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Rookie keeps calm, breaks through

DANVILLE, Calif. — Beatriz Recari has ridden with Mario Andretti in an IndyCar going 200 mph and witnessed the Running of the Bulls in her hometown of Pamplona.

Standing over a 2-foot par putt on the 18th hole the Spaniard needed to make for her first career LPGA Tour victory seemed easy in comparison.

The 23-year-old rookie rallied from a late bogey and made the short putt for 2-under 70 and a one-stroke victory over Gwladys Nocera in the CVS/pharmacy LPGA Challenge on Sunday.

Recari, who made the cuts in only three of her first 13 stroke-play events this season, immediately jumped into the arms of her caddie to celebrate.

"I'm thrilled," Recari said. "I'm very proud of how I handled myself out there. I did not allow the nerves or (look) any further than what I had to do right in front of me."

Recari finished at 14 under on the Blackhawk Country Club course to end a 14-month world victory drought. She nearly tripled her career winnings with the $165,000 first-place prize.

She credited a trip around Homestead Miami Speedway on Oct. 2 with Andretti for helping her stay calm before the winning putt on 18.

"That was a great experience because I had some much adrenaline, and then I just felt so calm when I was standing on the putt," Recari said.

Recari's last professional win came on the Ladies European Tour at the Finnair Masters in August 2009.

"She did a really great job," said Michele Redman, who played with Recari in the final group and tied for third at 12 under. "She played it smart, she got some good breaks and she hit a lot of really good putts."

Seminole's Brittany Lincicome, the first-round leader after a course-record 61, shot 70 to tie for eighth at 9 under.

PGA: The familiar chants of "Rocco! Rocco!" never sounded better or louder as he approached the 18th hole.

Rocco Mediate holed out for eagle for the fourth straight day, hitting a pitching wedge approach from 116 yards that spun back into the cup on the par-4 17th hole en route to a one-stroke victory over Bo Van Pelt and rookie Alex Prugh in the Open in San Martin, Calif.

"Do you believe what just happened out there?" Mediate said. "I have a job again."

Mediate, 47, won his sixth PGA Tour title but first since 2002, finishing with 2-over 73 for a 15-under 269 total at CordeValle. He earned $900,000 and a two-year tour exemption.

Rookie keeps calm, breaks through 10/17/10 [Last modified: Sunday, October 17, 2010 9:53pm]
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