Many will look at Brittany Lincicome’s win at the 2015 ANA Inspiration, as dramatic on her part, while others will remember it as the day Stacy Lewis let a major slip away.
The light began to fade, a cool breeze was blowing and the water was quite chilly when Brittany Lincicome took her leap as winner of the ANA Inspiration into Poppie’s Pond late Sunday afternoon. However, Lincicome was already shaking before jumping into the cold water.
Lincicome has been known to lose her nerves in tough situations, but was calm on Sunday when she needed it. She made a dramatic putt for eagle at 18 during regulation to pave the way for a playoff with Lewis who is a good friend and fellow American. She then proceeded to two-putt for the win on the third hole of the playoff after her opponent had bogeyed.
Lincicome said the first time she putted on 18 in regulation she thought she was not even in the hunt for the win and was not nervous in the least.
It was not until after she gave Lewis a hug and just prior to her leap into the pond that she confessed to shaking uncontrollably with the reality sinking in of repeating as the champion of the event she won back in 2009.
At the tournament’s start, Lincicome’s goal was to make the cut, not win her second major. She had only had one finish in the top-10 in her six starts early this season. The day started on Sunday as a dramatic duel between two playing partners Sei Young Kim the rookie from South Korea and Lewis.
Kim started three shots in front of Lewis and it seemed like match play between those two for most of the round. In all, Kim and Lewis had swings of two-shots on five occasions during the round.
On the back nine, Lewis birdied 10, 11 and 12, and was able to grab the lead on 14 with a par putt.
Lincicome however stuck with her game and was able to roll in the putt for the eagle to tie Lewis. She had also eagled her last hole in 2009, but that eagle won the tournament, this time she would need to play three more holes.
For Lewis, who was victorious here in 2011, the disappointment was as great as Lincicome joy. It was the 18th time Lewis has finished second in her career on the LPGA Tour. She has seven starts this season and three second-place finishes.
Lewis was done in by No. 18. She missed her birdie putt in regulation from 13 feet, from 15 feet on the first playoff hole and from 12 feet on the second.
With the win, Lincicome will jump to No. 6 in the world from last week’s No. 18.