LPGA star Lincicome breaks par to cap PGA Tour debut

Washington (AFP) –


Brittany Lincicome holed out for an eagle and added five birdies in a one-under par 71 on Saturday to cap her appearance in the PGA Tour Barbasol Championship in Kentucky.

It wasn't enough to make Lincicome the second woman to make the halfway cut in a US PGA Tour event, but it improved on the first-round 78 she produced on Thursday -- when she admitted she was battling nerves as just the sixth woman ever to tee it up on the US men's tour.

"I felt a lot calmer today," said Lincicome, who never teed off on Friday as electrical storms disrupted play and wreaked havoc on an already soaked Keene Trace Golf Club course in Nicholasville, Kentucky.

Spectators weren't admitted until after 9 a.m. on Saturday.

"I think maybe because the spectators couldn't come out as much, so it was a little bit calmer feeling this morning," Lincicome said. "But my putter, obviously I was hitting it closer, which helped. And then my putter, I made a lot of really good putts, so that was nice. Nice to have a bunch of birdies today."

Lincicome finished 36 holes on five-over 149 -- twenty strokes behind 36-hole leader Troy Merritt, who managed to get his second round completed on Friday.

Lincicome highlighted her round with an eagle at the par-five 17th, where she holed her third shot.

"Oh, my gosh," Lincicome said. "It was 110 yards, which is a great little grip gap wedge.

"Right when I hit it I thought I hit it a little short. I thought it was going to spin back a little bit on me. Then when it landed I was like, 'OK, it's on top,' and then it rolled back and I was like, 'Oh, my gosh!'

"The highlight of my week," added Lincicome, who also rolled in three straight birdies on the front nine. "So cool."

Lincicome, whose eight LPGA titles include two majors, was among the leaders in the field in driving accuracy through two rounds, hitting 22 of 28 fairways. She found just 16 of 36 greens in regulation.

- A different stage -

She said her big takeaway from the week was "learning how to calm my nerves and learning about myself.

"This is obviously a much bigger stage or different stage than I'm used to," the 32-year-old said. "With a major coming up, hopefully that first tee shot I won't be as nervous. I've learned to kind of play through the nerves this week, which is great. In the future I think that'll really help me."

Lincicome played on a sponsor's exemption. She is sponsored by Barbasol's sister company Pure Silk -- which both make shaving products.

She said she wouldn't rule out tackling another PGA Tour event if she got the chance.

"Never say never," she said. "Just being inside the ropes with the guys, hitting on the range, on the putting green, it's just a cool feeling.

"The guys just made me feel so comfortable. It was a great week. I enjoyed every minute of it."

Conrad Schindler, who played with Lincicome and Sam Ryder in the first two rounds, said it was "a treat" to be paired with her.

"It's a historic moment always when we have a girl play in a PGA TOUR event," he said. "To get to have a front row seat in the group, it's a unique aspect."