Maria Hjorth recorded her fifth-career LPGA Tour victory with a two-shot win over Rolex Rankings No. 13 Song-Hee Kim at the Avnet LPGA Classic. Hjorth, one of 27 Moms on the LPGA Tour, fired a 5-under 67 in the final round to capture the victory after starting the day three shots back of the third-round leaders, Kim and 16-year-old sponsor's invite Lexi Thompson. Hjorth recorded four birdies in five holes on the front nine of the Crossings Course at Magnolia Grove to vault toward the top of the leaderboard and she weathered a couple bogeys on the back nine to finish at 10-under par for the tournament. She fired back-to-back rounds of 67 on the weekend to help capture the victory.
Hjorth's last victory on Tour came at the 2010 season-ending LPGA Tour Championship when she defeated Amy Yang by a stroke. This is Hjorth's second victory on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. She won the 2007 Navistar LPGA Classic at the Senator at Capitol Hill in Prattville, Ala. Hjorth has also recorded five International victories since turning professional in 1996.
A familiar face on the bag: With her husband, Shaun McBride, on a break this week from caddying on the PGA Tour for Bryce Molder, Hjorth went with an all-family pairing on the course this week at the Avnet LPGA Classic. McBride used to caddy for Hjorth before the birth of their 2-year-old daughter, Emily. "It was really good to be able to have a win together," Hjorth said. "Obviously he caddied for me full time two years ago before we had our daughter. We lost in the playoff at McDonald's LPGA Championship, so it was great to be able to have a win together. To have just an off week like this and to be able to pull it off is really good."
Age is just a number: Most of the attention entering Sunday's final round was on 16-year-old Lexi Thompson, who was the co-leader with Song-Hee Kim after 54 holes of play. But it was 37-year-old Hjorth who prevailed in the final round. "You know, it's fun to really be able to be out there and win again, even though, you know, I could have just as well been a mum to Alexis Thompson," Hjorth said. "I mean, they're so young coming out here now and you're a bit older. But I think sometimes experience can help as well, and that's what you have to look at, too."