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LPGA star Brittany Lincicomi is approaching the Barbasol Open like ‘any other event’

Brittany Lincicomi will become the fifth female to play in a PGA Tour sanctioned event when she competes in the Barbasol Championship set for July 16-22 at Champions at Keene Trace in Nicholasville. (LPGA Photo)

By Keith Taylor
Kentucky Today

Not many women have played on the PGA Tour and it’s been a decade since Michelle Wie competed in the John Deere Classic.

Brittany Lincicomi will become the fifth female to play in a PGA Tour sanctioned event when she competes in the Barbasol Championship set for July 16-22 at Champions at Keene Trace in Nicholasville. She was offered — and accepted — an exemption to play in the $3.5 million event by Tom Murray, president and CEO of Perio.

Lincicome, 32, is a regular on the LPGA Tour, has captured eight events in her professional career, including two major championships and won’t be intimidated when she steps on the first tee with the guys at Champions Trace next month.

“I try not to put too much pressure on (playing in) big events,” she said. “I never go (to a tournament site) early. I Try to treat them as normal tour events. I will try to treat this like any other event.”

Lincicome admitted there will be a higher degree of uncertainty considering she has never competed against men in a tour event.

“When we first started talking about this, my first reaction was that I was so nervous,” she said. “I feel like people are expecting me to do well, and I am expecting myself to do well. I just want to go have fun.”

She added the pressure likely will be similar to the goosebumps she experiences before the Solheim Cup.

“It’s just a different pressure than I’m used to,” she said. “I feel like people will be rooting for me to do well — expecting me to do well — I want to do well for everyone watching.”

Not only was Lincicome and her caddy — Missy Pederson — excited, but her colleagues on the LPGA Tour were equally happy to see her name among a list of players who will be competing in the four-day event, held on the same week as the British Open Championship.

“Everybody that came up to me when I was passing them in the locker room or when I was on the putting green (during the U.S. Open at Shoal Creek), they were all super-excited for me,” she said. “It was wonderful having my peers wishing me good luck.”

Lincicome isn’t worried about the course distance, which will play somewhat longer than she’s used to on the LPGA circuit. The Par 5 holes will be longer and the Par 3s will also take more iron work in order for Lincicome to reach the greens off the tee box.

“I’ll be the one hitting the longer irons into the greens, and the guys will have the wedges,” she said. “It’s going to be Interesting to see it a little bit reversed, when I’m used to being the longest hitter. … “As long as (the course) stays around 7,000 yards and it’s not super wet, the distance shouldn’t be that big of a problem.”

Lincicome is expecting a warm welcome when she visits the Bluegrass, her first trek on a Kentucky Course since she played in Ashland in 2001.

“I’m not trying to compare myself with the guys, or compare our games. I just want to go out there, have a good time and have a fun week.”

She may even consider wearing University of Kentucky attire in order to gain more support during her visit on the third week of July.

“I would be more than happy to do that,” she said. “The more fans I get, the better.”

Keith Taylor is sports editor for Kentucky Today. Reach him at keith.taylor@kentuckytoday.com or twitter @keithtaylor21.

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