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Lincicome eagles last for title

BRITTANY Lincicome won her first major title in spectacular style at the Kraft Nabisco Championship on Sunday, eagling the par-five last to triumph by one shot.

The long-hitting American powered a booming drive down the middle before hitting a superb hybrid club to four feet on the 18th green and calmly sinking the putt for a closing three-under-par 69 in Rancho Mirage, California.

Lincicome, who had never led in the final round until the 72nd hole, trailed by three early on before her grandstand finish gave her a nine-under total of 279.

After her winning putt dropped, she pumped her right fist in celebration before embracing her compatriot and good friend Kristy McPherson, the third-round leader who was one stroke in front teeing off at the last.

Former US Women's Open champion Cristie Kerr, three ahead of the chasing pack early on in the round, closed with a 71 to share second place with McPherson (72).

"That was absolutely the best shot of my life, and came at the perfect time," Lincicome said in a green-side interview after clinching the opening women's major of the year.

"I can't even describe it. It's surreal. I had not really played great all day. I was making pars and I was hanging in there but could not really get any birdies to fall."

The 23-year-old, who tied for second here two years ago, was thankful she then had to face only a four-footer to seal her third LPGA title.

"It was a little bit shorter than some of my testers earlier today but I am surprised I didn't have a heart attack," Lincicome said after becoming the first American to win a major title since Kerr at the 2007 US Women's Open.

Australian Lindsey Wright signed off with a 70 to finish fourth at six-under, a stroke in front of Norway's Suzann Pettersen (66) and American Meaghan Francella (69).

In Humble, Texas, Britain's Paul Casey gave himself the perfect warm-up for next week's US Masters by winning his first PGA Tour title in a playoff at the weather-hit Houston Open on Sunday.

Casey sealed victory with a bogey five at the first extra hole where big-hitting American J.B. Holmes drove into the water and finished with a double-bogey.

The pair had finished the 72 regulation holes on 11-under 277, Casey bogeying the last for a 72 and Holmes closing with a six-birdie 69 at Redstone Golf Club.

Tour veteran Fred Couples, bidding for his first victory on the US circuit since the 2003 Houston Open, was a further two strokes behind in a tie for third. Couples slipped out of the lead on the back nine and bogeyed the last three holes to finish level with Swede Henrik Stenson (70) and Australian Nick O'Hern (70).


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