Lincicome, while missing the cut, ends her historic week on a high noteLincicome fired a 1-under in the second round of the Barbasol Championship on Saturday
July 21, 2018
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
Brittany Lincicome comments after Round 2 of Barbasol
NICHOLASVILLE, Kentucky — The highlight of the week? That’s easy.
It has to be the grip gap wedge – one of her favorite shots – that Brittany Lincicome played from 116 yards out at the par-5 17th on Saturday that tracked into the hole for eagle.
“So cool,” Lincicome said with a big smile of satisfaction as she talked with reporters after her round. “When it went in that couldn’t have ended my week any better.”
Then she proceeded to make everyone’s else’s day, patiently signing every ball, glove and ticket thrust her way. She posed for photos with little girls and boys — and grandparents, as well.
“The fans were incredible,” Lincicome said. “It was so great feeding off their energy. They were cheering for me every time I hit a shot, every time I got it in the fairway, got it on the green.
“It made me feel way more comfortable.”
That comfort zone showed in her performance on Saturday at the Barbasol Championship as Lincicome rebounded from a disappointing opening round of 78 to shoot 1-under. She made that eagle and five birdies – including three straight — while dropping five shots to par.
Lincicome is only the sixth woman to ever play in a PGA TOUR event, and just the second to break par. Only two women have completed 72 holes in official TOUR events: Babe Didrikson Zaharias at the 1945 Phoenix Open and the 1945 Tucson Open and Shirley Spork at the 1952 Northern California-Reno Open.
“I would've liked to have shot better (Thursday),” acknowledged Lincicome, who had a triple bogey and a double in the first round. “Obviously today was a pretty nice day, so I guess ending with today's round it's a good way to kind of leave, I guess. “And then holing out on 17 is pretty cool. I can't wait to watch the replay later.”
Conrad Schindler said it was a treat to play with Lincicome as she made history in the first two rounds. He gave their gallery something to cheer about on Saturday, too, firing a bogey-free 64.
“To get to have a front row seat in the group, it's a unique aspect,” Schindler said. “A lot of people get behind her, but you also can get some fans out there rooting for you, so it's definitely nice to have.”
Schindler said he likes to chat between shots, just like Lincicome does. They talked about the differences between their two tours, and at times the conversation shifted to their dogs - his two, a lab-pit mix and a Catahoula Leopard-Great Dane hybrid and her Rottweiler who lives with her grandmother. Lincicome, who loves to fish for goliath grouper and spend time on her boat, also wants to get a Labrador.
“That’s what helps me in my element when I'm playing well, is not thinking about golf as much, just kind of deviating away from it,” Schindler said. “When it's time, we only spend about 30, 40 seconds on the shot.
“So it's nice to have someone else out there that you're strolling the fairways with talking to.”
Schindler, who turned 30 on Friday, said he came away impressed with Lincicome’s game. She was tied for third in driving accuracy, hitting 22-of-28 fairways and took 51 putts, including just 23 on Saturday.
“It's really consistent,” Schindler said. “You know, she does the same thing every shot. She just knows where it's going to go. Great short game. Maybe the first day just a little nerves, but each day she gained confidence.”
Lincicome, who has won eight times on the LPGA Tour, thinks that playing in the Barbasol Championship could help her as she goes after her third major at the Ricoh Women’s British Open Aug. 2-5 at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.
Hitting shots inside the ropes this week wasn’t the hard part – although the Lincicome admitted she had to force herself not to try to swing out of her shoes when she saw her playing partners outdriving her by 20 or 30 yards. But the media attention, the fan curiosity and the expectations all were heightened this week.
Lincicome called World Golf Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam to get her advice on Wednesday night. Sorenstam was the first woman to play on the PGA TOUR in 51 years when the world No. 1 teed it up in the 2003 Bank of America Colonial.
Sorenstam told Lincicome to look at the big picture and how this week at Keene Trace Golf Club will help her handle her nerves in the future. Sorenstam also said to relax by watching a movie that night. But Lincicome, who was renting a home for the week with her husband, parents and caddy, had too much going on to follow that advice.
“This is obviously a much bigger stage or different stage than I'm used to,” Lincicome said. “With a major coming up, hopefully that first tee shot I won't be as nervous.
“I've learned to kind of play through the nerves this week, which is great. Just in the future I think that'll really help me.”