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LPGA Kraft Nabisco: Lexi Thompson, 19 years old, wins major

Lexi Thompson left Michelle Wie behind Sunday — off the tee and on the leaderboard — in the Kraft Nabisco Championship at Rancho Mirage, Calif.

The 19-year-old Thompson closed with a bogey-free 4-under-par 68 at Mission Hills for a three-stroke victory over Wie. Thompson birdied four of the first nine holes to open a five-stroke lead and parred the final nine.

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Wie birdied the final hole for a 71. She used her driver only four times, choosing to hit fairway-metal stingers on the other 10 driving holes — leaving her as much as 60 yards behind Thompson. When both hit 3-woods, Thompson also had the advantage.

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.

‘‘This is what I've worked so hard for,’’ Thompson said. ‘‘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.’’

Thompson finished at 14-under 274 for her fourth tour victory. She opened with a 73, shot a tournament-best 64 on Friday, and a 69 on Saturday to tie for the lead with Wie at 10 under. The 6-foot Florida player had only one bogey in her last 55 holes.

The 24-year-old Wie made her 12th start in the event. She was ninth in 2003 at age 13.

Wie has two tour victories, winning the 2009 Lorena Ochoa Invitational and 2010 Canadian Women’s Open. She has been in the top 16 in all six of her starts this season.

Thompson hammered a drive 40 yards past Wie’s 3-wood on the par-4 opening hole and took the lead with a 15-foot birdie putt. Wie pulled even with a birdie on the par-5 second, chipping to 1½ feet after leaving her second shot just short of the green.

Thompson birdied Nos. 4 and 5. She hit a 3-wood 30 yards past Wie’s 3-wood and made a 12-foot putt on the par-4 fourth, and holed a 5-footer on the fifth.

Thompson picked up a stroke on the eighth when Wie missed a 2-foot par putt, and pushed her lead to five with an 8-foot birdie putt on the ninth.

Stacy Lewis, the 2011 winner, had a 67 to finish third at 7 under. Cristie Kerr (72) and Se Ri Pak (72) tied for fourth at 6 under.

PGA — Matt Jones earned his first trip to the Masters with a remarkable 42-yard chip-in on the first playoff hole, outdueling Matt Kuchar on his way to winning the Houston Open in Humble, Texas.

The win is the first on tour for the Australian, who made a 46-foot birdie putt on the 72d hole to reach the playoff. He ended it one hole later, chipping over the right front bunker on the 18th and watching it roll in.

Kuchar, who bogeyed the final hole of regulation, then missed his bunker shot to give Jones the win — earning him nearly $1.2 million and a trip to Augusta National.

‘‘Going to Augusta is amazing,’’ Jones said. ‘‘The win means everything to me right now because that’s what we play for is to win. To have Augusta as a reward for that win is amazing.’’

Jones shot a final-round 66 and ended the tournament 15 under.

Jones sent his tee shot on the first hole of the playoff into the right fairway bunker. He then landed just short of the greenside bunker with his second shot, while Kuchar (72) found the bunker from the fairway.

It was the second straight miss of the 18th green from the fairway for Kuchar, who sent his fairway metal on the 72d hole into the water before recovering to make bogey and reach the playoff.

Jones didn’t leave Kuchar any room for error in the playoff, sending his chip over the greenside bunker and watching as it rolled in — much to the delight of the Golf Club of Houston gallery.

European — Marco Crespi won his first European Tour title after carding a 3-under 69 in the final round for a two-shot victory at the inaugural edition of the NH Collection Open in Cadiz, Spain. Crespi finished at 10-under 278.

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