Lincicome eagles 18, wins 1st major at Kraft Nabisco

Rancho Mirage, CA (Sports Network) - Brittany Lincicome didn't need much prompting.

"That absolutely was the best shot of my life," she said.

Lincicome eagled the par-five 18th hole at the Kraft Nabisco Championship on Sunday following a spectacular approach shot to four feet, stunning Cristie Kerr and Kristy McPherson to win her first career major.

The eagle gave Lincicome a three-under 69 and a one-shot victory over Kerr and McPherson, who battled their fellow American throughout the final round.

Lincicome finished at nine-under-par 279, Kerr (71) and McPherson (72) at eight-under 280.

The three women, grouped together in the final threesome, were each attempting to become the first American woman to win a major championship since Kerr at the 2007 U.S. Women's Open.

Lincicome, with the shot of a lifetime, got it done.

Drilling a long drive down the 18th fairway, Lincicome was the only player in the final group to have a chance to reach the green in two shots -- which she did.

Standing on the left side of the fairway and screaming at her ball to be good, the shot traveled 200 yards to the green, rolled to the back and made a right turn towards the hole.

Closing in on the cup, the shot looked too good to be true.

"It happened at the perfect time and moment," said the 23-year-old Lincicome, who picked up her third win overall. "I couldn't have asked for anything more."

The closing eagle was her first of the tournament for Lincicome, who was the forgotten member of the final group for much of the day while McPherson and Kerr did most of back-and-forth lead-swapping.

Kerr had a one-shot edge over McPherson when she hit her drive out-of-bounds at the 15th hole, eventually making a round-changing double-bogey. Kerr never looked like she recovered until she rolled in a 18-foot putt from fringe at 18 to tie McPherson for second place -- a birdie that was set up by her near hole-out from the fairway.

McPherson, the overnight leader, nearly holed her tee shot at the par-three 17th. The ball struck the pin at ground level, but rolled too far away for McPherson to make birdie.

She headed to the 18th hole looking to become only the fourth player to make the Kraft Nabisco her first career win. But she may have played it too safe, opting to hit a short fairway-metal off the tee that left her no choice but to layup.

McPherson only managed to find the middle of the green with her third shot. She came within inches of draining the birdie putt, but to no avail.

"Going down 18, I told my caddie, 'Tees are up, we have got to make birdie,' because Brittany is one of the few people that can hit a club in there that's going to stop where it did," said McPherson.

"I wanted to make the putt to take it to extra holes."

Like McPherson, Kerr was also forced to layup on the 18th hole after knocking her tee shot into the right rough. Suddenly, Lincicome looked poised to pounce.

She celebrated her winning eagle putt with only a small right fist-pump -- then, later, with the customary leap into the pond next to the 18th green.

"I've been trying not to be so negative on myself, to be more positive," said Lincicome, who won $300,000. "As long as I stay out of my own way, don't get down on myself and sing songs, I'm okay."

There was suddenly a lot to sing about for women's golf in the U.S.

In the first major in some time without retired Swedish star Annika Sorenstam, Americans occupied six of the top-11 spots on the leaderboard. Mexican star Lorena Ochoa? Last year's winner finished tied for 12th.

"American golf is on the upswing again," said Kerr. "We are all pulling for each other, and we are obviously playing well."

England's Lindsey Wright (70) took fourth place at six-under 282, while American Meaghan Francella (69) shared fifth with Suzann Pettersen (66) from Norway at five-under 283.

Christina Kim (72) finished alone in seventh place at three-under 285, with fellow American Pat Hurst (71) sharing eighth alongside two-time Kraft Nabisco winner Karrie Webb (69), Katherine Hull (72) and Jimin Kang (74).

Michelle Wie, still looking for her first LPGA Tour win, closed with a 71 to finish tied for 67th place among 70 players who made the cut. Wie, 19, was derailed by 81s in the second and third round.

04/05 19:26:10 ET