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Kerr dominates in record-setting LPGA victory

For one year, the popular women's professional golf tournament in Rochester got turned into a major as the LPGA Championship got contested at Locust Hill Country Club in Pittsford.

But it turned out to be more than a tournament. It proved, also, to be Christie Kerr's coronation as, for the moment, the best player in the world.

Kerr tore up Locust Hill over four days in, arguabyly, as dominant a performance as has ever been seen in any women's major. Her 19-under-par total of 269 beat the next-closest competitor, South Korea's Song-Hee Kim, by an astonishing 12 shots.

Even Kerr considered the margin absurd. "Winning by maybe two or three (strokes) is great," she said."But winning by 12 shots is ridiculous. It's obscene.I don't think I could have played better."

Not only did Kerr set a new record for margin of victory in the LPGA Championship (Betsy King prevailed by 11 in 1992), she became the first player in the tournament's long history to post four rounds in the 60s, collecting a first-place check of $337,500.

In prevailing, Kerr passed Japan's Ai Miyazato (who tied for third with Jiyai Shin after her own final-round 66) to earn the no. 1 spot in the Rolex World Rankings, a first in her career, something she has strived for.

"It means a tremendous amount," Kerr said. "It's something that I've wanted my whole life. It feels awfully good right now."

Rochester came through, too. When the LPGA Championship's previous sponsor, McDonald's, pulled out after 2009, Wegmans, who has sponsored the long-running Rochester event in recent years, swooped in for the backing to bring it to Locust Hill.

Thus, high excitement was in the air when more than 140 players teed off on a windy Thursday morning. To bring Locust Hill up to major standards, some length was added (to 6,506 yards), fairways were narrowed and rough got taller, helped in no small part by early-week rains.

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