PHOENIX, Ariz. – Brittany Lincicome kicked off a pre-tournament press conference at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup with a bit of unexpected news: Two of her sponsors, CME Group and Diamond Resorts, will honor her full contracts in 2019 even though she won’t play a full season.
Lincicome, a two-time major winner, and husband Dewald Gouws are expecting a baby girl, due Sept. 1, two weeks before the Solheim Cup at Gleneagles.”
“I mean, I never thought in a million years that they would do that,” said Lincicome. “I feel so honored and blessed to be represented by two great companies that are going to do this. It’s just fantastic.”
Last year, KPMG did the same for former No. 1 Stacy Lewis. Players typically only get paid the full amount by sponsors if they meet the minimum number of agreed upon tournaments. For example, Lewis said, if she had to play in a minimum number of 20 events and played in only 10, she’d get half the pay.
Lewis was stunned by KPMG’s decision.
“They see me as a member of their team and their family and they wanted to treat me like any other female in their organization that has a baby,” said Lewis last April. “Which I was pretty blown away by, shocked to get that phone call really.”
Both Lincicome and Lewis have had extremely successful LPGA careers and aren’t stretched financially by any means. But the hope among players is that this kind of thinking catches on with other sponsors, so that players who do struggle to make ends meet won’t have to worry so much about the bottom line when they’re on maternity leave.
There are 11 moms currently competing on the LPGA. Seven babies were born in 2018.
The Bank of Hope Founders Cup will be played from Thursday through Sunday at the Wildfire Golf Club at JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Ariz.