News and notes for the week of April 6, 2009

1. LPGA news and notes
2. Race for the Cup
3. Pipeline to the LPGA Tour
4. Upcoming Event: Corona Championship, Tres Marias Golf Club, Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico, $1,300,000, April 23-26, 2009

1. LPGA news and notes

Lincicome wins Kraft Nabisco Championship with 72nd hole eagle
Outlasts McPherson and Kerr to take home first major championship

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif., April 5, 2009 – Brittany Lincicome hit a hybrid to four feet on the 72nd hole of regulation and calmly rolled in her first eagle of 2009 to claim her first-ever major title at the Kraft Nabisco Championship on Sunday. Lincicome's final-round, 3-under-par 69 was enough to top best friend Kristy McPherson (68-70-70-72=280, -8) and 11-time LPGA Tour winner Cristie Kerr (71-68-70-71=280, -8) by one stroke. The 23-year-old's four-day total of 9-under-par 279 (66-74-70-69) granted her, her father Tom, and caddie Tara Bateman, access to Poppy's Pond in a leap reserved for the Kraft Nabisco champion.

“I can't even describe it. It's surreal,” said Lincicome, after accepting the $300,000 winner's check. “Huge shot on 18 and I'm standing over (it), the hybrid is in my hands; my hands are shaking and my heart is racing. I'm trying to calm myself down by breathing or singing or whatever I can possibly do, and right when I hit it, it came off on the clubface exactly where we wanted to hit it and took the slope like I wanted it to and came really close, thank God.”

Lincicome trailed McPherson by two entering the final round, but put herself in good position following back-to-back birdies on holes nine and 10. She dropped a shot when her approach shot plugged in the bunker on 12 and did not take the final-round lead for good until sinking the four-foot eagle putt on hole 18. Kerr, who made double bogey on the 15th hole after hitting her drive out of bounds, also made birdie on the final hole, but it wasn't enough to stop a surging Lincicome, who credits an off-season swing change for her first major title and third LPGA Tour win. The victory propels Lincicome into the top 10 on the 2009 LPGA Official Money List. The Florida native is the second-youngest Kraft Nabisco Championship winner behind Morgan Pressel in 2007, at the age of 23 years, 6 months, 17 days.

Kerr cards fourth top-10 of 2009. After snaking in an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole of the Kraft Nabisco Championship, American Cristie Kerr found herself ending her 44th LPGA major championship appearance with a tie for second – the fourth top-10 finish of the season and 14th top-10 finish in a major championship. Kerr has competed in 35 consecutive majors since tying for second at the 2000 U.S. Women's Open; she won the 2007 U.S. Women's Open.

Career milestones. With her victory at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, Brittany Lincicome crossed the $2 million mark in career earnings. The 23-year-old is now 78th on the LPGA Official Career Earnings list with more than $2.2 million in winnings ($2,277,251).

Lincicome earns trip to Samsung World Championship. With her victory at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, Brittany Lincicome also booked her ticket to the 2009 Samsung World Championship, slated for Sept. 17-20 at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego. Celebrating its 29th year on Tour, the Samsung World Championship is a 72-hole, stroke-play tournament featuring an elite 20-player field that includes the winners of the season's four LPGA majors – the Kraft Nabisco Championship, McDonald's LPGA Championship Presented by Coca-Cola, the U.S. Women's Open, and the RICOH Women's British Open. The field also includes the previous year's Vare Trophy winner, the LPGA Tour's current money list leader and the Samsung World Championship defending champion. A berth in the field is also awarded to the leading player from the Ladies European Tour (LET), other leading money winners from the LPGA Tour's current year, as well as one sponsor invitation.

Redman collects third LPGA career ace. Two-time LPGA Tour winner Michelle Redman carded her third LPGA career hole-in-one during Sunday's final round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship. Redman used a 5-iron from 174 yards on the par-3 17th hole to record the ace. The 43-year-old finished the week tied for 12th at 1-under-par 287 (72-73-72-70). To date, there have been 22 aces at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, with the last one coming in 2008 by LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Fame member Karrie Webb.

Top major finishes. Final-round surges by numerous players at the Kraft Nabisco Championship gave them career-best finishes in a LPGA major championship. In addition to champion Brittany Lincicome, who joined Helen Alfredsson (1993), Nanci Bowen (1995) and Morgan Pressel (2007) as players to notch their first major championship victory at Mission Hills Country Club, fellow American Kristy McPherson (68-70-70-72=280, -8) earned a runner-up finish in her first appearance at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

Two players – Lindsey Wright (70-71-71-70=282, -6) and Meaghan Francella (72-73-69-69=283, -5) – each tied their career-best major championship finishes with fourth place and a tie for fifth, respectively.

Heading into last week, Jimin Kang's best finish in a LPGA major championship was a tie for 16th at the 2007 U.S. Women's Open. With rounds of 71-70-71-74, Kang finished at 2-under-par 286 and tied for eighth.

Lincicome earns stay at Canyon Ranch. With her victory at the 2009 Kraft Nabisco Championship, American Brittany Lincicome earned an all-inclusive stay for two at a Canyon Ranch resort. In a combined effort to promote health and overall well-being among Tour players, Canyon Ranch will provide every winner of an LPGA event with one all-inclusive stay at one of Canyon Ranch's two destination resorts.

