Recari outlasts Creamer at Marathon Classic

The Sports NetworkJuly 21, 2013 

Beatriz Recari shot 5-under 66 on Sunday and held off Paula Creamer to win the Marathon Classic by a single stroke.

Recari and Creamer shared the overnight lead and were still tied entering the 14th hole, where the 26-year-old Spaniard drained a 12-foot birdie putt to go on top for good. She matched Creamer's birdie at the 16th, then converted an 8-foot par effort at the last to finish at 17-under 267 and lock up her second LPGA Tour win of the season.

"I still can't believe it, because I was so focused for the last two rounds to just keep cool and just focus on my game," said Recari, who titled at the Kia Classic in March. "Because like Paula said, she played amazing for two days. It was really a competition. It was like who was going to stick it close and who was going to make a putt."

Creamer, who was seeking her 10th career LPGA Tour victory and first since the 2010 U.S. Women's Open, carded a 67 at Highland Meadows Golf Club to finish a shot back at 16-under-par 268.

"I felt it, I know she probably did out there, a little pre-game into Solheim," she said. "I love match play. It felt like match play, yes. But at the same time, you're playing the golf course. Coming down the stretch of course you're playing each other. But it was good. Definitely has your juices going for the next couple of weeks."

Lexi Thompson recorded a hole-in-one at the par-3 14th and later birdied her final two holes en route to a 67 and a share of third place at 13-under with Jodi Ewart Shadoff (66).

Angela Stanford (67) and Jacqui Concolino (70) shared fifth at minus-10.

World No. 2 Stacy Lewis fired a final-round 64 to jump into a share of seventh place at 9-under. She was joined there by 16-year-old amateur standout Lydia Ko (68), LPGA Tour rookie Chie Arimura (71), Jennifer Johnson (70) and Meena Lee (62).

Defending champion So Yeon Ryu shot 69 and ended in 12th alongside three others at minus-8.

World No. 1 Inbee Park, who has won six LPGA Tour events and all three majors this season, shot 72 and tied for 33rd at 3-under 281.

Creamer, who won this Toledo-based event in 2008, was the first to take the lead Sunday with a birdie at the third, but Recari answered with a birdie of her own at the fourth.

The jostling continued, as the pair alternated birdies over the next two holes, then matched gains at the par-5 seventh to remain tied at 15-under.

Both players parred their next six holes heading into the decisive 14th, where Recari dropped her approach within 12 feet and drained the birdie effort to grab a lead she wouldn't relinquish.

At the par-4 16th, Creamer landed her second shot within three feet and appeared poised to pull even as Recari left herself 25 feet for birdie. But Recari drained the long putt, and Creamer remained one shot back with her short birdie make.

The margin was still one entering the par-5 last, where both golfers found the back fringe with their third shot. Recari was slightly farther back and she chipped eight feet past the hole. Creamer then putted to tap-in range and kicked in for par, leaving Recari a short putt for the win, which she executed deftly.

"I was definitely shaking a little bit," she said. "I knew that I had to make it to win and avoid a playoff. Playoff is always nerve-wracking or you're even and it can go either way.

"In Kia I won the playoff, but really I took a couple breaths and said, 'Okay, just read the putt, put a good stroke, and just be calm.' It went in, so I'm happy. I'm just really happy. Like I said, just all came down to the last putt."

NOTES: Recari earned $195,000 with the win, her third on the LPGA Tour. Her other victory on the circuit came at the 2010 LPGA Challenge ... She joined Park and Lewis as the only multiple winners on the LPGA Tour this season ... Former world No. 1 Yani Tseng missed her third straight cut this week, marking the first time in her LPGA career that she has missed three consecutive cuts ... Thompson won a Kia Cadenza with her hole-in-one.

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