Katherine Kirk birdied the final hole to edge Ashleigh Buhai by one stroke Sunday, claiming a third LPGA tour title at the Thornberry Creek Classic in Wisconsin.

Australia's Kirk went into the final round with a four-shot lead over South Africa's Buhai and had the LPGA Tour's 72-hole scoring record in her sights.

She nabbed six birdies in a final-round 70, and while it didn't threaten the scoring record of 27-under, her 22-under total of 266 was enough to hold off Buhai.

Buhai rolled in the last of her five birdies in a bogey-free 67 at the 18th and finished alone in second on 267.

South Korea's Kim Sei-Young fired a final-round 63 for third place on 268, one stroke in front of Thailand's Pornanong Phatlum, who burned up the Thornberry Creek course in Oneida, Wisconsin, with a 10-under 62 that included eight birdies and an eagle.

Kirk, 35, notched her first LPGA win since the 2010 Navistar LPGA Classic. She also won the 2008 Canadian Women's Open.

She also secured a berth in the US Women's Open that starts on Thursday at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

LEADING FINAL SCORES

266 - Katherine Kirk (AUS) 68-63-65-70

267 - Ashleigh Buhai (RSA) 69-66-65-67

268 - Kim Sei-Young (KOR) 65-73-67-63

269 - Pornanong Phatlum (THA) 67-70-70-62

270 - Cristie Kerr 70-67-67-66

271 - Tiffany Joh 69-69-66-67, Ayako Uehara (JPN) 72-66-65-68

272 - Georgia Hall (ENG) 69-68-69-66, Mariah Stackhouse 69-68-68-67, Megan Khang 68-69-67-68

273 - Sherman Santiwiwatthanaphong (THA) 71-69-66-67, Tseng Ya-ni (TPE) 69-68-69-67, Moriya Jutanugarn (THA) 67-68-71-67, Suzann Pettersen (NOR) 68-70-66-69

274 - Candie Kung (TPE) 68-73-67-66, Ji Eun-Hee (KOR) 68-68-72-66, Katherine Perry 68-70-68-68, Angel Yin 69-68-67-70, Jodi Ewart Shadoff (ENG) 71-66-66-71

 

Katherine Kirk

Hometown/Resides: Brisbane, Australia/Wichita, Kansas

Birthdate: February 26, 1982 – currently 35 years, 4 months, 13 days

Qualified for LPGA Tour: Tied for 42nd at the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament to earn non-exempt status for the 2004 LPGA season

Turned Professional: 2003

Victories

LPGA: Third career victory

PREVIOUS LPGA WINS: 2010 Navistar LPGA Classic, 2008 CN Canadian Women’s Open

Race To CME Globe

With her win, Kirk earns 500 points and now has 759 points in the Race to CME Globe

Money

With her win, Kirk earns $300,000; she has earned $401,864 this season and $4,397,409 in her career

2017 In A Nutshell On The LPGA

13 events played, eight cuts made, one victory, three additional top 25s, $401,864

Of Note

  • With the victory, Kirk earns a spot into next week’s U.S. Women’s Open.
  • She made 152 starts on the LPGA Tour between her last win at the 2010 Navistar LPGA Classic and this week.
  • She is the first LPGA winner from Australia since Minjee Lee won the 2016 Blue Bay LPGA.
  • Kirk is the 17th different winner on Tour this season; So Yeon Ryu remains the only repeat winner.
  • Eight countries have been represented by winners on the LPGA this season.
  • Kirk has six career victories on the ALPGA Tour.
  • While at Pepperdine University, she recorded the lowest 18-hole score in school history, was the 2003 NCAA College Player of the Year, an All-American from 2002-03 and was the recipient of the 2003 Dinah Shore Award.
  • In October 2007, traveled to Rwanda on a mission trip with Betsy King and Golf Fore Africa.
  • In 2009, inducted into the Pepperdine Athletics Hall of Fame.

 

Image Source: Stacy Revere/Getty Images North America

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