Lincicome to defend title at Pure Silk LPGA Classic

BRITTANY Lincicome will defend her title against 107 other players when the sixth Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic kicks off the LPGA season January 22-28 at the Ocean Club Golf Course at the Atlantis resort.

Lincicome was surprised when she learned that her 26-under 266 total in last year's Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic was one stroke shy of the LPGA scoring record in relation to par.

"I birdied the first playoff hole. Do I get credit for that?" she asked with a laugh.

No, but she did get credit for the victory, her seventh in her LPGA career. And she did take home $210,000 for her first win in 44 starts. That she needed a playoff was another piece of an amazing narrative last year at the Ocean Club Golf Course, as fellow American Lexi Thompson also completed 72 holes in 266 amid a week of scoring records.

A Pure Silk ambassador, Lincicome two-putted from 20 feet for birdie at the par-5 18th hole, the first hole of a sudden death playoff, and then watched as Thompson, third-round co-leader with Stacy Lewis, missed a tying birdie try from 12 feet. Lincicome, 32, of Seminole, Fla., improved to 3-8 in playoffs in her career.

"It was awesome. First tournament of the year, you never know how it's going to turn out," Lincicome said. "Shooting that many under par, I didn't think I could do that. I didn't know I had that many birdies in me. I proved a lot to myself that week, and, obviously, I had a good playoff hole against Lexi.

"I know my playoff record wasn't the best, but anything can happen," Lincicome added.

"It was nice to hit some good shots and get the win. And it was super cool to win for Pure Silk. It is special being a part of the Pure Silk family."

Lincicome got off to a hot start last year, opening with a record 64, and the race was on.

She followed with an 8-under 65, highlighted by an ace at the par-3 12th hole. The tournament became a sprint to the finish that Lincicome eventually won, marking her third straight top-10 result in the event. "For me, the key was hitting it close and making some putts here and there," Lincicome said.

"I did not have a lot of expectations going in, because I really don't like to practice a lot. I figured whatever happened, happened, but I did know I was playing pretty well and I got off to such a great start and I figured I'm in the Bahamas, it's my sponsor, lets enjoy the week, and the bonus was playing really good golf for four days."

Those feel-good memories could make for another fun week.

"It was definitely a great confidence boost," she said. "I can pull from a lot of great shots. I will reflect on making all those birdies and knowing that I can do it. If nothing else, I'm going to have a great mindset coming back, for sure."

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