Kerr wins LPGA Championship; becomes new No. 1

Pittsford, NY (Sports Network) - Cristie Kerr closed with a six-under 66 Sunday to claim a record-breaking 12-stroke win at the LPGA Championship.

Kerr, who is now halfway to the career Grand Slam, finished at 19-under-par 269. Her other major title was at the 2007 U.S. Women's Open.

The 32-year-old Kerr's total of 19-under par set the LPGA Tour record for score in relation to par in the tour's four major championships. Kerr also set the mark for largest margin of victory.

"It's been such an amazing week. I mean to play well here on a tough golf course and win a major by that many shots, that's just unreal," said Kerr, who collected $337,500. "It feels awesome, I'm not going to lie."

Kerr also set the tournament scoring record by three strokes. Patty Sheehan posted 272 in 1984 for the old record.

"I didn't think about the record books, I just didn't limit myself," Kerr admitted. "I wanted to see how far I could take it. I took it pretty far."

To go along with those scoring records and her second win in three starts, Kerr will move to No. 1 in the women's world rankings when they are released on Monday.

Song-Hee Kim closed with a three-under 69 at Locust Hill Country Club to take second place at seven-under-par 281.

Ai Miyazato, who entered this week as the women's world No. 1, carded a six- under 66 to share third place with Jiyai Shin (71) at minus-five.

Miyazato needed to finish solo second or better to remain the No. 1 player. Shin, the former top player, shared third just two weeks after having an emergency appendectomy.

Kerr opened the round with an eight-stroke lead and she parred her first six holes, but no one got closer than seven shots during that stretch. She poured in a 35-footer for birdie on the seventh to extend her lead back to eight.

"When that putt went in on seven, off I went," stated Kerr, who was the first American to win this title since Juli Inkster in 2000.

The 14-time winner on the LPGA Tour came right back with a birdie on the eighth to head to the back nine with a nine-stroke cushion.

After Kim birdied the 11th, Kerr got her nine-shot lead back with a four-foot birdie on No. 10. Kim dropped a shot on the 13th and Kerr birdied the 13th. All of a sudden, Kerr was 11 strokes clear of the field.

Kim did birdie 15 and 17, but closed with a bogey on the last.

Kerr closed the championship in fine fashion. She birdied the 16th for the first time all week, then birdied No. 18 to extend her winning margin to 12 strokes.

"I don't think I could have played better," Kerr admitted. "I couldn't have done my mental stuff better."

Kerr played the final 22 holes without a bogey and carded just four bogeys all week. Three of those four were in the third round.

Kim finished second for the third time in her career and is still looking for her first victory.

"This being a major tournament it certainly gives me more confidence and an added boost in my game to have a round like that today," Kim said through an interpreter. "Being able to finish the way I did is a confidence boost."

In-Kyung Kim (70) and 2001 champion Karrie Webb (71) shared fifth place at four-under-par 284.

Jimin Kang (74), Morgan Pressel (69), Inbee Park (71) and Meaghan Francella (71) tied for seventh at minus-three.

NOTES: Kerr is now 9-7 when holding the 54-hole lead...She has finished in the top-10 in eight of the last 12 majors, dating to her win at the 2007 U.S. Women's Open...Louise Suggs owns the LPGA Tour record for margin of victory in a major, 14 strokes, at 1949 U.S. Women's Open...2009 champion Anna Nordqvist posted an even-par 72 Sunday, which matched her low round of the week, to end in a tie for 25th at plus-two.