Lincicome edges Wie and Lewis

Brittany Lincicome sank a winning par putt in a pouring rain at the last on Sunday to win the Canadian Women’s Open.

American Brittany Lincicome sank a winning par putt in a pouring rain at the last on Sunday to win the Canadian Women’s Open.

The young American shot a closing 2-under 70 in difficult conditions to edge out by a shot compatriots Michelle Wie, the defending champion, and Stacy Lewis as she secured her 5th LPGA Tour victory, her second this year and like Wie and Lewis, almost certainly cemented her place in to the US team for the up-coming Solheim battle with Europe.

Lewis had the low round of the day with a 67 to finish tied with Wie who won the tournament last year in Winnipeg.

The tall Hawaiian sank long putts on the 15th and 17th holes to get desperately close to a second successive victory.

She needed to make birdie on the 18th to force a playoff, but missed the green, needed a drop to get clear of a fence and did well to make par.

Along with the top three spots, Americans also filled the next two, Cristie Kerr (71) and Angela Stanford (72) tying for fourth at 11-under.

Fears that the tournament would not go the full distance because of the remnants of hurricane Irene were groundless.

It rained heavily on the back nine for the front runners and there were gusting winds, but nothing that was serious enough to bring the round to a halt

“I was very patient, singing a lot of songs, and being very chatty,” said Lincicome, who said singing to herself is part of a sports psychology program to keep her focused.

“The weather was not great, but I was still having fun. I’m definitely going to remember this win.”

She added with a smile: “By the way, I’m not a good singer, so I won’t be singing for you.”

In order to get the final round finished before the coming storm made the course unplayable, the organizers moved up the start times by 90 minutes, had the players grouped into threesomes instead of twosomes, and started groups on both the first and tenth tees.

If the final round had been canceled, there were plans for a playoff between the three 54-hole leaders: Wie, Tiffany Joh and Ai Miyazato, but the weather and Lincicome and some fellow Americans made all that unnecessary despite her pulling her tee shot on 18 into a tent and taking a drop.

She managed to get the ball up near the green, chip it close and make the winning putt. She also had fine saves on the eighth and ninth.

“I’m growing as a golfer, I guess,” said Lincicome. “If this would have happened a couple of years ago I’m not sure how I would have handled it.”

Playing in the last group, Wie needed birdie on 18 to force a playoff, but missed the green to the right and left her chip wide and short. She made the putt, though, to keep a share of second place and win $177,981.

“I’m proud of the way I hung in there,” Wie said. “Coming in, I had a lot of clutch shots that I can really take positives from. It feels good to be back in contention again.”

Jo and Miyazato clearly didn’t enjoy the rain.

Jo closed with a 76 and dropped down to finish in a tie for 12th while Miyazato was a shot worse off, finishing in a 17th-place tie after a closing 77

(USA unless stated, par 72):
275 Brittany Lincicome 68 68 69 70
276 Michelle Wie 67 69 68 72, Stacy Lewis 69 71 69 67
277 Angela Stanford 67 66 72 72, Cristie Kerr 69 68 69 71
278 Jiyai Shin (Kor) 70 67 69 72, Na Yeon Choi (Kor) 68 69 69 72, Jenny Shin 67 70 71 70, Hee-Won Han (Kor) 72 71 66 69
279 Sun Young Yoo (Kor) 68 70 71 70, Song-Hee Kim (Kor) 67 68 71 73