long time.”

Reto posted her best finish on the tour after missing 11 cuts in 18 starts heading into this event.

Reto started golf late. She grew up playing field hockey and running track in her native South Africa before taking up golf after her family moved to Florida when she was 16.

She drained a birdie on the 10th but made bogey on the next two holes before closing with six straight pars.

American Kris Tamulis posted a two-under 70 in the final round and she ended alone in fourth at 13-under 275.

England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff (65) and Thailand’s Moriya Jutanugarn (68) shared fifth on 276.

AFP

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