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Sixteen is sweet for Thompson, LPGA's youngest-ever winner

PRATTVILLE, Ala. -- Lexi Thompson was poised to become the youngest player to win an LPGA Tour event at a fresh-faced 16, sitting five strokes ahead of the field and one round from history.

So what was the dinner table topic the night before?

"Boys. Boys definitely came up," she said.

Hey, she's an LPGA winner. But she's still 16.

The Floridian closed with a 2-under 70 Sunday to win the Navistar LPGA Classic, beating Tiffany Joh by five strokes to finish at 17-under 271.

Thompson shattered the age record for winning a multiple-round tournament held by Paula Creamer, who won in 2005 at 18. Marlene Hagge was 18 years and 14 days old when she won the single-round Sarasota Open in 1952.

The victory brought a piece of history and $195,000.

"This has been my dream like my whole life," Thompson said. "It's the best feeling ever."

Thompson, who turned 16 in February, led by five strokes entering the final round and built that to seven through 10 holes at the Robert Trent Jones Trail's Capitol Hill complex. Then came the teen's only big lapse on the pressure-packed day, bogeys on the next two holes that allowed Joh to surge within three strokes.

Thompson erased any concerns of a collapse with birdies on Nos. 16 and 17, and then the celebration and the kind words began.

"Paula Creamer came up to me and said, 'If anybody was going to change the record, it should have been you,' " Thompson said. "That meant a lot."

***

Rose picks it up

LEMONT, Ill. -- Justin Rose was trying not to lose the BMW Championship until he decided to play like he wanted to win.

Rose already was feeling the pressure from watching a five-shot lead over John Senden shrink to one. He hit another mediocre shot that came up short of the 17th green, and while he faced a relatively simple chip, Rose thought about using his putter because it would eliminate any chance of a mistake.

"I knew it was kind of coming down to me," Rose said. "Either I was going to fritter it away or make something happen to win the tournament. That's how it felt. I nearly took the 'chicken stick' out there and putted it on 17, and I had a little chat with myself. I said, 'These are the moments where tournaments are won.'

"It was an easy chip, it just needed committing to, just not wimping out."

It turned out to be the right move.

Rose chipped in for birdie to restore his lead, then played the 18th without fear to close out an even-par 71 and a two-shot victory that sends him to the Tour Championship with a shot at the $10 million FedEx Cup prize.

"It was just nice to have made the right decision and then execute it," Rose said. "That's a great lesson to learn that down the stretch. It does come down to one moment sometimes, and you just need to be ready."

Rose's third career PGA Tour win came at just the right time. He was at No. 34 in the FedEx Cup when he arrived at the third playoff event -- only the top 30 from the 70-man field at Cog Hill would advance -- and he moved to No. 3 with the victory.

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