NASSAU – Brittany Lincicome is the first winner of 2017 on the LPGA Tour.
Sunday, Lincicome defeated Lexi Thompson with a birdie on the first extra playoff hole at the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic for her seventh career win on the LPGA Tour. The win is her first victory on Tour since the 2015 ANA Inspiration.
“Just the leaderboard all week has been amazing, obviously a lot of Americans up at the top, obviously friends of mine, so to come down to the final stretch, I played with Lexi yesterday, and it was an awesome day,” Lincicome said. “I worked hard this off‑season. My putting hasn't been as well as it has this week, but hopefully that continues and it's awesome.”
Lincicome carded a final round five-under par, 68 to finish the week at 26-under par, one-stroke shy of the 72-hole scoring record in relation to par. Thompson posted a final round three-under par, 70 to tie Lincicome at 26-under par. Thompson failed to get up and down from behind the green for birdie to extend the playoff. But after the work Thompson put in over the last two months, Thompson was happy with the results on Sunday.
“This whole off‑season, I swear I putted two and a half hours each day, it seemed like,” Thompson said. “I was just doing nonstop putting drills just trying too get my confidence up, and it showed here. It's paying off. I'm going to keep working extremely hard and stay confident with it.”
Five Americans topped the leaderboard on Sunday. Behind Lincicome and Thompson are Stacy Lewis in third at 25-under par, Gerina Piller in fourth at 24-under par and rookie Nelly Korda in fifth at 21-under par.
After calm conditions that allowed for record scoring for the first three days, wind and rain moved in during the final stretch which created a late challenge that shook up the leaderboard. Tied at 26-under par after 72-holes, Lincicome and Thompson returned to the par five, 18th for a playoff. Lincicome started the day two-strokes back of 54-hole leaders Stacy Lewis and Thompson. She carded a 5-under par, 68 on Sunday to move into a share of the lead with Thompson at 26-under par. Thompson came to the par 5, 18th hole with an opportunity to win but found the greenside bunker. Thompson’s wedge came up well short of the hole and she two-putted from there for par to force a playoff with Lincicome.
Stacy Lewis held a share of the lead when she arrived at the par four, 14th hole. But Lewis caught a bad break when her second shot from the rough hit a palm tree and then bounced off the cart path and into a landscaped area. As Lewis tried to bounce her ball off the cart path back into play, she caught the curb and her ball bounced back into the landscaped area.
“I mean, there's not much really I could have done better other than hit a better shot from the second shot,” Lewis said. “But other than that, I was telling Travis, we made 30‑something birdies this week and playing some good golf, so I'm pretty happy with it. “
Lewis carded a final round two-under par, 71 to finish third – her 28th top-10 finish since her last victory in 2014.