CARLSBAD, Calif. (AP) — Cristie Kerr made a 55-foot par-saving putt after hitting her final approach into the water Saturday at Aviara, giving her a share of the Kia Classic lead with Lizette Salas.
Kerr finished with a 2-under 70 to match Salas at 10-under 206. After dropping a stroke on the par-5 17th, Kerr holed out from the edge of the green on the par-4 18th after taking a penalty drop.
"Obviously, it was the worst shot I could have hit and then it was the best shot I could have hit," Kerr said. "So go figure, that's golf. It was pretty amazing. It is really one of those moments that you just remember for a lifetime. I was just trying to get it close. Usually that's when those go in."
Kerr won the Kingsmill Championship last year for her 16th LPGA Tour title.
"I hit two hooks on 17 in a row," Kerr said. "That hole owes me tomorrow. That hole owes me tomorrow, big time."
Salas, the former Southern California player from Azusa, had a 69. She birdied the par-5 17th for a share of the lead and matched Kerr with a par on the last.
Salas was followed by a spirited gallery wearing "Team Salas" shirts as she tries to win her first LPGA Tour title.
"I'm just really trying to capitalize on the par 5s," Salas said. "Just staying patient. That's really my key this week is to stay patient, even though I'm in trouble, like on No. 13, where I hit it into the bunker."
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