Lincicome emerges to take Ginn

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

By TIM REYNOLDS
Associated Press

REUNION, Fla. – Brittany Lincicome spent most of the Ginn Open’s final round stalking Lorena Ochoa and Laura Davies, waiting to see if the leaders would fold.

Sure enough, they did.

Ochoa missed a chance to pass Annika Sorenstam as the No. 1 player in the Rolex women’s world ranking, Davies couldn’t inch closer to the LPGA Tour Hall of Fame, and Lincicome reaped the benefits. She started four shots behind them, then survived blustery conditions and a six-hour round to shoot an even-par 72 and finish at 10 under, beating Ochoa by one shot.

“Third place was going to be a great score,’’ said Lincicome, the Women’s World Match Play winner last year. “I tried to stay patient and it paid off.’’

Paid off nicely, too. She earned $390,000, plus a new car, a necklace and a spa trip – something Ochoa and Davies probably felt like they needed after their Sunday struggles.

Ochoa (77) was 6 over on her final six holes, a stunning collapse. Only a win would have pushed Ochoa atop this week’s Rolex rankings (she is already No. 1 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index after passing Sorenstam last October), but the Mexican star missed a 10-foot bogey try on the final hole that would have forced a playoff.

“It’s hard to describe,’’ Ochoa said. “Not meant to be. I tried really hard.’’

Davies (79) had the outright lead with two holes to play, but three-putted her way to double bogey at the 17th and then bounced around bunkers for a disastrous triple bogey at the last. She finished alone in third at 7 under, one shot better than Juli Inkster (72) and Nicole Castrale (74).

Morning storms delayed play for 2 1/2 hours, and once the sky cleared, the wind followed. A 41-mph gust was measured in the area at mid-afternoon, and the wind steadily blew in the 20-25 mph range, causing an already tough course to nearly become unbearable.

Only one player – Meena Lee, who shot 71 – broke par in the final round.

Players backed off many putts. Ochoa stepped away from her par try at the 16th twice, the second time because her cap was about to blow off her head. And play was dreadfully slow; the leaders were out there for six hours, not counting delays.

“Tough conditions prove who’s the best player,’’ Ochoa said. “And today it was Brittany, for sure.’’

The day’s average score was 76.5, 4 1/2 shots higher than Saturday. Natalie Gulbis, who started the day tied for third and four shots off the lead, shot an 80 and finished 2 under, and 10 other players shot in the 80s.

The back nine was wild, with all three players in the final group getting some time atop the leaderboard.

Ochoa made the turn at 15 under, one shot ahead of Davies and four up on Lincicome. But Ochoa made a double-bogey at 13 and bogeys at the 15th and 16th, giving back four shots in a four-hole span, a collapse that gave Davies a one-stroke lead with two holes to play.

But Davies – who needs two LPGA wins or one more major to qualify for the Hall of Fame – wasted the opportunity.

Davies’ third shot at the par-5 17th went over the green. She chipped to about 6 feet, barely inside of where Lincicome’s third shot from a fairway bunker 95 yards away landed.

Lincicome’s par putt dropped perfectly, and Davies studied it, knowing hers was on exactly the same line. But she missed, and exacerbated her woes by having the bogey try from 3 feet lip out – making her settle for a double-bogey 7 and giving the lead back to Ochoa and Lincicome at 11 under.

“A three-putt on these greens, as windy as it is, it’s possible to do it,’’ Davies said. “But what a bad time to do it.’’

At the 18th, things got even worse. Davies’ tee shot landed in a bunker, and her second clipped the lip of that trap and landed in another a short distance ahead. She eventually made triple, her hopes of ending a nearly six-year drought between LPGA wins suddenly gone.

Just as suddenly, Lincicome – who tied for second at the Kraft Nabisco, the season’s first major – is seeing her star rising. Her photo wasn’t among the couple dozen promotional shots lining the road to the course this week, something that surely won’t be the case next year.

“Hopefully after this week,’’ Lincicome said, “I’ll see my name out there.’’

Divots: Gulbis’ 80 was costly. For finishing in third place, the spot where Gulbis started the day, Davies earned $169,557. Gulbis wound up taking home $44,916 for. a share of 11th. ... Defending champion Mi Hyun Kim shot 78 and tied for 20th at even par. ... Ochoa also finished second at the Ginn last year.

