After a very successful (albeit, slightly disappointing) week, in which Brittany Lincicome lost in a playoff at the LPGA’s Marathon Classic in Ohio, she is now on her way to Kentucky, to compete in the PGA Tour’s Barbasol Championship.
In doing so, she will become the first woman in 10 years to accomplish the feat, and just the fifth in PGA Tour history.
Michelle Wie, Annika Sorenstam, Suzy Whaley, and Babe Zaharias were the other four; Babe the only one to make the 36-hole cut. That was 73 years ago. Essentially, making the weekend would mark the first time in modern history that a woman has done so.
Is that Brittany’s goal? Has she spoken with Michelle or Annika? Is she doing anything different?
I was in Ohio for the Marathon Classic this past week, and Brittany was kind enough to grant me some time to ask her those questions, and elaborate on how everything came together.
On playing on the PGA Tour next week
A: I think I’m just going to go out and have fun with it. I don’t get to hit too many drivers this week to practice, but, you know it’s my favourite club in my bag, so I think I’ll be alright.
Q. Is this course a good set-up for you to prepare for next week?
A: Absolutely not. I think I only get to hit three drivers out here, but you definitely have to keep it straight and in play. So, if anything, I’m working on consistency, and hitting my targets. When I do miss a few greens, it’s fun to try to get it up-and-down, because I’m sure that will happen a few times next week.
Q: Do you get nervous just thinking about it?
A: Super nervous, but excited for the challenge. This is just another exciting thing that I get to try, and I’m just looking forward to hitting some drivers and trying to keep up with the guys.
It actually happens every week, the nerves, which is super funny. It usually takes me about three or four holes to calm down, and just kind of feel what the golf swing is going to do that day. It will probably be the same with the men’s event; take three or four holes to get into it, and then I’ll be fine.
Q: How did it all come together?
A: Tom Murray, the Owner of Barbasol and Pure Silk, called me a couple of months ago and was like, “Hey, I’ve got a sponsor exemption at The Barbasol, I’d love if you would accept it.”
So I thought about it for a day or two, and finally told him yes. It was kind of out of the blue, it wasn’t something I went looking for. He just kind of called me, and I’m very grateful.
Q: Is it something you’ve ever thought about? We’ve seen other golfers do it in the past.
A: Yeah, it’s always kind of been in the back of my mind, but never did I think I’d actually have the opportunity. I’ve never told my agent to pursue it, or go find someone to let me do it, so when it came my way, I was excited, but super nervous. Obviously I’ve seen Annika and Michelle do it, and everyone always says I can be the first one to make the cut. I’m trying not to put pressure on myself, but that would be pretty cool.
Q: Have you done anything differently in preparation for next week?
A: I’m not really a big “practicer” anyway, but we have so many weeks of LPGA events, that it’s hard to do anything different in those weeks. And then when I’m not on Tour, I put the clubs away and take some time off. Last week I was home and I played golf just one day. So when I play at home, I always play from the back tees anyways. So I guess, I’m kind of sneaky preparing; but not really. Yeah, it’s just going to be hitting a lot of drivers, maybe a couple of extra hybrids. And I’m praying for no rain (laughs).
Q: How are things coming with your game?
A: Oh, pretty much the same. I did a lot of fishing last week, and playing here at the Marathon Classic, getting ready for it. But it’s pretty much the same. I’m trying to take it as a normal event and not putting too much extra pressure on myself.
I’m praying for no rain. That’s about it though. But I’m just going to go and have a good time.
Q: Have you sought any advice from the other girls who have played on the PGA Tour?
A: Not really. Michelle (Wie) said she doesn’t really remember too much of it, because she was so young when she did it. I do have good intentions of calling Annika (Sorenstam). I have her phone number. Just more mental advice. I obviously can’t prepare too much because it’s a week away, but just maybe how to calm the nerves. I’m going to be super nervous.It’s going to be like Lizzie Win playing in this event and trying to hit that first tee shot. That will be me in the men’s event next week.
Q. So are you going straight to Kentucky after you wrap up on Sunday? Or what are the plans?
A: Right after I finish, I have to go to Chicago for an outing that’s on Monday. Then I’ll get to Kentucky Monday night.
Brittany Lincicome is an eight-time LPGA Winner, including one this season at the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic, defending her title from the previous season. She has five top-10’s this year, and at almost 270 yards on average, she sits 10th in LPGA driving distance. The 100th ranked player in driving distance on the PGA Tour, Kevin Streelman, averages roughly 296 yards off-the-tee.
The course Brittany, and the rest of the field, will play on this week, is Keene Trace Golf Club, which measures out to 7328 yards. Last week’s LPGA course was around 6500. That being said, Brittany wasn’t able to utilize her length due to many of the holes not being Driver holes. Despite that, she got into a playoff and finished in second place. So, clearly there is more to her game than distance.
It will take that game being all systems go, for her to make an impact over the weekend, but if there is any one from the LPGA that can do it, she would be right near the top of the list. She will certainly have the strength of the whole golf world pulling for her to do just that.