Lincicome claims Canadian Open crown

Brittany Lincicome gives her trophy a smooch after winning the Canadian Women’s Open at Hillsdale...

Brittany Lincicome gives her trophy a smooch after winning the Canadian Women’s Open at Hillsdale Golf & Country Club in Mirabel, Que., Aug. 28, 2011. (MARIE-CLAUDE FOREST/QMI Agency)

JON McCARTHY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:55 PM ET

MIRABEL, QUE. - Brittany Lincicome loves Canadian hospitality.

Lincicome overcame extreme conditions on Sunday to shoot a two-under 70 to win the CN Canadian Women's Open by one stroke over defending champ Michelle Wie and Stacy Lewis, although a wild drive on the 72nd hole nearly ended Lincicome's chances.

"I hit the worst tee shot of the day on 18, into the tent where the kids were playing," Lincicome said from the interview room where she sat with the winner's trophy.

The 25-year-old from Seminole, Fla., hit her drive far left of the fairway where trees threatened to block her out from the green on the difficult dogleg-left finishing hole at Hillsdale Golf and Country Club outside Montreal.

Asked if she pulled the shot or hooked it, she answered, "It was kind of all of the above."

Lincicome caught a break when her ball landed in the hospitality tent that stretched down much of the left side of the 18th hole. She was entitled to a free drop away from the temporary obstruction.

After assuming her stance and taking her free drop, Lincicome's fortunes changed drastically. Rather than being forced to punch out to the fairway, the American had a clear look at the green.

"I definitely would have gone more sideways," she said, "Probably would have left myself somewhere around 80 to 100 yards to the green."

Instead she ran her shot up just short of the large elevated 18th green, where she was able to get up-and-down for par to finish the tournament at 13-under par, one shot clear of her nearest competitors.

The par-save on the 72nd hole was nothing new to Lincicome who was getting up-and-down from everywhere during a rain-drenched, wind-blown final round.

Lincicome hit only four of 14 fairways and just ten greens on Sunday, making key par-saves all day, including ones on the 71st and 72nd holes.

It was her second win of the season, the first time she has accomplished that feat.

"That's all I was talking about," Lincicome said. "It would be really great to win twice in one season because I hadn't done that before."

Lincicome takes home $337,500 US for the victory and will move into fifth place on the LPGA money list.

With the effects of Hurricane Irene blowing into town in the afternoon, tournament organizers moved the tee-times up and had players teeing off in groups of three off both the first and 10th holes.

Playing in the final group, right behind Lincicome, was the defending champ, Wie, who tried to engineer a dramatic finish of her own.

After hitting into the water on 16 and making bogey to fall one back of the lead, Wie rolled in a 25-footer to save par on 17, sending her to the final hole needing a birdie to force a playoff. She hit her approach long and right and had to settle for par and a tie for second with fellow American Lewis.

"I feel good," Wie said after her round. "I think coming in I had a lot of clutch shots that I could really take a lot of positives from. It feels good to be in contention again."

Lewis, who teed off more than an hour before the leaders, shot 67, the low round of the day, to get into the clubhouse at 12 under. From there it was wait and see.

"Bogey free today. If you had told me that at the beginning of the day I would have taken it," Lewis said.

Completing an American sweep of the top five were Cristie Kerr and Angela Stanford, who tied for fourth at 11 under.

It wasn't a great Sunday for Canadian players.

Maude-Aimee Leblanc, the story of the third-round, went from eight-under par to even, shooting 80 on Sunday.

Overtaking Leblanc as top Canadian was Oakville native Jessica Shepley, whose two over 74 on Sunday gave her a one under tournament total.

One bright spot for Canadian golf fans was 16-year-old amateur Jisoo Keel who finished tied for 66th.


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