Lincicome bounces back

PARKERSBURG -Brittany Lincicome gave it a college try with tournament officials, but she knew the answer about any do-overs on the LPGA Tour.

Last week at the U.S. Women’s Open in Pinehurst, N.C., Lincicome ripped off three of her finest rounds this season and finished in the top 15. Despite shooting 7-over par 77 in her opening round and putting her chances of surviving the cut in jeopardy, she completed the weekend with a personal effort second only to a 10th place showing last month at the Airbus LPGA Classic in Mobile, Ala.

The 28-year-old golfer from Seminole, Fla., will make her annual appearance at the 43rd annual Rotary Sour Mash Memorial on Monday, July 21 at Parkersburg Country Club. Her parents have ties to the Mid-Ohio Valley. Her father, Tom, attended Parkersburg High School and her mother, Angie, was raised in Point Pleasant.

“I jokingly asked the USGA if I could go play that first round over again,” Lincicome said. “I started off really bad then I pulled it together. In that first round, I just had a couple of quick shots. I think I was just excited being there.

“When I got done with my round, I talked with my boyfriend and caddy and they asked what went wrong. I shanked a couple of shots, which I normally don’t do. The next day, I slowed my practice swings down and slowed my breathing down. Being relaxed seemed to help.”

Lincicome opened her second round tied for 96th place, but leap-frogged a majority of the field after carding even-par 70 and moved into a tie for 38th place. Advancing to the weekend as part of the top 60 and ties was a non-issue as her total score of 7-over 147 was two strokes below the cut line.

“I didn’t know what the cut line was going to be after Friday’s round,” Lincicome said. “Where I was, I knew I had a pretty good score.”

Saturday’s third round featured four birdies for Lincicome, including three on the back nine as she closed with a 69. On Sunday, she struggled at the outset and was 4-over for her round through seven holes. The back nine was a completely different story as Lincicome birdied three of her first four holes after the turn and carded a 3-under 32 for the back nine and a 1-over 71 overall.

“I hope I can do that 32 again – that was pretty awesome,” Lincicome said. “My dad says you can’t win a tournament on the first day, but you can lose it,” Lincicome said. “Last week, I shot myself out of first place on the first day.”

On a side note from the U.S. Women’s Open, Lincicome couldn’t fathom being 11 years old and playing in front of the huge galleries Lucy Li experienced during her two rounds. Even though Lincicome started playing competitively at the age of 9, she couldn’t comprehend handling that type of atmosphere until she was maybe in her late teens.

“That had to be a neat experience for Lucy – she looked like she had a good time and didn’t take it too seriously,” Lincicome said. “If I were that age playing in a U.S. Women’s Open, I probably would have shot 100.”

As for Michelle Wie winning her first major, Lincicome was glad to see her finally arrive. Unfortunately, that just means one more golfer Lincicome has to contend with.

“I had left the course after my final round and was eating lunch at a Chili’s – that birdie on No. 17 by Michelle was incredible because it is a very difficult hole,” Lincicome said. “It was great to see her play well.”

Ranked fifth on the LPGA Tour in driving distance at 270 yards, Lincicome’s season earnings top out at $152,008 in 13 tournaments – which places her 40th on the tour.

This weekend, she is competing at the Walmart Northwest Arkansas Championship in Rogers, Ark. The tour then takes a week off before resuming overseas at the RICOH Women’s British Open.

“It seems like the last couple of weeks, good things are happening and it’s good to see them come together on the same day,” Lincicome said. “Last week was so draining and so exhausting, so I plan to go to England early to get the jet lag out of the way. The British Open is not normally one of my favorite events because it is rainy, windy and cold for one week.

“I just need to suck it up because it would be neat to cross off one of the things on my bucket list.”