by Jeff Skinner
By anyone’s standards Brittany Lincicome plays a long game. She drives the ball a ton and represents her nickname well. “Bam Bam” Lincicome leads the LPGA in driving distance at 276 yards and she used it to her advantage this weekend as she won the ShopRite LPGA Classic just outside of Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Lincicome played nine par fives during the three round tournament and was nine under par on those nine holes. That made up the bulk of her eleven under par score that was enough to beat world number three Jiyai Shin and number four Cristie Kerr. Her final birdie on the eighteenth hole gave her a one shot victory.
The win was the first for Lincicome since her 2009 Kraft Nabisco and her fourth overall. 2011 had been an off year until today as she had only managed one top ten, a T2 at The LPGA Founders Cup.
It was a tough day for Kerr as she started the day with a one stroke lead over Catriona Matthew but her closing 69 wasn’t good enough. She had a chance to tie with an eagle putt from off the green at eighteen but it came up short and she tied for second with Shin.
Lincicome’s critical shot of the day came from her wedge not her driver. When her approach to the final hole ended up in the greenside rough she needed a good chip. She came through with a clutch shot leaving a four foot putt for birdie and her margin of victory.
“Yeah, everything kind of fell my way. It was clearly my week. Everything that progressed today. I started on fire. I made an eagle. I made some birdies. Kind of halfway until the end I left everything short. I got really tight, really super nervous. Couldn’t seem to get a putt to the hole and nothing was really happening. It was kind of boring.
So I don’t normally look at leaderboards, but I look to the leaderboard on 18 tee. So I knew I was tied. Then I got to 18 tee 1 ahead. Then I knew when I got to 18 green and Jiyai Shin was 10-under, and I’m like, oh, crap. So I’m in the weeds, like in the bushes, tied for the lead, and I’m like, oh, gosh, this is not where you want to be. But clearly, again, it was just my day. I mean that chip shot I could go out and hit a whole bucket of balls and not get it within five feet like I just did. So that putt and chip were equally as hard and I was shaking like a leaf.”