Lincicome's eagle swoops in to win Nabisco title

Monday, April 6, 2009

Brittany Lincicome was brilliant when it mattered most.

Lincicome sank a 6-foot eagle putt on No. 18 to upstage good friend Kristy McPherson and win the Kraft Nabisco Championship on Sunday, capturing her first victory in a major.

Never worse than three strokes behind in the final round, Lincicome stayed close as McPherson and Cristie Kerr traded the lead back and forth on a perfect day at Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

Trailing by one, the 23-year-old Lincicome broke through with an amazing sequence of shots on the par-5 18th. After hitting a booming drive down the middle of the fairway, she launched her approach shot across the water and onto the upper part of the green, with the ball curling down just above the hole.

She then calmly sank the putt to finish with a 3-under 69, pumped her fist and hugged McPherson, who finished tied for second with Kerr one shot back.

It was the third career victory for Lincicome, whose previous best finish in a major was a tie for second at this tournament in 2007.

Playing in the all-American final threesome, she became the first U.S. winner in the last six women's majors. Kerr was the last to do so in the 2007 U.S. Open.

After receiving her trophy, Lincicome joined hands with her caddie and father and jumped into the lake surrounding the 18th.

Lincicome finished with a 9-under 279. McPherson shot a 72 and Kerr a 71 on Sunday.

PGA Tour

Paul Casey won the Shell Houston Open in Humble, Texas, for his first PGA Tour victory, beating J.B. Holmes with a bogey on the first playoff hole.

The 31-year-old Englishman has nine international victories, but had never won in the United States. The victory boosted Casey to No. 6 in the world rankings, a career high.

Casey bogeyed the 18th hole in regulation to complete a 72 and tie Holmes at 11-under par. Holmes wrapped up a 69 almost three hours before Casey finished.

-- The Associated Press

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