LPGA veteran Brittany Lincicome's goal is to win, of course, but for different reasons than at the start of her career
THE WOODLANDS, Texas — Brittany Lincicome’s newest ball marks remind her of her most significant remaining LPGA Tour dream. Using one with the name Sophia on it Thursday, in honor of her 8-month-old daughter, she’ll rotate to one engraved with Emery, her eldest daughter’s name, on Friday. Both were in attendance as Lincicome posted a two-under 70 at Carlton Woods Thursday, putting her in contention for her first major title since the 2015 ANA Inspiration, the former namesake of this tournament.
“I could retire I think today or Sunday [if I won],” Lincicome said. “It would just be so cool to have them run out on the green. You know, we see it on the PGA [Tour] all the time. You know, seeing the kids run out and give their dads a hug. So I think that would just be so cool.”
The eight-time LPGA winner’s world has substantially changed since her last win at the 2018 Marathon Classic. During Lincicome's opening round, she wore a plain, white hat, striking for a two-time past major championship winner not to have sponsorship. Lincicome joked that she's open for business, hoping someone would call and offer one tomorrow.
"I was going to put like 'your name here,' but I thought I would just do it blank," Lincicome said.
Yet the two-under 70 at Carlton Woods was her first under-par round at a major since the second round of last year’s Chevron Championship. Part of the rejuvenation came from reflection. The 37-year-old focused on remembering some of her best major moments to conjure up a solid first round at Carlton Woods.
“Just thinking back and replaying those shots in my head,” Lincicome said. “Like, you've hit those shots before. Let's take those into this week. Just gives you a little bit more confidence.”
Lincicome entered this season understanding her ability may no longer be there. A 19-year veteran, she told Golf Digest back in February that if the year doesn't go how she wants, she may retire to spend more time with her kids. Early returns weren’t promising. Lincicome made one cut in her first two starts, a T-68 at the LPGA Drive On Championship a month ago.
The importance of parenthood to Lincicome was visible when her father was the first person she cited when noting Carlton Woods might fit her game.
“My dad always says I play better when I'm in the rough or in the trees because then I just have to focus that much harder,” Lincicome said.
She explained the keys to that success, from the clutch 10-footers she made to save par, the challenge of birdieing only one par 5, and closing with two birdies over her last four holes.
Those put her in contention to enter rare historic air at the event. A third victory would make her tied for the most wins at the 52-year event, joining tour legends Amy Alcott, Betsy King and Annika Sorenstam. With the $765,000 first-place check, she'd become the 25th player in the LPGA's history to earn $10 million or more in her career.
But instead of those potential accomplishments, she dreams of the emotions of having family by her side if she wins.
“I just, I would love to win any tournament and have my girls out,” Lincicome said.