Final scores with relation to par from the Ginn Open, played April 15 at the par-72, 6,505-yard Reunion Resort & Club in Reunion, Fla. (Note: a-amateur):

  1. Brittany Lincicome, $390,000 67-72-67-72--278 -10
    2. Lorena Ochoa, $233,732 66-66-70-77--279 -9
    3. Laura Davies, $169,557 66-66-70-79--281 -7
    4. Juli Inkster, $118,370 70-71-69-72--282 -6
    4. Nicole Castrale, $118,370 70-69-69-74--282 -6
    6. Birdie Kim, $79,340 74-69-66-74--283 -5
    6. Se Ri Pak, $79,340 69-70-68-76--283 -5
    8. Meena Lee, $57,371 72-69-72-71--284 -4
    8. Hye Jung Choi, $57,371 69-73-68-74--284 -4
    8. Sarah Lee, $57,371 73-69-68-74--284 -4
    11. Carin Koch, $44,916 70-71-70-75--286 -2
    11. Suzann Pettersen, $44,916 70-69-70-77--286 -2
    11. Natalie Gulbis, $44,916 69-66-71-80--286 -2
    14. Karin Sjodin, $34,508 74-66-74-73--287 -1
    14. Seon-Hwa Lee, $34,508 71-69-74-73--287 -1
    14. Il Mi Chung, $34,508 71-72-71-73--287 -1
    14. Grace Park, $34,508 73-73-67-74--287 -1
    14. Karrie Webb, $34,508 72-74-66-75--287 -1
    14. Michelle Ellis, $34,508 71-72-68-76--287 -1
    20. Sherri Steinhauer, $27,897 74-70-72-72--288 E
    20. Stacy Prammanasudh, $27,897 72-72-70-74--288 E
    20. Jee Young Lee, $27,897 73-68-70-77--288 E
    20. Mi Hyun Kim, $27,897 68-69-73-78--288 E
    24. Ashley Hoagland, $21,840 73-71-72-73--289 +1
    24. Ji-Young Oh, $21,840 73-69-73-74--289 +1
    24. Ai Miyazato, $21,840 72-72-72-73--289 +1
    24. Amy Hung, $21,840 73-70-73-73--289 +1
    24. Paula Creamer, $21,840 74-70-71-74--289 +1
    24. Cristie Kerr, $21,840 72-72-70-75--289 +1
    24. Alena Sharp, $21,840 74-69-70-76--289 +1
    24. Christina Kim, $21,840 73-67-71-78--289 +1
    24. Shi Hyun Ahn, $21,840 70-73-68-78--289 +1
    33. Charlotte Mayorkas, $17,062 72-70-73-75--290 +2
    33. Tracy Hanson, $17,062 70-70-75-75--290 +2
    33. Laura Diaz, $17,062 71-72-74-73--290 +2
    36. Beth Bader, $14,780 73-73-70-75--291 +3
    36. Joo Mi Kim, $14,780 72-73-71-75--291 +3
    36. Gloria Park, $14,780 74-72-69-76--291 +3
    36. Allison Hanna-Williams, $14,780 73-70-71-77--291 +3
    40. Catriona Matthew, $12,796 74-72-71-75--292 +4
    40. Carri Wood, $12,796 71-69-74-78--292 +4
    40. Sun Young Yoo, $12,796 73-73-72-74--292 +4
    43. Dorothy Delasin, $10,512 73-71-71-78--293 +5
    43. Liselotte Neumann, $10,512 72-70-74-77--293 +5
    43. Kristy McPherson, $10,512 71-74-72-76--293 +5
    43. Katherine Hull, $10,512 73-69-75-76--293 +5
    43. Minea Blomqvist, $10,512 69-77-67-80--293 +5
    43. Diana D’Alessio, $10,512 70-75-74-74--293 +5
    43. Jeong Jang, $10,512 74-72-74-73--293 +5
    50. Pat Hurst, $8,318 75-68-72-79--294 +6
    50. Kim Saiki-Maloney, $8,318 75-71-69-79--294 +6
    50. Meg Mallon, $8,318 71-73-73-77--294 +6
    50. Lindsey Wright, $8,318 70-72-75-77--294 +6
    50. Angela Stanford, $8,318 76-70-72-76--294 +6
    50. Brandie Burton, $8,318 72-74-72-76--294 +6
    56. Silvia Cavalleri, $6,803 76-67-72-80--295 +7
    56. Reilley Rankin, $6,803 69-75-71-80--295 +7
    56. Virada Nirapathpongporn, $6,803 71-71-75-78--295 +7
    56. Sherri Turner, $6,803 68-73-76-78--295 +7
    56. Hilary Lunke, $6,803 72-74-72-77--295 +7
    56. Maria Hjorth, $6,803 76-70-75-74--295 +7
    62. Moira Dunn, $5,887 70-74-72-80--296 +8
    62. Kyeong Bae, $5,887 72-73-70-81--296 +8
    62. Sarah Lynn Sargent, $5,887 69-74-69-84--296 +8
    62. Wendy Ward, $5,887 74-72-74-76--296 +8
    62. Mikaela Parmlid, $5,887 75-69-77-75--296 +8
    67. Jimin Kang, $5,311 73-73-72-79--297 +9
    67. Jamie Hullett, $5,311 73-71-74-79--297 +9
    67. Vicki Goetze-Ackerman, $5,311 73-70-75-79--297 +9
    67. Tina Barrett, $5,311 69-77-75-76--297 +9
    71. Becky Morgan, $4,959 74-71-74-79--298 +10
    71. Heather Young, $4,959 70-73-76-79--298 +10
    71. Lee Ann Walker-Cooper, $4,959 75-71-74-78--298 +10
    71. Marisa Baena, $4,959 73-73-75-77--298 +10
    75. In-Kyung Kim, $4,769 69-74-77-79--299 +11
    75. Mhairi McKay, $4,769 75-71-75-78--299 +11
    77. Angela Park, $4,649 73-70-75-82--300 +12
    77. Na Ri Kim, $4,649 68-76-75-81--300 +12
    79. Jackie Gallagher-Smith, $4,530 72-74-71-84--301 +13
    79. Clarissa Childs, $4,530 72-71-80-78--301 +13
    81. Meaghan Francella, $4,414 71-72-77-82--302 +14
    81. Katie Futcher, $4,414 72-74-77-79--302 +14

