MOONLIGHT MAGIC FOR LINCICOME
Brittany Lincicome used every minute of daylight – and more than a few of moonlight – in taking a hard-fought victory at the 2018 Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic at the Ocean Club Golf Course on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. As the sun set on her two-stroke lead over Wei-Ling Hsu, Lincicome striped her tee shot down the fairway of the par-5 18th hole and jogged her way in, joined by playing partners Shanshan Feng and Amy Yang.
“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.”
Ahead on the green, Hsu, who held the lead for much of the inward nine before making a costly bogey on No. 17, made a birdie to cut Lincicome’s lead to one. With the moon overhead, and several light banks brought in to further illuminate the green, Lincicome had two putts for par and the victory. She only needed one, draining a birdie for a two-stroke victory and a successful defense of her 2017 title.
This win was even more special for Lincicome thanks to the impact Pure Silk has had on her career. In 2009, Lincicome became the first player that signed an endorsement deal with Perio Inc., which owns the Pure Silk and Barbasol brands. Nearly 10 years later, some 30 professional golfers on the PGA and LPGA Tours represent the two brands, and Pure Silk, led by CEO Tom Murray, has been an LPGA title sponsor since the inaugural Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic in 2013.
“I teared up on the green when I talked about Tom Murray and his family,” said Lincicome, who also burst into tears when handed a celebratory phone call from her husband, Dewald Gouws. “They’re just incredible people, and we are so honored to have them on the LPGA Tour and to be sponsors of mine.”
HSU BREAKS THROUGH FOR CAREER-BEST FINISH
Wei-Ling Hsu kicked off the 2018 season in the Bahamas with a career-best second-place finish, two strokes behind champion Brittany Lincicome. Hsu posted a 10-under 203 and played the final round with Lexi Thompson (-7, T6) and Spanish rookie Luna Sobron Galmes (+1, T41).
“I was very happy by my performance this week because my low ball wasn’t playing that great all the time,” said Hsu, whose previous best finish was eighth at the 2015 Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic, during her rookie year. “It looks like I did pretty well this week. I got to play a lot of low shots playing into the wind.”
Despite that career-best showing, Hsu feels as though she still has work to do. “My putt[ing] today was so great but still had three short misses,” said Hsu, who will next tee it up at the 2018 ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open. “I thought it was in, but it circled around and jumped out. Probably not my time.”
RACE TO THE CME GLOBE STANDINGS
With her win, Lincicome begins the 2018 LPGA season atop the Race to the CME Globe standings with 500 points.
CME GROUP CARES WEEKENDS EAGLES FINAL UPDATE FOLLOWING THE CME GROUP TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP
CME Group Cares Weekend is a season-long charitable giving program that turns eagles into donations. For each eagle recorded during weekend play (Saturday and Sunday) throughout the 2018 LPGA Tour season, CME Group donates $1,000 to the program’s total donation count. At the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship, the stakes are even higher, as the donation has been raised to a generous $5,000 per eagle. The money raised will go towards a charitable pool and be split evenly between Wounded Warrior Project® and Bright Pink®.
The weekend at the Pure-Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic saw two eagles, one apiece from Nicole Broch Larsen and Carlota Ciganda. That translates to $2,000 raised on the year.
With her win at the 2018 Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic, Brittany Lincicome has now won an LPGA event in seven different seasons since her rookie year in 2005.
Lincicome has played in this event every year since 2013 and has four top-10 finishes, including her two wins.
An American player has won the season-opening event on the LPGA in three of the last five seasons (2014, 2017, 2018), with Korean players capturing the first event of the year in 2015 and 2016.