“I’m at a loss for words right now,” said Kueny after her dramatic win. “I’m speechless. I just played solid all week and not once, besides that last putt was I a little nervous. I really wasn’t nervous at all this week. Everything just went my way and I kind of knew this was my week no matter if I won or not but I was going to have a good finish.”
Paired in the final group with Sharp, the LPGA Tour veteran held the driver’s seat throughout Sunday despite recording her first blemish on her scorecard for the week with a double-bogey on the par-4 third hole. Kueny admitted after the round that despite solid ball striking throughout the day, she was plagued by a cold putter throughout her opening nine.
“My ball striking was probably the best it had ever been,” said Kueny. “I hit either 16 or 17 greens today but I really couldn’t get the putter going on the front-nine. I had a lot of opportunities, I really could have walked away with this but I did what I had to do, made nine pars and two birdies on the back and that was enough.”
It wasn’t until the final group reached the par-4 17th hole that Sharp’s lead would slip away after notching her second double-bogey of the day.
“I hit 3-wood off the tee and had 180 downwind; it was like the shot I hit yesterday,” said Sharp. “I took a 7-iron and just tried to kill it probably and blocked it into the bunker. I was in the face of the bunker and hit it fat, there was a lot of sand in there, more than I thought there was and didn’t get it on the green. Then I chipped it to 3-feet and missed the putt.”
After the untimely double-bogey by Sharp on the 17th hole, Kueny found herself heading to the tricky par-3 18th hole with a lead for the first-time during the final round. Despite only holding a 1-stroke lead over Sharp, Izzy Beisiegel, and Carolina Westrup, Kueny displayed nerves of steel as she calmly knocked her tee-shot safely on the center of the green.
The third year Symetra Tour member lagged her approach putt to 18-feet before draining the 18-inch par putt for the win. Patience proved to be key for the petite golfer, known amongst her peers as Little Lou, who pointed one finger up to the sky after her victory.
“I knew eventually one of them was going to have to fall,” said Kueny. “I didn’t want to wait until 16 but I wasn’t worried. The other two girls weren’t shooting lights-out so I just had to stay patient and eventually everything started clicking and putts will start dropping. Patience is important in golf.”
Kueny relied heavily on her experience at the 2011 Michigan Open as she prevailed with a 1-stroke victory over Sharp, Beisigel, and Westrup.
“It’s not my first professional win, it’s my first Symetra Tour win,” said Kueny. “I won the Michigan Open and I had about a 2-shot lead going into the final day and I just used a lot of experience from there to finish it off here today.”