ALBANY, N.Y., Sarah-Jane Kenyon of Queensland, Australia, earned her second professional win in wire-to-wire fashion at the $100,000 ILOVENY Championship, finishing with a final-round score of 2-under-par 69.
Kenyon carded a three-day total of 9-under-par 204 and had a three-stroke cushion over three-time Tour winner Mindy Kim (67) of Diamond Bar, Calif., who finished at 6-under-par 207.
Sophia Sheridan (69) of Guadalajara, Mexico, moved up into the top 10 of the season money list, finishing third at 4-under-par 209.
Rookies Vicky Hurst (73) of Melbourne, Fla., and Jenny Suh (72) of Fairfax, Va., tied for fourth at 2-under-par 211.
Kenyon moved from eighth to third place on the season money list as she pocketed the final winner's paycheck of $14,000. She also received a pair of diamond earrings from a local jeweler in Albany.
"I was feeling nervous all day, but I managed to keep it going," said Kenyon, a current member of the LPGA Tour. "It was really nice to get off to a good start and I was fortunate enough to finish it out. I'm very happy to come away with a win."
Kenyon widened her lead to five strokes in final-round play before she made the turn on the back nine. She kicked off the day with a 15-foot putt for birdie on the first hole and had a bogey-free round intact before three-putting No. 18.
"I felt pretty good today," said Kenyon, a 2005 Duramed FUTURES Tour winner. "I haven't been able to get my putting going until the last few weeks, but it's been a long time coming."
Kenyon's modified conditioning regimen paid off on Sunday. She said a combination of going to the gym five times a week and running made a difference after walking 29 holes on the hilly Capital Hills at Albany course.
"I felt fresh and I felt good," Kenyon said. "I'm always set on going to LPGA Q-School every year. It will be nice to able to spend some extra time at home and see the family."
The 19-year-old Kim finished a storybook season by collecting $10,000 as she finished second on the season money list. Kim put together a streak of five birdies in six holes that included three putts from 20 feet.
"I was hanging in there today, but I tried not to look at the leaderboard," said Kim, a second-year Tour professional. "I thought my ball striking was OK, but I didn't know I was going to play this well. I feel blessed to finish on a very strong note."
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Fourth is no good enough