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U.S. teen Thompson triumphs in Dubai golf finale

updated 11:44 AM EST, Sat December 17, 2011
Alexis Thompson celebrates after closing with a birdie at Omega Dubai Ladies Masters at the Emirates Golf Club.
Alexis Thompson celebrates after closing with a birdie at Omega Dubai Ladies Masters at the Emirates Golf Club.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Young American Alexis Thompson wins her second professional title on Saturday
  • The 16-year-old finishes four shots clear at the Dubai Ladies Masters
  • She is the youngest professional winner in Europe and second youngest overall
  • Lee Westwood's 11-shot lead in Thailand is reduced to four by Charl Schwartzel

(CNN) -- Teenage golf sensation Alexis Thompson became the youngest professional to win on the Ladies' European Tour when she triumphed at the season-ending championship in Dubai on Saturday.

The 16-year-old, already the youngest to win on the U.S. LPGA Tour, shot a final-round five-under-par 67 to finish four shots clear of South Africa's Lee-Anne Pace to claim the €75,000 ($98,000) first prize.

The only player younger than the American to win on the European circuit is South Korea's Amy Yang, who was 16 years and 191 days old when she won the ANZ Masters as an amateur in 2006.

"It feels amazing. This has been just a great tournament and I am looking forward to coming back," said Thompson, who turns 17 on February 9.

"I just tried to focus on my game. I did think about the victory when I had a five-shot lead, but throughout the whole day I was trying to play one shot at a time and never tried to get ahead of myself."

It feels amazing. This has been just a great tournament and I am looking forward to coming back
Alexis Thompson

Thompson led after the second and third rounds at Emirates Golf Club, but last year's European money list winner Pace went top at the seventh hole before her young opponent chipped in for a birdie at the ninth.

"That was really important. I just kept on going strong and strong," said Thompson, who won the Navistar LPGA Classic in Alabama by five shots in September and qualified for the U.S. Women's Open as a 12-year-old.

"Both wins are equal since both the tournaments have a great competition, the best from both sides and countries, so it's just an honor to win at both events."

The second-place finish meant Pace finished fifth on the money list with €209,444 ($273,000) from 21 events.

Japan's U.S. Open champion Ai Miyazoto finished top on €363,079 ($474,000) from only two events, having also won the Evian Masters in France.

Sophie Gustafson claimed third place in Dubai after a closing 71 left her one shot behind Pace, who carded 69, and the Swede took sixth on the money list.

Wales' Becky Morgan was tied for fourth with South Africa's Stacy Lee Bregman and Sweden's Pernilla Lindberg on nine-under 279, six shots behind Thompson, while American Michaelle Wie was tied for 12th.

Westwood matches Asian Tour record

Meanwhile, European men's star Lee Westwood saw his 11-shot lead reduced to four going into Sunday's final round of the inaugural Thailand Golf Championship.

The Englishman started the Asian Tour event with a career-best 60 on Thursday then carded 64 on Friday, but struggled with a one-over 73 on Saturday.

South Africa's Masters champion Charl Schwartzel closed the gap on the world No. 3 with a 66 -- but will rue a bogey at the final hole.

Westwood can move above Rory McIlroy with victory at the Amata Spring Country Club, as the Northern Irishman is absent due to the illness which has affected him in recent weeks.

Geoff Ogilvy will take a two-shot lead in to the final round of the Australian Masters after firing an eight-under 63 at his home Victoria Golf Club on Saturday.

The 2006 U.S. Open champion equaled the course record to move clear of England's Ian Poulter, who shot 69.

The 34-year-old eagled his opening hole after almost sinking an albatross, and could have ended the day even further ahead if not for three bogeys.

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