Brittany Goes Back-to-Back
Sunday, Brittany Lincicome successfully defended her title at the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic. The win marked her eighth career win on Tour and first time she has defended a title. She won at 12-under par, two-strokes ahead of Wei-Ling Hsu. Amy Yang and Shanshan Feng finished T-3 at 9-under par.
“My putter has been phenomenal these last three days,” said Lincicome, who averaged 28 putts this week. “I had so many great par saves and so many good birdies coming in, and I knew it was going to be tough competition playing the girls I was playing against, but by far, my putter, I don't think I've putted that well for a long time.”
Lincicome, who is famous for loving to sleep, had to wake up at 5:00 a.m. in order to complete her second round, which had been suspended for wind and eventually darkness. She rebounded from an opening round 74 with a 67 to surge into contention. The move put her in the final group that teed off at 1:07 p.m. local time, putting players in a tight position to complete their third and final round before sunset at 5:51 p.m.
Mother Nature stole headlines the first three days of the Tournament. Extreme winds forced the suspension of play for the entire day on Friday with gusts upwards of 40 mph. The event was reduced to 54-holes and players tried to play catch-up on Saturday and Sunday. Calm conditions made for perfect scoring conditions Sunday as players raced to finish before dark. A 25-minute backup on the par four, 16th hole during the final round put the last group on the 18th green as darkness fell over the course. Determined to finish the round, Lincicome ran off the 18th tee box to try and beat the sunset.
“When I birdied 17 it was free reign, there was no way we weren’t playing 18,” said Lincicome. “When we had a little bit of daylight, you saw us running, which I don’t run. I was trying to run off the tee to get to the fairway as quickly as possible to hit the shots as quickly as possible.”
Floodlights were brought in to allow Lincicome to savor her win under the big lights.
For the second consecutive year, Lincicome used the Diamond Resorts Invitational as a springboard to her season. The charity event, played two weeks before the season-opener, proved to be a perfect tune-up for Lincicome as she went on to win the first event of the year for the second straight year. Brooke Henderson finished as the low LPGA player at the Diamond Resorts Invitational with a top-10 that put her ahead of more than half the PGA Tour Champions players in the field. Henderson finished solo seventh at the event, giving her a confidence boost heading into the Bahamas. She held the lead in the Bahamas throughout the week, but struggled during Sunday’s final round. Her putter let her down as she missed four birdie opportunities on the front nine alone. She settled for a third round, 72 and finished ninth for the week