Brittany Lincicome all smiles before golfing with guys at Barbasol Championship

ROGERS, AR - JUNE 22: Brittany Lincicome smiles on the second third tee box during the first round of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G at Pinnacle Country Club on June 22, 2018 in Rogers, Arkansas. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images) Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

Brittany Lincicome all smiles before golfing with guys at Barbasol Championship

LPGA Tour

Brittany Lincicome all smiles before golfing with guys at Barbasol Championship

As Brittany Lincicome walked off the podium at the Barbasol Championship Tuesday, she muttered something about that being the most questions she has ever fielded at a press conference.

This coming from a player who has won two majors. Lincicome tees off at 9:59 a.m. ET on the 10thtee Thursday alongside Sam Ryder and Conrad Shindler.

“I just can’t stop smiling,” said Lincicome, who described her experience of being involved in a PGA Tour event thus far as surreal. Lincicome arrived in Kentucky on Monday evening and played a nine-hole practice round with Monday-qualifier Domenico Geminiani, whom she met up with on the tee.

“I feel like the two of us out there were just trying to figure it out together,” said Lincicome, who noted that it felt like the young pro outdrove her by 100 yards.

Lincicome, 32, was her usual breezy self at the press conference but knows nerves will be cranking on Thursday when she tees off alongside PGA Tour players with history on the line. No woman has made the cut in a men’s professional event since Babe Zaharias did it twice in 1945, and Lincicome, an eight-time winner on the LPGA, is competing in an event opposite the British Open. This also happens to be the first time the Barbasol is being held at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Ky., which Lincicome considers an advantage even though the conditions aren’t firm and fast like she hoped.

In her nine-hole practice round, one of the LPGA’s strongest players hit one hybrid and one 5-iron for her longest approach shots. She won’t be able to reach the par 5s in two, saying she’d need to make birdie the old-fashioned way.

At last week’s Marathon Classic on the LPGA, where Lincicome lost in a playoff, she admitted to shaking like a leaf down the stretch.

“This is like my 14th year as a pro,” she said. “You would think that would be way gone and I’d know how to handle it.”

The key, she said, will be to take some deep breaths “and not pass out” on the first tee. She’ll rely on caddie Missy Pederson to help keep her calm.

Lincicome said she has heard nothing but well wishes from her competitors this week on the range and in player dining. LPGA friends Kris Tamulis and Emma Talley plan to be there in person to support Lincicome. Her mom and husband drove six hours Monday night after missing a connection flight to be there for Tuesday’s practice round.

Lincicome warmed up for the event by competing in the longstanding Rockford (Ill.) Pro-am alongside male Tour players. She shot 5 under with a three-putt on the last hole from around 7,000 yards in Rockford, and told her twitter followers that the Barbasol will come down to handling the nerves.

She thought about calling Annika Sorenstam before Round 1 to ask about blocking out the media. (No offense, she told assembled scribes.) Of course, the player with the most experience playing against the men is Michelle Wie. Lincicome tried to talk to her about it last month but said she was no help, saying it happened too long ago.

“Obviously I’ve heard many times it would be cool to be the first woman to make the cut in a men’s event (since Zaharias),” said Lincicome. “Just going to roll with it and see what happens.”

Latest

More Golfweek
Home