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Golf: Catriona Matthew finishes outside top ten

Catriona Matthew

Catriona Matthew

  • by MARTIN DEMPSTER
 

CATRIONA MATTHEW finished just outside the top 10 in the opening women’s major of the season after dropping four shots in the last six holes.

She signed off with a 76 - her worst score of the week - for a two-over total as American 19-year-old Lexi Thompson won the Kraft Nabisco Championship in California.

Matthew, runner-up in the same event in 2007, was on course for a top-five finish until she dropped shots at the 13th, 15th, 16th and 17th.

The North Berwick woman ended up 12 shots behind Thompson but still picked up a cheque for just under $34,000 and some valuable world ranking points.

Thompson’s 14-under total earned her a three-shot win over Michelle Wie, with Women’s British Open champion Stacy Lewis four shots further back in third.

England’s Charley Hull also closed with a 76 but pipped Matthew by two shots for the honour of leading Brit.

Thompson celebrated her maiden major victory at Rancho Mirage with the traditional victory leap into the water near the 18th green.

“It’s just a dream come true,” said Thompson, who closed with a bogey-free four-under 68.

She birdied four of the first nine holes to open a five-stroke lead and parred the final nine.

“This is what I’ve worked so hard for,” added Thompson. “This was one of my goals coming into the year, to win a major. I’ve always seen myself winning a Kraft Nabisco. It’s such a huge honor with all the history behind the tournament.”

Wie was second, birdieing the final hole for a 71.

Thompson became the second-youngest major winner in LPGA Tour history at 19 years, 1 month, 27 days. Morgan Pressel set the record in her 2007 victory at Mission Hills at 18 years, 10 months, 9 days.

 

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