HUIXQUILUCAN, Mexico, March 22, 2009 – Pat Hurst had flirted with the lead off-and-on for nearly two rounds at the 2009 MasterCard Classic Honoring Alejo Peralta Presented by Nextel.
However, it wasn't until the ball rolled in on the 72nd hole from 10 feet for birdie that Hurst (68-70-68=206, -10) finalized the win – the sixth in her 16-year Tour career, which was worth $195,000.
“It's very emotional for me,” said Hurst, who last won on Tour at the 2006 Safeway Classic Presented by Pepsi. “I think any time you win, it's emotional.”
Hurst entered the final round with a 6-under-par 138 mark after reaching 10-under-par earlier in her second round before losing four strokes on her closing three holes. It was an up-and-down final round for Hurst, who was playing in the final group with reigning Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Yani Tseng (68-69-70=207, -9) and Na Yeon Choi (67-70-76=213, -3) – the 36-hole co-leaders. One group ahead was Mexico's Lorena Ochoa (65-73-69=207, -9). Ochoa had tied a tournament record with a 7-under-par 65 in the first round, but a frustrating 1-over-par 73 left her one-stroke shy of the lead entering Sunday. With a bogey on holes three and 10, Ochoa gave her home-country fans a show with birdies on holes six and seven, and a string on the back nine: holes 12, 13, 17 and 18. On her approach shot to 18, Ochoa's 7-wood from 226 yards was headed straight for a rear-left bunker, but ended up ricocheting off the upper lip of the bunker and veered right toward the back-right hole location to stop 15 feet away. She two putted for birdie on the hole to finish at 9-under-par 207. And then she waited.
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photos Janos Schmidt