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5 best women's golf moments in 2017

By T.J. Auclair
Published on

The 2017 LPGA season had its fair share of great moments throughout.

Here's a closer look at five of the best.

5. Cristie Kerr's putt at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia

After a bogey at the par-3 17th hole at TPC Kuala Lumpur, the 40-year-old Kerr fell into a four-way tie for the lead.

Kerr, known throughout her career for her exceptional putting, faced a 35-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to take the lead. With ease, Kerr hit the putt right into the center of the cup -- a no-doubter, as they say. Moments later, it proved to be the tournament winner, making Kerr just the 27th player in LPGA history to record at least 20 wins.

It was Kerr's second win of the year and it made her the first player in her 40s to win on the LPGA since Catriona Matthew won the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in 2011 at age 42.

4. Lexi Thompson's rally that fell just short at the ANA Inspiration

By now, everyone knows what happened to Thompson at the LPGA's first major of 2017. She was leading the tournament by four shots through 12 holes in the final round and looked to be cruising to her second major win.

And that's when things got messy.

As Thompson was making her way to the 13th tee, she was approached by a rules official. The official informed Thompson that she was being assessed a four-stroke penalty for something that happened in Round 3 a day earlier.

On the 17th hole, 24 hours earlier, Thompson improperly replaced her ball on the green after marking it. No one noticed the infraction at the time and Thompson signed for a score of 67.

The next day, however, a TV viewer called in the infraction. Thompson was then assessed two strokes for the improper replacement of the ball and another two strokes for signing an incorrect scorecard.

Devastating news for any competitor, but especially one who was leading a major by a large margin late on the final day.

Somehow, Thompson battled through tears and rallied to earn a spot in a playoff. She would lose in the playoff, but gained loads of new fans thanks to the way she carried herself through such a crushing situation.

As a result of the Thompson situation, new rules have been put in place

Here's a look at her interview with Golf Channel's Jerry Foltz in the immediate aftermath:

3. Lizette Salas clinches the Solheim Cup for the U.S.

Fortunately for Juli Inkster's U.S. Solheim Cup team, the final outcome wasn't much in doubt. The Americans had a healthy five-point advantage going into singles.

Even still, it's always special to be the player who gets to officially clinch that winning point. And that's what Lizette Salas was able to do at Des Moines Golf and Country Club when she took down Jodi Ewart Shadoff, 1 up.

2. Danielle Kang's win at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship

Danielle Kang turned professional in 2011 and there were high hopes for the Pepperdine product who won the U.S. Women's Amateur in 2010 and 2011.

The transition to the professional ranks for Kang, however, wasn't an easy one. In just her second season as a pro, Kang lost her father -- K.S. Kang, the man who caddied for her in both U.S. Am wins -- to brain and lung cancer. It was understandably devastating.

At Olympia Fields in the KPMG Women's PGA Championship this past June, K.S. was on Danielle's mind throughout. With an incredible back nine of 3-under 32 in the final round that included five birdies, Kang won by a single stroke over Brooke Henderson.

Not only was it Kang's first ever major win -- but also her first LPGA win. It had to be nice to check off both those boxes at once.

1. I.K. Kim gets major redemption

South Korea's I.K. Kim was just inches away from major triumph at the 2012 ANA Inspiration. But crazy things can happen in golf. And it doesn't get any crazier than what happened to Kim.

She missed a putt from inside 1 foot. Instead of tapping in for the win, she tapped in for a spot in a playoff, which she would lose to Sun Young Yoo.

 

Fast forward to the 2017 Ricoh Women's British Open. In complete control of her game at Kingsbarns Links, Kim shot a final-round, 1-under 71 to win by two strokes and finally win her first major championship.

"I almost cried when I won. Winning is great," Kim said. "It's a long process to get over 2012. A lot of people helped me. Now I enjoy playing golf again. What it did teach me is to to give the same effort to every shot, even the shortest of putts."

 

 

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