Brittany Lincicome wins Kraft Nabisco with eagle on the 72nd

By Associated PressApril 5, 2009, 4:00 pm
2007 Kraft Nabisco ChampionshipRANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. ' Her heart racing and her hands shaking, Brittany Lincicome did whatever she could to kept it together on the final holes of the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
 
She breathed deep. She and her caddie sang country songs, mostly Sugarland and Kenny Chesney.
 
It worked, because she hit two brilliant shots on 18 to set up a 4-foot eagle putt that she rolled in to win her first major on Sunday.
 
I cant even describe it, Lincicome said moments after taking the traditional plunge into the lake that surrounds the 18th green. Its surreal, really.
 
Never worse than three strokes behind in the final round, Lincicome stayed close as her good friend Kristy McPherson and Cristie Kerr traded the lead back and forth on a perfect day at Mission Hills.
 
Trailing McPherson by one stroke, the 23-year-old Lincicome broke through with an amazing sequence of shots on the par-5, 485-yard 18th.
 
McPherson calls Lincicome Bam-Bam because of the length of her drives, and Lincicome lived up to that by booming a 275-yard drive down the middle of the fairway.
 
It just came down to 18, and luckily my length is a strong point and I bombed it out there and went for the green, Lincicome said.
 
She hit a hybrid from 210 yards that cleared the water and landed on the upper part of the green, with the ball curling down just above the hole.
 
Please be good, Lincicome said as she watched the ball fly through the desert air, then smiled when it was.
 
Right when I hit it, it came off the clubface and it was exactly where we were trying to hit it and it took the slope like I was hoping it was going to, and it was really close, thank God, Lincicome said. If I had to make anything further than that my hands were shaking so bad, I was almost crying. The fans were so great and cheering for me and just walking up there was a great feeling.
 
Kerr rolled in a birdie putt from the fringe to tie McPherson, but Lincicome made it a moot point when she made her putt to finish with a 3-under 69. He 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-Florida final threesome, she became the first American winner in the last six womens majors. Kerr was the last to do so in the 2007 U.S. Open.
 
After receiving her trophy, Lincicome joined hands with her father, Tom, and caddie, Tara Bateman, and jumped into the lake.
 
She was telling me at the turn, Dude, Im going to have a heart attack. My heart is beating out of my chest, McPherson said about Lincicome. Anytime she was nervous she came over to me to calm her down. She was pretty funny out there. Yeah, we talked a good bit, and yeah, it was good to have a good friend in the last group with me.
 
Lincicome, who took the first-round lead Thursday with a 66, finished with a 9-under 279. McPherson shot a 72 and Kerr a 71 on Sunday.
 
McPherson, leading by one shot heading to No. 18, was trying to hold on for her first LPGA Tour victory when Lincicome broke through. Lincicome opened the final round with seven straight pars before two straight birdies gave her a chance.
 
McPherson had a seesaw day.
 
She lost her overnight lead to Kerr on the second hole, pulled into a tie by making three birdies in four holes spanning the turn, dropped back when Kerr birdied the par-3 14th, then jumped back into the lead on the 15th when Kerr took a double-bogey after losing her ball out of bounds, hitting it through some trees and apparently clearing a wall onto Gerald Ford Drive.
 
That hole definitely owes me in the future, Kerr said.
 
In tournaments in general, but majors in specific, its such a fine line you have to walk to be able to end up winning. You have to have everything go your way. Maybe it hits the tree and drops instead of going out of bounds.
 
Lindsey Wright (70) was fourth at 6 under, while Suzann Pettersen (66) and Meaghan Francella (69) tied for fifth at 5 under.
 
Defending champion Lorena Ochoa shot a 66 for her best round of the tournament and finished in a tie for 12th at 1 under.
 
Kerr started the round one shot behind McPherson, but had a three-shot lead after five holes despite some wayward driving.
 
Kerr jumped into the lead on the par-5 second hole, despite driving into the rough and failing to extricate herself with her second shot. She had a nice approach shot and sank an 18-foot birdie putt while McPherson had a bogey after her sand shot was short of the green.
 
Kerr saved par on No. 3 despite driving into the left rough, getting a break when her lie was in grass that had been trampled by the gallery.
 
Kerr birdied No. 4 with a tricky 10-foot downhill putt, then took a three-stroke lead when McPherson bogeyed the par-3 fifth hole by hitting her tee shot into the water.
 
I felt like I was out of it early, McPherson said. Brittany started off slow, as well, and made a couple of good par saves. Cristie, she was springing up on both of us at one time.
 
But finally on the back nine we got it to where it was a good match between all three of us. Cristie and I made a few mistakes, and Brittany made a couple of great par saves to stay in there and bring it down to the 18th hole.
 

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  • Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

    By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

    The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

    Leaderboard: Cameron Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Jason Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

    What it means: Jordan Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.

    Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

    Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

    Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

    Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday. 

    Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

    Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

    Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

    SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

    Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

    ''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

    But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

    In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

    ''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

    Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

    The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his Web.com card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

    ''Everything went to plan,'' Davis said. ''I got off to a great start. I was hitting my spots and was able to keep it together on the back nine.''

    NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.

    Day: Woods feeling good, hitting it long

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 22, 2017, 9:33 pm

    Jason Day says Tiger Woods told him he feels better than he has in three years, which is good news for Woods a week ahead of his return to the PGA Tour at the Hero World Challenge.

    Day, a fellow Nike endorser, was asked about Woods during his news conference at the Emirates Australian Open on Wednesday. "I did talk to him," Day said, per a report in the Sydney Morning Herald,"and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years'" Day said.

    "He doesn't wake up with pain anymore, which is great. I said to him, 'Look, it's great to be one of the best players ever to live, but health is one thing that we all take for granted and if you can't live a happy, healthy life, then that's difficult.'"

    The Hero World Challenge will be played Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in the Bahamas and broadcast on Golf Channel and NBC.

    Day, who has had his own health issues, said he could empathize with Woods.

    "I totally understand where he's coming from, because sometimes I wake up in the morning and it takes me 10 minutes to get out of bed, and for him to be in pain for three years is very frustrating."

    Woods has not played since February after undergoing surgery following a recurrence of back problems.

    "From what I see on Instagram and what he's been telling me, he says he's ready and I'm hoping that he is, because from what I hear, he's hitting it very long," Day said.

    "And if he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.

    "There's no pressure. I think it's a 17- or 18-man field, there's no cut, he's playing at a tournament where last year I think he had the most birdies at."