Lincicome Tops Inkster in Finale


GLADSTONE, N.J. -- Brittany Lincicome, the 39 seed, defeated Juli Inkster, ranked eighth, 3 and 2 on Sunday to capture her first LPGA Tour victory at the HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship at Hamilton Farm Golf Club.
'It feels so awesome,' said Lincicome. 'It's a little overwhelming right now. It was just a great week of golf and I played really well so I'm very excited.'
The win was two years in the making for Lincicome. As an amateur, she led after the first round of the 2004 U.S. Women's Open, but finished 55th. Last week, she shared the 54-hole lead of the U.S. Women's Open with Annika Sorenstam and Michelle Wie, who Lincicome bested in the quarterfinals, but ultimately took seventh.
Her best finish on the LPGA Tour was a third at this year's LPGA Takefuji Classic. Lincicome's $500,000 pay day also vaulted her up to sixth on the tour's money list.
'Hopefully great things are to come,' said Lincicome. 'It's a huge confidence booster.'
Lincicome birdied the first extra hole in the semifinals to topple Lorena Ochoa and set up the match with Inkster, who trounced her Solheim Cup teammate Paula Creamer, 5 and 4 Sunday morning.
Lincicome flew out of the gate against her older opponent. She won the second, third and fifth holes, then won seven and eight to build a nearly insurmountable lead.
Inkster clawed back at the ninth when her second at the par-5 hole found a bunker and she blasted out to 6 feet. She holed the putt and raised her arms in mock joy for cutting the margin to 4-down.
Unfortunately for Inkster, the jubilation was short-lived as Lincicome knocked her approach inside a foot at 10. Inkster conceded the birdie and the hole to fall 5-down.
Lincicome missed the green at the 12th and her chip stopped 18 feet from the stick. She missed the par putt and her lead fell to 4-up. Inkster hit her second to 10 feet at the 15th and after Lincicome made a mess of the hole, she conceded the hole to Inkster.
Lincicome was 3-up with three to play and hit her second inside 20 feet at 16. Inkster missed a longer birdie try and when Lincicome lagged her putt to tap-in range, Inkster conceded the hole and the match.
'That was a huge accomplishment,' acknowledged Lincicome. 'It was a big boost in my game to know I can pull it out if I need to.'
For Inkster, who is 5-1 in singles play at the Solheim Cup, this ended a long stretch of grueling golf. She has played 175 holes in the last 10 days due to the 36-hole finale at last week's U.S. Women's Open and the schedule of this tournament.
She turned 46 earlier this summer, so did fatigue have anything to do with Sunday's poor performance in the final?
'I don't feel tired, everyone tells me I'm tired,' said Inkster, who birdied four of her final five holes on Saturday to defeat Sorenstam. 'After having two kids and a husband, this is the easy part of my life.'
In the consolation match, Ochoa, ranked third and the leading money winner on the LPGA Tour, took down Creamer, the fifth seed and reigning LPGA Tour Rookie of the Year.
Related Links:
  • Scoring - HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship
  • Full Coverage - HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship