Rancho Mirage, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Brittany Lincicome eagled the final hole of regulation to get into a playoff on Sunday, then parred the third playoff hole to defeat Stacy Lewis and win the ANA Inspiration.
Lincicome carded a 3-under 69 to post 9-under-par 279. Lewis, who was in the final group, missed a birdie putt to win on the final hole of regulation. She closed with a 2-under 70 to get into the playoff on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club.
"Gosh, we played that hole so many times. The first time we played that hole, it was fairly easy, except that I was so far out of this tournament, that I never had a chance. So, hitting that 5-iron into the hole the first time, was super easy," Lincicome said.
The duo returned to the tee on the par-5 18th for the playoff, all three times. Both missed the fairway with their tee shots the first time around, and reached the green with their third. Lincicome 2-putted for her par, then watched as Lewis' birdie effort slid by the edge.
On the second extra hole, it was nearly the same story. Both players reached the green in three with Lewis five feet closer and on a similar line. Lincicome's putt narrowly missed on the left edge. Lewis also just missed her birdie try on the left side.
"It's getting a little colder and it's a little bit into the wind out there and the only club I could have hit was 3-wood and that was going to go over the green, and my wedges have been so good all week that I was kind of hoping I could wedge it up there close and make the birdie then, but I didn't," said Lincicome when asked why she didn't go for the green in two on the second extra hole.
The third time around both players laid up with their second shots, but Lewis' ball found a sand filled divot. She came up short of the green with her third, then Lincicome dropped her approach inside 10 feet. Lewis hit a poor chip and was still away.
Lewis, the 2011 winner, missed again as her par effort came up short. Lincicome's birdie try slid by the edge, but she tapped in for par and her second victory at this event.
"You know, it starts out as disappointment, but it was just bad luck really. Getting into the middle of a divot there was just a hard lie," Lewis said of the third extra hole. "I played great golf this week, so it's really hard to be too upset."
Morgan Pressel, the 2007 champ, nearly holed out for eagle at the last, but settled for a kick-in birdie to cap a 2-under 70. She ended alone in third at minus-8.
Sei Young Kim, who led entering the final round, made one par on the final nine. Kim and Lewis traded the lead several times over the final nine holes, but a double-bogey at 14 and bogeys at 15 and 17 dropped Kim to 7-under-par 281 after a closing 75. She was joined in fourth by Carlota Ciganda (68) and two-time major champion Anna Nordqvist (69).
Last year's winner Lexi Thompson posted a 2-under 70 to grab seventh place at minus-6.
Lincicome had a steady round with two birdies and a bogey on her opening nine. She ran off 10 consecutive pars from the eighth to remain at minus-7. She rolled in an eagle effort on the final hole to join Lewis at 9-under.
Lewis trailed Kim by three to start the day. Lewis also had two birdies and a bogey on the front nine to make the turn at minus-8.
Kim played the opening nine in even-par as she birdied the second and sixth to go with a double-bogey at No. 4. Kim led by two to start the final nine. Both players birdied the 10th, then the roller coaster started.
Lewis birdied Nos. 11 and 12 to move to 11-under, while Kim bogeyed those two holes to slide to minus-9. There was another 2-stroke swing at the 13th as Lewis 3-putted for bogey, while Kim rolled in a 15-footer for birdie.
For the fourth straight hole, there was a 2-shot swing. Lewis made par at the par-3 14th, while Kim came up just short of the green with her tee shot. She played her second to about 12 feet, but 3-putted for double-bogey.
Kim wrapped bogeys at 15 and 17 around a birdie at 16 to end to minus-7.
Lewis 3-putted for bogey at the 15th to dip to 9-under. After pars a 16 and 17, Lewis had 12 feet for birdie and the win at the 18th. However, she missed the putt left and it was off to the playoff.
NOTES: Lincicome, who also won this title in 2009, picked up her sixth LPGA Tour win ... She earned $375,000 for the victory ... Kim was trying to become the first rookie to win this title since Juli Inkster in 1984 ... This was the first 3-hole playoff in event history ... World No. 1 Lydia Ko posted her third straight over-par round as she stumbled to a 1-over 73, which left her tied for 51st at plus-3 ... After a week off, the tour heads to Hawaii for the LPGA LOTTE Championship, where Michelle Wie will defend her title in an event that runs Wednesday to Saturday.