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Nordqvist claims Kia Classic title
Carlsbad, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Anna Nordqvist carded a 5-under 67 on Sunday to claim a 1-stroke victory at the Kia Classic.
Nordqvist, who collected her fourth career victory on the LPGA Tour and second this season, finished at 13-under-par 275.
"They make me believe a lot more in myself," Nordqvist said about her two wins this season. "I couldn't come into the first major of the year in a better position."
Third-round co-leader Lizette Salas managed a 2-under 70 to fall into second place at 12-under 276, while Lexi Thompson (68) finished in third at 11-under.
Chella Choi (69) captured fourth at minus-10, a stroke ahead of the other 54- hole co-leader, Cristie Kerr (73).
World No. 1 Inbee Park (68), Stacy Lewis (71), Se Ri Pak (69) and Eun-Hee Ji (71) shared sixth place at Park Hyatt Aviara Golf Club at 8-under 280.
Kerr and Salas entered the day tied for the lead at 10-under, and Salas was handed the outright lead when Kerr opened her day with a bogey at the first, dropping her into a share of second place with Nordqvist.
Nordqvist had birdied the first to reach minus-9.
Salas maintained her spot atop the leaderboard with a streak of 12 straight pars until Nordqvist recorded back-to-back birdies at the eighth and ninth to jump into first place at 11-under.
Thompson, meanwhile, had countered a birdie at the second with a bogey at the eighth to remain at 7-under before rolling in three straight gains from the 13th to meet Salas in second.
Thompson would later add a birdie at the 18th to claim the clubhouse lead at 11-under.
That would not stand, however, as Nordqvist pulled away for good with three birdies in a four-hole span from the 13th, moving her to 14-under.
A bogey at the 17th dropped her to 13-under and gave some hope to Salas, but she fell short of forcing a playoff despite recording birdies at the 14th, 16th and 18th.
"I just told myself to give it a shot and ended up making quite a bit of birdies out there," said Nordqvist. "I didn't play very well last week in Phoenix, but I felt my game was coming along pretty good, so I'm very, very excited to come from behind this time."
NOTES: Nordqvist also won the Honda LPGA Thailand in February ... Nordqvist is projected to move to No. 9 in Monday's Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings ... Laura Diaz posted a hole-in-one at the sixth hole. She also aced the third Saturday and is now just the second player in LPGA history to record two aces in one week. Jenny Lidback was the first in 1997 at the Chrysler Plymouth TOC ... The LPGA remains in California next week for the first major of the season, the Kraft Nabisco Championship, which Inbee Park won by four stroke last year.
03/30 22:53:12 ET