Brittany Lincicome made her second winner’s leap into Poppie’s Pond after clinching the first women’s golf major title of 2015 in a playoff.
Lincicome (69) roared home with an eagle on the par-5 18th hole to finish tied with fellow American Stacy Lewis (70) at nine-under-par 279 then triumphed when 2011 champion Lewis faltered with a bogey at the third extra hole at the Mission Hills course.
The ANA Inspiration is the second major title for the 29-year-old who won the same event – then known as the Kraft Nabisco Championship – in 2009.
Lincicome and Lewis were one shot clear of fellow American Morgan Pressel (70).
Two-time champion Karrie Webb was the leading Australian, eight shots behind the winner in a tie for 29th after a 74.
New Zealand’s teenage world No.1 Lydia Ko finished a distant 12 shots off the pace in a tie for 51st after a 73.
The win was some redemption for Lincicome who gave up a one-shot lead on the final hole at last year’s LPGA Championship before losing to Inbee Park in a playoff.
Four back to start the day, Lincicome made the turn at one under and rattled off 10 straight pars, from Nos 8 through 17.
She admitted winning, or even making a playoff, wasn’t even in her mind as she teed off at the 18th before hitting a 5-iron from 190 yards to 10 feet to set up her closing eagle.
“It felt fairly easy because I thought I was so far out of the tournament that I never had a chance,” Lincicome said. “I wasn’t nervous at all.”
Lewis had three chances to win on the 18th, but missed birdie putts from 13 feet in regulation, 15 feet on the first extra hole and 12 feet on the second.
“The initial reaction is disappointed, obviously,” she said.