WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Team Brittany. The Killer B’s.
By any moniker, Team USA’s Brittany Lincicome and Brittany Lang are having a blast playing four-ball and leaving European opposites in their wake at the Solheim Cup.
Lincicome was the alpha player Saturday, reeling off six consecutive birdies to open the match against plucky Carlota Ciganda and Mel Reid. Despite the burst, the Americans could only muster a slim edge through six holes.
“I had the six birdies in a row and I finally looked over at the leaderboard, and we were only two up at that point,” Lincicome said. “And I kind of felt deflated. I felt like we were doing so well to only have been two up. It was really strange feeling.”
Strange would turn to spectacular with the U.S. answering every Euro flurry, prevailing 2 up in a thrilling afternoon opening match. Team USA finished at 12 under, Team Europe 10 under. Both squads did their best to turn Des Moines Golf and Country club into an aviary, caging nine birdies apiece.
Birdie wasn’t good enough for Lang. She kicked things up a notch, holing her lob wedge from 86 yards at the par-4 seventh hole for an eagle. Hugs, fist bumps and an impromptu dance party broke out in the fairway.
“Every time I start a Solheim Cup, I always hope I have a really memorable moment, like a hole-out or a chip-in or a long putt because it’s the coolest atmosphere we ever experience, the most fun days you’ll ever have,” Lang said. “It was right at it, one-hopped in, and I just went nuts. And there’s my cool moment I want to remember.”
Reid stubbornly battled back with a birdie at the eighth to pull the Euros again within 2. They got within 1 at the 10th behind a Ciganda birdie. But the U.S. remained unflappable and showed the gumption to slam the door on their guests.
They jammed a few Euro fingers and toes before completing the task.
Lincicome and Lang both stuck their tee shots at the par-3 14th, a kick-in birdie rebuilding the U.S. advantage to 2 up.
Reid again countered with birdie at 16. Lead down to 1.
Lang finished it, coolly cuddling her approach from 180 yards at 18 and tapping in for the final birdie and the match.
“It was incredible,” Reid said. “They just played phenomenal golf.”
Two four-ball matches in Iowa, two victories for Lincicome and Lang. They took down Caroline Masson and Florentyna Paker 3 and 2 on Friday, combining for eight birdies and a Lincicome eagle.
The American duo is now 4-0 all-time in Solheim Cup four-ball play and a big part of the reason the U.S. holds a commanding 10½-5½ edge heading into Sunday’s singles matches.
The secret to their success? The Brittanys, close friends on and off course, play loose and interact freely with the overflowing, jacked-up gallery. They coach each other up. They laugh while they’re working, yet show the focus to finish.
“I’m drinking vodka-cranberry and she’s drinking Pedialyte,” Lincicome said. “We balance each other. She’s hydrating and I’m doing the opposite. I think we just have a good time out there. Neither one of us is technical. So we’re just feel players; we go out there, we feel our way around the course. She hits a cut; I hit a draw. I’m just trying to pump us both up, saying two balls in play, two balls on the green. Anytime you have two shots in play, two partners in play, your chances are obviously a lot better.
“We just feed off of each other’s energy so well. We finish each other’s sentences and we ham-and-egg it really well. She said I carried her all day, but I couldn’t have done it without the shot she hit on 18. That was amazing.”