LPGA professional Brittany Lincicome hits from a greeneside bunker at the eighth green during a practice round for the upcoming Women's US Open at Lancaster Country Club on Tuesday, July 7, 2015.

Nerves aside, Lincicome relishes Open challenge

Posted: July 8, 2015 12:31 am

Each day, Brittany Lincicome receives a different batch of cookies from her host family during the hard-swinging American’s stay in Lancaster for the U.S. Women’s Open.

Peanut butter cup cookies were on the menu Tuesday, as the 29-year-old tried to keep things light before the tournament’s Thursday tee-off.

“Even on the range,” said Lincicome, a two-time major winner with six LPGA Tour victories under her belt, “I’ll still be listening to music, having a good time, trying not to take it too serious yet.”

But come 1:58 p.m. Thursday, when she tees off alongside Hyo Joo Kim and No. 1-ranked Inbee Park, Lincicome expects the country music to fade as her concentration ramps up.

“That first tee shot,” she said, “the nerves all kind of settle in at once. You get super nervous, and then it’s like the worst shot in the history of tee shots.”

Lincicome owns six LPGA Tour wins, including the ANA Inspiration title in April, when she outlasted fellow American Stacy Lewis in a playoff. Her 2015 campaign also includes fourth-place finishes at the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic and the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, and she enters the U.S. Open ninth in the world rankings.

“My driver’s been on lately,” Lincicome said. “I’m hitting it far and keeping it in play, which really helps. A couple years ago, I was hitting it out of bounds or in the hazards. The last couple of years, I really haven’t done that, which is nice.”

Lincicome tested her driver through nine holes of practice at Lancaster Country Club on Tuesday afternoon, paired with Anna Nordqvist, Kris Tamulis, and Ilhee Lee, and accompanied by her fiance, Dewald Gouws — a fellow long-driver from South Africa.


Day 2 of practice with my buds @a_nordqvist @kktamulis @ilheelee


A photo posted by Brittany Lincicome (@brittany1golf) on

“If you keep it straight and hit it on the fairway,” Lincicome said of Lancaster Country Club, “you’re going to have a chance to score because the rough is really, really thick. I found that out a couple times today, and it’s not fun.”

Throughout her practice round, with the “worst shot in the history of tee shots” two days away, Lincicome found ways to maintain a light mindset under the hot and humid July sun. While walking the fairway on the ninth hole, she stopped to sign autographs for two girls holding flags at the ropes.

Earlier in the day, Lincicome provided signatures and greeted fans in the air-conditioned merchandise tent, a reprieve from the heat and a treat for what she called a larger-than-average crowd for a Tuesday.

“The first gentleman gave me some tips on where to eat,” Lincicome said. “A couple people talked about fishing because I like to fish. There are a couple good ponds around here.”

Lincicome said she doesn’t expect to do see much of Lancaster’s fishing ponds or other attractions this week, but she might extend her subscription to her host family’s cookies if she finds herself in the hunt for the U.S. Open Championship in the tournament’s latter stages.

“Just the name of it,” Lincicome said of the U.S. Women’s Open, “just representing your country and coming to this event, it’s obviously much bigger than others. And one that, when you’re a little kid, you dream of winning some day and holding the trophy. So it’s definitely on my bucket list to get a win before I retire.”

Tim Gross is an LNP sports writer. Email him at TGross@lnpnews.com, and follow him at @TimGrossLNP.