Golfers ready for Sour Mash

VIENNA -With jet lag completely behind her, LPGA Tour professional Brittany Lincicome can take a day for herself and her family as she returns for today’s 43rd annual Rotary Sour Mash Memorial at Parkersburg Country Club.

Several weeks after returning to the United States from her top 40 showing at the RICOH Women’s British Open, the 28-year-old golfer from Seminole, Fla., makes her sixth appearance at the Sour Mash golf event. Her visit to the Mid-Ohio Valley includes spending several days with relations. Her father, Tom, graduated from Parkersburg High School, while her mother, Angie, was raised in nearby Point Pleasant.

Following the conclusion of this morning’s golf clinic, nearly 40 family members will gather for breakfast. Then it’s time for Lincicome to showcase her talents on the links, where she has produced $5.6 million in career earnings.

“As long as they keep inviting me, I will keep coming back,” Lincicome said. “I feel honored to be a part of the event. It’s a win-win for everybody. They enjoy having me and I love to see my family. Plus, I get to spend three to four days with grandmother in Point Pleasant.”

Lincicome’s entourage will include a new face. Her boyfriend, Dewald Gouws, will experience for the first time the 18 holes of exhibition golf where Lincicome and Parkersburg Country Club PGA professional Scott Davidson hook up against a featured foursome consisting of Phi Chen, Jay Ruffing, Jeff Schramm and Matt Macatol.

Gouws was born in South Africa and is a member of the RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship. Lincicome has traveled to Gouws’ native homeland to meet his family, but it won’t be anything like what he is in for today.

“I’ve met his mom and dad, and his sister – meeting 40 of my family members will be different,” Lincicome said. “I’ll try to ease him into it. But he has no idea.

“It will be exciting to bring my boyfriend, but he has no idea the craziness he is in for.”

On the LPGA Tour, Lincicome is known for her length off the tee. Currently, she ranks third on the tour in average driving distance at 267.961 yards. For the past several years, her caddy at the Sour Mash event has been her cousin from Point Pleasant, Scott Meadows.

“I’ve mentioned to Scott Davidson that maybe we could have a raffle for my caddy and raise more money,” Lincicome said. “Normally I’m coming off the U.S. Open, so this year is different because I am not as burnt out. I’ll be able to go out there and hit far and have a good time.

“There’s not a lot of pressure, but I want to play good with so many people watching.”

Davidson has been Lincicome’s partner since she made her first appearance. Having his daughter, Lauryn, serve as his caddy creates a bond between everyone involved.

“I’ve been around long enough and not a lot excites me, but this day makes it fun – it’s my favorite day of the year,” Davidson said. “We were so blessed to have Bruce Lietzke for such a long time, then we get Brittany as she became a blossoming tour star. Plus, we get a non-written verbal commitment that she will return, which is great.”

  • Sour Mash notes: George Lantz will hit the opening ceremonial shot … As of last Wednesday, the field consisted of 28 foursomes … This year’s honoree is 1949 Parkersburg High School graduate Bob Wallbrown.