Americans Kupcho and Salas win LPGA pairs event

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Jennifer Kupcho and Lizette Salas combined for a nine-under par 61 on Saturday to win the LPGA Great Lakes Bay Invitational team event by five strokes.

The US duo started the day with a four-shot lead and didn't put a foot wrong in the four-ball (best ball) final round at Midland Country Club in Michigan.

Their 26-under par total put them five in front of Finland's Matilda Castren and Malaysian Kelly Tan -- who grabbed solo second on 21-under par with Castren's birdie at the 18th to cap an eight-under par 62.

That saw them edge ahead of American Stacy Lewis and Mexico's Maria Fassi, who roared up the leaderboard with an 11-under par 59 but settled for third on 20-under 260.

Kupcho and Salas, who took a win and a tie for the US in last year's Solheim Cup loss to Europe, said the confidence of that partnership carried them this week.

"I think we were clicking all week," said 25-year-old Kupcho, who won her first major title in April at the Chevron Championship and earned her second LPGA victory at the Meijer Classic last month.

"I think we just have a lot of faith in each other. We make each other comfortable. We just know if we mess up, the other person's got us and that has worked really well for us."

For Salas, it was the end of a long dry spell since she won her only prior LPGA title at the Kingsmill Championship in 2014.

"Just a magical week," Salas said.

Castren and Tan were also a team of good friends, with Castren poised to be maid of honor at Tan's wedding next December.

They seized solo second with a birdie at the par-three finishing hole, where Castren's tee shot settled inches from the cup.

"I was just trying to hit good shots," Castren said of their steady climb up the leaderboard, which featured birdies at five straight holes from the 10th through the 14th.

"I saw that we were second so I told my caddie I didn't want to share the second spot and he said stick it close on 18.

"I happened to hit a great shot and it almost went in."

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