Joh, Thompson split low amateur honors. UCLA senior Tiffany Joh and 14-year-old Floridian Alexis Thompson split low amateur honors at the Kraft Nabisco Championship by tying for 21st. Thompson, the reigning USGA Junior Girls Champion, was the only one of the duo to break 70 during four rounds at Mission Hills Country Club (72-72-77-69) with her final-round 3-under-par 69. Of the five amateurs to start the event, Azahara Munoz, a senior at Arizona State University, also made the cut and tied for 40th at 7-over-par 295 (71-74-77-73).

Lincicome moves into top 25, McPherson into top 40. After last week's first major championship of the 2009 season, the Kraft Nabisco Championship, winner Brittany Lincicome jumped up 64 spots into this week's top 25 of the Rolex Rankings. Now sitting in 22nd, the 23-year-old Lincicome entered the final round at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif. two strokes back from leader Kristy McPherson. After making birdie on holes eight and nine and bogey on number 12, Lincicome finished with an eagle on 18 to seal the deal. The win marks her third career victory on the LPGA Tour, and first major championship. McPherson's career-best tie for second place moved her up 29 spots in the latest Rolex Rankings and she now holds the 32nd spot.

The Rolex Rankings are sanctioned by the five major women's professional golf tours: the LPGA; Ladies European Tour (LET); Ladies Professional Golfers' Association of Japan (LPGA of Japan); Korea Ladies Professional Golf Association (KLPGA); Australian Ladies Professional Golf (ALPG); as well as the Ladies Golf Union (LGU), which administers the RICOH Women's British Open. The Rolex Rankings are the only women's world rankings that incorporate player performances from the five major tours and the Duramed FUTURES Tour, the official developmental tour of the LPGA.

2. Race for the Cup

Brittany Lincicome earned 120 points toward a spot on the 2009 U.S. Solheim Cup Team with her victory at the Kraft Nabisco Championship. Lincicome started the week 26th in the points race, but the victory catapults her to 12th, just outside the top-10 automatic spots on the team. South Carolinian Kristy McPherson boosted her Solheim Cup stock with a tie for second with Cristie Kerr. She is now eighth on the U.S. Team list after claming 60 points on Sunday (181.50 points). Cristie Kerr (468.50 points) overtook Angela Stanford (451.50 points) for second on the U.S. list with her 60-point effort this week.

The Solheim Cup is a biennial, trans-Atlantic team match-play competition featuring the best U.S.-born players from the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour and the best European members from the Ladies European Tour (LET). The U.S. Team leads the competition, 7-3, and has never lost The Solheim Cup on home soil.

2009 Solheim Cup countdown:

- 118 days until U.S. and European teams are announced following the RICOH Women's British Open.

- 137 days until matches begin at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill.

Captain's corner – Beth Daniel on Brittany Lincicome winning the Kraft Nabisco Championship

“Brittany Lincicome came back from the dead this week. What was impressive about Brittany was that she just hung in there. She hit some errant iron shots, but hung in there and gave herself a chance to win and used her strength on the last hole to win the golf tournament.”

Rich Harvest Farms in Golf Digest Top 100. Rich Harvest Farms, site of the 2009 Solheim Cup, moved up six spots in Golf Digest's annual “America's Top 100 Golf Courses” list. The Jerry Rich/Greg Martin design is now ranked 46th, up from 51st last season.

3. Pipeline to the LPGA Tour, April 5, 2009

Cho claims first professional title in Daytona Beach. South Korean Misun Cho won her first professional event at Duramed FUTURES Tour's iMPACT Invitational at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla. on Sunday. The 21-year-old finished the week at 6-under-par 210 (71-69-70) for a four-stroke victory over rookie Mina Harigae. Cho had never broken the top-10 in two years on the Duramed FUTURES Tour. She pockets $14,000 for the victory and jumps to second on the 2009 Duramed FUTURES Tour money list.

The players finishing in the top five on the final 2009 Duramed FUTURES Tour money list will receive membership onto the 2010 LPGA Tour.

Player Events played Earnings
1. Jean Reynolds 2 $14,878
2. Mison Cho 2 14,775
3. Song Yi Choi 2 10,878
4. Mina Harigae 2 10,742
5 Ashley Prange 2 6,134
  Nicole Hage 2 6,134
  Nicole Jeray 2 6,134
  Paola Moreno 1 6,134

Next tournament: $90,000, Louisiana Pelican Classic, The Wetlands, Lafayette, La., April 17-19, 2009

Charity: Goodwill Industries of Acadiana

For more information, log on to www.duramedfuturestour.com.

4. Upcoming Event: Corona Championship, Tres Marias Golf Club, Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico, $1,300,000, April 23-26, 2009

Par:
36-37, 73
Yardage: 6,539
Format: 72-hole stroke play
Winner: $195,000
Runner-up: $119,479
Field: 132 players
Defending champion: Lorena Ochoa
Victory margin: Defeated Song-Hee Kim by 11 strokes
Tournament information: 011-52-443-113-2901

 

Topics: News and Notes

Andrews Sports MedicineArpin Van LinesFloridas NaturalMedjet AssistMichelob ULTRAPrudentialSmuckers