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LPGA's Lincicome stumbles early in PGA event

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Washington (AFP)

Brittany Lincicome, taking on male rivals in the US PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship on Thursday, stumbled early and struggled to a six-over par 78, leaving her in jeopardy of missing the cut.

The 32-year-old American, a two-time major champion playing on a sponsor's exemption, became only the sixth woman to start a US PGA event when she teed off at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Kentucky.

With two bogeys, a double-bogey and triple-bogey against a lone birdie, Lincicome shared 119th, last in the clubhouse, with compatriot Frank Lickliter.

Most of the world's top men's golfers are playing the British Open at Carnoustie this week, leaving lesser lights competing for the title with the most attention upon Lincicome.

Swedish superstar Annika Sorenstam became the first woman in 58 years to play in a PGA event when she teed it up at the Colonial in 2003, missing the cut. Michelle Wie later played in a handful of PGA events, never making the cut.

Lincicome began on the back nine with two bogeys and a double-bogey in her opening nine holes.

She starred with pars at 10, 11 and 12 -- the last of them on a seven-foot putt -- but found left rough off the tee at the par-4 13th and missed a nine-foot par putt.

Lincicome found a greenside bunker at the par-4 16th and could not convert up and down from 16 feet.

She found water off the tee at the par-3 18th and a bunker on her third shot on the way to a double bogey at 18, followed by routine pars at the first and second holes.

Lincicome pulled one back at the par-4 third, sinking a 30-foot putt for her only birdie, and followed with three routine pars before diaster struck at the par-3 seventh.

Lincicome missed the green and needed three more shots just to reach the putting surface, then missed a five-foot putt for double bogey.

She bounced back with a five-foot par putt at the eight and just missed a birdie putt before closing with a par at nine.

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