Brittany Lincicome shot a tournament-record 64 to take a two-shot lead after the first-round of the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic.
“I was making everything, 30 footers, 10 footers, five footers. It was a pretty easy day,” Lincicome said with a smile. “I didn’t really have to make too many par saves, which was nice. And would have loved to have had a 4 on that last hole to have no 5s on the scorecard.”
Lincicome started her day by making a 30-foot putt for par to set the scene for a day where she only needed 24 putts en route to her 9-under round.
“Putting, I have no idea,” Lincicome admitted. “We play, we play little games with my husband or friends or whoever, but it’s not like I go to the putting green and work on it for hours. Like it’s just one of those things, hit or miss. Like I had a par save on 16, I did it cross-handed. I putted the last little two footer in cross-handed. Just whatever I kind of feel, I just do it.”
The six-time LPGA winner got an early jump on the 2017 season by competing in the Diamond Resorts Invitational where she competed against PGA TOUR Champions players and celebrities.
“I don’t really like to beat balls on the driving range or practice that much for that matter,” Lincicome said. “So playing in an event, obviously there’s a little pressure. Obviously it’s fun but there was still a little pressure because obviously the girls, we wanted to do really well. It was just nice to kind of get back out there and be in competition again, obviously getting ready for this week.”
While getting back into the winner’s circle for the first time since the 2015 ANA Inspiration would be nice, Lincicome has a more specific goal for 2017.
“I think it’s more like making Solheim and being like really far down on the ranking there,” Lincicome said of her 2017 goal. “Obviously a win helps that, so they kind of go hand in hand. But definitely Solheim is my focus, which I’m trying not to obviously think about because then you put more stress on yourself, but it’s hard not to think about.”
Sitting two shots back of Lincicome are Stacy Lewis, Megan Khang and P.K. Kongkraphan who each carded 66s to open their 2017 seasons.
NEW COACH PAYING DIVIDENDS FOR P.K. KONGKRAPHAN
P.K. Kongkraphan enters her fourth full season on the LPGA Tour with a new found confidence thanks to work she started near the end of last season with a new coach.
“I been to L.A. for two months to practice there and see my coach, Joe Hallett,” Kongkraphan said. “I just changed my coach. This is my I think six months.”
The switch appears to be paying off as Kongkraphan fired an opening-round 66 to sit in a tie for second at the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic.
“He just made me, how should I say, more comfortable with my swing. He never change a lot of thing but I just do what I have to do. I mean, like I don’t have to practice everything a lot. He make me like do something like drill, you know, he have a drill. Nothing changed much.”
The duo also worked on setting goals for the 2017 season.
“I set a goal with Joe. Not like top 20 or top 5, I just make like putting driving distance better, like GIR better and putting a bit better. So getting better, everything just a little bit better. That’s my goal.”
KHANG HAS FOND MEMORIES OF THE BAHAMAS
Megan Khang finds herself back in contention at the Pure Silk-Bahamas, a place where she held the 36-hole lead as a rookie last season.
“I think I just feel a lot more confidence coming here,” Khang admitted. “I know this course a little better. I just have a lot of good memories. So I think having all that behind me, that definitely gave me a lot of confidence coming in here. I know I played well here so I think that definitely helped.”
One difference for Khang, who sits at 7-under after an opening round 66, is having her father, Lee, on the bag.
“It definitely means a lot having him here,” Khang said. “I know every round I called my parents and it was just good hearing their voices, wishing me luck, so it’s good to have him here in person. Wish my mom could be here, too, but someone has to work. It’s great to have him here.”
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“We were going down at like 5:30. We were just going to play for a few minutes because none of the restaurants open until like 6:00, 6:30 and the next thing I know we were there until 9:30. I was like (John) Daly is my hero apparently. Long hitter, works for him. I’m not trying it again tonight.” - Brittany Lincicome on spending over four hours at the blackjack table the night before her first round
NUMBERS TO KNOW
64 - Brittany Lincicome’s 64 ties the second lowest score of her career; her low round was a 61 at the 2010 CVS/Pharmacy LPGA Challenge in 2010
65 - Stacy Lewis has gone 65 events without a win, her last victory came at the 2014 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship
69.33 - Lewis’ scoring average at the last three Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classics is 69.33
4 - Four Americans are in the top-7 on the leaderboard after the opening round