NICHOLASVILLE, KY – Brittany Lincicome sat on a stone wall outside the clubhouse at Keene Trace Golf Club and answered questions her fans submitted on social media. Which PGA Tour player is your favorite? Which would you most like to be paired with? Those were some of the questions fans asked about Lincicome’s unique opportunity to compete this week on the PGA Tour at the Barbasol Championship.
While Lincicome took questions, Davis Love III walked by on his way to the practice area. Immediately afterwards, the two-time major champion asked her team if she had time to swing by the range, so she could watch Love. That’s much the same reaction that everyone else has had about Lincicome being in the field this week in Kentucky. Everyone wants to watch her.
“I think everyone would like to see her do well,” said Neal Conrad, a member at Keene Trace Golf Club who watched Lincicome’s practice round Tuesday.
Volunteers who marshaled holes along Lincicome’s practice round shared the same sentiment, as they turned from their posts at the first hole to watch her tee off at the second. They’re expecting big galleries for her this weekend.
The excitement about Lincicome’s participation is a welcome change from previous years when some women who competed on Tour faced criticism and backlash from their male counterparts. In 2018, Lincicome is welcomed by both fans and players.
“All the guys on the putting green, in the lunch room, everyone has been super supportive, which is great,” Lincicome said about the reaction she’s received on-site. “They're all like, ‘It's great that you're here. Thanks for coming.’”
Tuesday morning, Lincicome arrived at Keene Trace Golf Club for the first time. She warmed up on the range with her caddie, Missy, and husband, Dewald, and then headed to the first tee. Ahead of this week, Lincicome said she really didn’t know any PGA Tour players other than Martin Piller, husband of the LPGA's Gerina Piller. But Lincicome quickly made a new friend. On the first tee she linked up with Domenico Geminiani, who shot a 66 on Monday to qualify for this week’s event.
“It’s great,” Geminiani said about Lincicome being in the field. “I think it’s great for golf."
The Tuesday pairing was an ideal one. Geminiani is playing in just his second PGA Tour event this week and Lincicome in her first, which made each feel more comfortable exploring Keene Trace for the first time together. They talked about their preferred social media accounts and Geminiani posted on Instagram a photo with Lincicome during their round.
“I think she did really well to be honest with you,” Geminiani said after nine holes with Lincicome. “She’s a good person as well. She’s a great golfer, but more important a great person. That’s the most important part.”
Lincicome quickly won over Geminiani as she’s done so many fans on the LPGA Tour. Tuesday, she grew that fan following. She stopped between holes to sign autographs and take photographs with junior golfers following her round. Her hope of inspiring them was one of the main reasons she agreed to competing on the PGA Tour.
“If I can inspire one child to pick up the game of golf and want to play, I feel like my job as a pro has succeeded,” Lincicome said.
Her fans are returning the favor this week with an outpouring of support that will buoy her in her pursuit of history, as she becomes just the sixth woman to play in a PGA Tour event. Friday, she could become the first woman since Babe Zaharias to play the weekend.
“I think everyone backing me will help me play better,” said Lincicome.
They’re all happy she’s here.