Missed the cut

  1. Janice Moodie 73-74--147 +3
    83. Marcy Hart 71-76--147 +3
    83. A.J. Eathorne 72-75--147 +3
    83. Song-Hee Kim 73-74--147 +3
    83. Jill McGill 73-74--147 +3
    83. Yu Ping Lin 72-75--147 +3
    83. Sophie Gustafson 74-73--147 +3
    83. Morgan Pressel 75-72--147 +3
    83. Michele Redman 74-73--147 +3
    83. Helen Alfredsson 76-71--147 +3
    83. Paige Mackenzie 74-73--147 +3
    83. Soo Young Moon 74-73--147 +3
    95. a-Vicky Hurst 73-75--148 +4
    95. Nina Reis 76-72--148 +4
    95. Kim Williams 72-76--148 +4
    95. Karine Icher 76-72--148 +4
    95. Julieta Granada 73-75--148 +4
    95. Sae-Hee Son 74-74--148 +4
    95. Heather Daly-Donofrio 74-74--148 +4
    102. Becky Iverson 71-78--149 +5
    102. Nancy Scranton 77-72--149 +5
    102. Aree Song 73-76--149 +5
    102. Kimberly Hall 77-72--149 +5
    102. Jin Joo Hong 73-76--149 +5
    102. Kris Tamulis 77-72--149 +5
    102. Maru Martinez 72-77--149 +5
    102. Teresa Lu 76-73--149 +5
    102. Kate Golden 74-75--149 +5
    102. Leta Lindley 73-76--149 +5
    102. Johanna Head 76-73--149 +5
    113. Young-A Yang 74-76--150 +6
    113. Candy Hannemann 77-73--150 +6
    113. Brittany Lang 75-75--150 +6
    113. Dawn Coe-Jones 75-75--150 +6
    113. Rachel Hetherington 78-72--150 +6
    113. Lorie Kane 76-74--150 +6
    113. Erica Blasberg 75-75--150 +6
    120. Kelly Robbins 76-75--151 +7
    120. Soo-Yun Kang 75-76--151 +7
    120. Nadina Light 74-77--151 +7
    120. Young Jo 77-74--151 +7
    120. Irene Cho 74-77--151 +7
    120. Wendy Doolan 76-75--151 +7
    126. Ashley Gomes 79-73--152 +8
    126. Giulia Sergas 75-77--152 +8
    126. Sung Ah Yim 76-76--152 +8
    126. Kelli Kuehne 77-75--152 +8
    130. Nicole Perrot 74-79--153 +9
    130. Stephanie Louden 73-80--153 +9
    130. Christi Cano 75-78--153 +9
    130. In-Bee Park 79-74--153 +9
    134. Patricia Meunier-Lebouc 76-80--156 +12
    135. Danielle Ammaccapane 79-78--157 +13
    135. Riko Higashio 76-81--157 +13
    137. Michelle McGann 83-75--158 +14
    138. Seo-Yeon Jeon 82-77--159 +15
    139. Laurie Rinker 86-75--161 +17
    140. Nancy Lopez 83-80--163 +19