Golf

Lexi Thompson wins Kraft Nabisco Championship

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American Lexi Thompson has won the Kraft Nabisco Championship in California after beating Michelle Wie by three-strokes.

The victory represents Thompson's first major as the 19-year old played a bogey-free round of 68 to finish on 14-under. She birdied four of the first nine holes to open a five-stroke lead and parred the final nine.

Thompson earned £181,000 prize money and celebrated in the traditional fashion of jumping into Poppie's Pond adjacent to the 18th hole. 

"It's a dream come true," said Thompson. "This is what I've worked hard for. I worked my life to win a major. This was my main goal.

"Overall it was a pretty solid week. This tournament is special to me."

It was Thompson's fourth LPGA Tour victory and after opening with a 73, she shot a tournament best of 64 on Friday. She followed that up with a 69 on Saturday to tie for the lead with Wie but a final round of 69 was enough to seal victory.

With only one bogey in her last 55 holes, the par-5 18th on Saturday, the Florida player revealed she stayed calm if things didn't go her way.

"You have to hit it in the fairway and, if you miss it, just miss it small," Thompson said. "I think just staying into it mentally. When I had a bad hole, I'd just fight right back. Or if I hit a bad shot, just know that I can get it up-and-down or get it on the green."

She becomes the second-youngest major winner in LPGA Tour history at 19 years, one month and 27 days. Only Morgan Pressel has won a major at a younger age when she won the same tournament at 18 years, 10 months and 9 days.

England's Charley Hull, 18, had put herself in contention on day three after she shot a round of 66, six below par, to put herself just two shots behind leaders Wie and Thompson. However, the Solheim Cup star had a disappointing round of 76, four-over, to finish joint-seventh - ten shots off the pace.

Wie, 24, had been a front-runner all week but finished on 11-under in second place. She used her driver only four times during the final day which meant her tee shots were often well short of Thompson's.

Wie's last career title came in 2010 at the Canadian Open, and she hit three bogeys during the final day. The American admitted that she was trying too hard to get her game going.

"I stuck with my game plan and I think it was the right play," Wie said.

"I couldn't get anything going. I got to a point where I just tried too hard. I tried to make birdies and forced everything. I wanted to make those putts so badly I just forced it."  

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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