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The Globe and Mail

Lewis wins ShopRite LPGA event by four strokes

GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. - Stacy Lewis shot an even-par 71 Sunday to win the ShopRite LPGA Classic.

Lewis finished 54 holes at the Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club at 12-under-par 201. It was Lewis' third LPGA win and her second of 2012; she won the Mobile LPGA Classic in April. And she reached the quarterfinals in the match play even two weeks ago.

Last year, her first career victory came in a major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

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This victory was worth $225,000 from a $1.5 million purse.

Katherine Hull sank a 10-foot birdie putt at the final green to finish alone in second place at 8-under 205 after a closing 68.

Mika Miyazato and Azahara Munoz were both at 206 after rounds of 68 and 69, respectively. Lexi Thompson, Anna Nordqvist, and Hee-Won Han were both at 207.

Maude-Aimee Leblanc of Sherbrooke, Que., rebounded for a final round 71 to finish in a tie for 29th with Lorie Kane (72) of Charlottetown. It's the best result of the season for the LPGA rookie.

Alena Sharp (74) of Hamilton finished tied for 71st.

Lewis, who started the day with a six-shot lead, extended her margin over the first eight holes. She birdied the third hole after reaching the short par 5 in two and leaving her 40-foot eagle attempt 8 feet short.

She followed that by draining a10-foot birdie try at the fourth, then converted birdie chances of 12 and 8 feet, respectively, at the seventh and eighth to move to 16 under.

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At that point Lewis was on the verge of running away from the field.

But she ran into trouble when she flubbed her third shot from the green apron at the par-5 ninth and came up short of the putting surface. She eventually took a bogey to make the turn at 3 under for the day and 15 under for the tournament.

Things got worse for Lewis when she missed the green at the par-3 11th, chipped over and missed an 8-foot bogey putt. She also missed a 5-foot par putt at 12.

When Lewis walked to the 13th tee she stood at 12 under par after dropping four shots in a span of four holes.

But Lewis regained her equilibrium with a par at 13, then rolled in a 35-foot birdie putt at the par-4 14th to move to 13 under.

No one in the field made a serious run at her.

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Thompson made the biggest move up the leaderboard. Her closing 67 moved her from a tie for 17th when the day began into a tie for fifth.

NOTES: According to LPGA projections, Lewis will move into the third spot in the Rolex Women's World Rankings when they are updated Monday. That would make her the top-ranked American, supplanting Cristie Kerr, who has held that distinction since November 23, 2009. ... The tradition continues: The tournament has been played 24 times and no returning champion, including Brittany Lincicome this year, has successfully defended.

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