Apparently, Christie Kerr likes playing golf in Upstate New York.
Just two months after a dominating, 12-shot victory in the LPGA Championship in suburban Rochester, Kerr returned and won again, this time teaming with PGA Tour star Hunter Mahan to win Tuesday's Notah Begay III Foundation Challenge at the Turning Stone Resort's Atunyote Golf Club in Verona.
The third edition this event, which benefits Begay's NB3 organization and its mission to combat obesity among Native American children, lacked the megawatt star power Tiger Woods provided in 2009, but made up for it with a larger field and more exciting format. And the crowd, estimated at 3,000, helped Begay raise $1.25 million for the foundation.
Instead of a single foursome, 12 golfers hit the Atunyote links - six from the PGA Tour and six from the LPGA Tour. Annika Sorenstam and Lorena Ochoa, taking a break from their respective retirements, joined Kerr, Morgan Pressel, Anna Rawson and Suzann Pettersen on the female side, with Begay, Mahan, Vijay Singh, Camillo Villegas, Anthony Kim and Rickie Fowler on the male side.
In a pairs format, one male and female gofler teamed up - and it was Kerr and Mahan that prevailed, using a late surge of birdies to post a 10-under-par team total of 62, two shots better than Sorenstam and Fowler's total of 64. Pettersen and Singh were third with 66, while Rawson and Villegas posted a 67. Pressel and Kim had a 68, with Ochoa and Begay shooting a combined 69.
Initially, the main draw for the event was the rare appearance of Sorenstam and Ochoa, who combined to win 99 LPGA tournaments and 12 majors in their careers. Sorenstam retired after the 2008 season to focus on business and family (her daughter's first birthday fell the day after this event), while Ochoa, just 28, left the tour earlier this year. Both were the world's top-ranked players at the time of their departures.