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Lincicome more than just a big hitter

You’ve got to like Brittany Lincicome — after all, she hits the ball farther on average than most good male players. As well, she’s approachable and friendly. PGA Tour pros often sulk after a mediocre round; a few years back I was in London for the Canadian Women’s Open, and when Lincicome came off the course and I asked her for an interview.

“Go ahead,” she replied.

“Right here?” I asked, noting we were standing paces away from the 9th hole and in the midst of the crowd.

“Sure. Why not?”

With that, we had a good conversation. She was friendly, confident and smart. Most PGA Tour players would have retreated with their agent to somewhere more discrete — not Lincicome.

Yesterday she won the CN Canadian Women’s Open amid rain and nasty wind, with Canadian caddie AJ Eathorne on her bag.

“It’s really funny being from Florida where I think I’ve been through one hurricane my whole life and I come to Canada and I’m in the midst of Irene,” said Lincicome.

“We all knew it was going to come through. We were hoping with the earlier tee times that Irene would come through later in the afternoon and we’d get nine or so holes in before the rain game. But it’s not our luck when you play an outdoor sport.

“There are days like this I wish I was a professional bowler, or something that was an indoor sport,” she said.

When I interviewed her five years back, I thought Lincicome had her own way of thinking and these remarks from yesterday prove it:

Lincicome said she sang country and western songs to keep herself composed throughout the final round and not once did she look at the scoreboard because it would have made her “too nervous.” Nor did she let weather conditions affect her.

“It just shows how much patience I had to have to today,” said Lincicome, who took home $337,500 with the win. “I’m growing as a golfer, I guess. If this happened a couple of years ago, I’m not sure I would have handled it the same.” (source: Randy Phillips)

I’d like to say I was ahead of the curve in my interest in Lincicome a few years ago, but truthfully I was just impressed by how far she hit the ball. Anyway, here’s my interview with her from that time:

LONDON, ONT. – She may hit the golf ball as long as many PGA Tour professionals and she might be coming off the biggest win of
her life, but Brittany Lincicome is already looking to a time when golf is not her focus.

Her aim is to make enough money playing golf that she no longer needs to play the game.

“I love the game, but I want to do other things with my life,” said Lincicome, 20, after finishing her round at the CN Canadian Women’s Open yesterday at even par. “I want to get married and I want to have a family. There’s more out there than golf.”

In fact, Lincicome recently told the USA Today that her goal was to win enough money to spend her days fishing and playing poker. Her
comments are not that surprising considering the past decade of her life has been entirely focused around the game of golf.

Lincicome started playing when she was nine years old and she won 60% of the tournaments she played as a junior. She broke onto the
LPGA Tour last year, making 12 of 20 cuts and largely flying below the media focus on the Paula Creamer, Morgan Pressel and Michelle
Wie.

That changed a month ago when Lincicome finished seventh at the U.S. Women’s Open, then won the HSBC Women’s World Match Play
Championship. The victory brought Lincicome US$500,000 and pushed her into the Top 10 on the Tour’s money list and ahead of many of her youthful peers.

But even prior to winning, Lincicome had become known for her massive drives. She averaged 270 yards off the tee last year, and is
hitting the ball 280.3 yards this year. Yesterday, she regularly outdrove playing partner Lorie Kane by more than 30 yards and,
occasionally, she was more than 60 yards past the group’s third player, Seon-Hwa Lee. The difference in length meant that Lee was
hitting woods into greens while Lincicome was using short irons and wedges.

“It is fun to play with these girls that bomb the ball,” Kane said. “[Brittany] hits it a ton.”

Lincicome does not possess what most would describe as a perfect technical swing. She drives at the ball with a long, looping swing
that creates tremendous lag, meaning the hands lead the clubhead through the hitting zone.

Despite her length off the tee — her average drive is longer than Canadian Mike Weir, for example — *Lincicome* has no plans on
following Michelle Wie onto the PGA Tour. Until she can regularly beat Annika Sorenstam, there is no point in trying her hand against
the men.

“Maybe one day,” she said. “But not any time soon.”

Yesterday, with her round over, there were other things to think  about, like a fly-fishing lesson in the Thames River that runs
behind the 10th hole.

“Today’s the last day they are giving lessons and I’ve never done it, so I’m going to take advantage of it,” she said.

For Brittany Lincicome, there’s more to life than golf.

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Jeff Lancaster

Jeff Lancaster is the Publisher of CanadianGolfer.com.

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