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April 5, 2015

Brittany Lincicome


THE MODERATOR: Good evening, everyone. We'd like to welcome the 2015 ANA Inspiration winner, Brittany Lincicome into the interview room. Brittany, first off, what a shot on 18 to hit in close for an eagle. When you hit that shot, were you thinking 2009 all over again when you saw it roll in, and did you have a good feeling about what might be to come after that?

BRITTANY LINCICOME: I did. This time it was only a 5-iron, last time it was a hybrid, so it was nice to have a shorter iron into the green. But when I hit it I was like I have no idea where I am in the tournament again. I didn't look at the leaderboard, so I wasn't sure. So I just told my caddie just aim it at the middle of the green, if it slopes, we're just going to deal with it, because it was one of those very level kind of days. It got breezy a couple holes there towards the end. So I thought pars were really good. So I hit the shot and I saw it rolling and thought. Okay, we have a chance. Then when I got to the green, I saw 9-under on the board, but I was trying not to look again. So I knew I needed to make it, and my caddie just said you have one goal, and that is to get it to the hole, and I did.

THE MODERATOR: That was a pretty decent jump too by the way. Are you excited to see that replay afterwards?

BRITTANY LINCICOME: No, because Morgan redid it for me on the putting green when she was shagging chips for me, and apparently I got that far off the ground.

THE MODERATOR: It was still impressive. Brittany, I was there just last year when you lost in a playoff to Inbee Park, and I know how tough that was at the time. But does this mean almost a little bit more having gone through that experience in a major, losing in a playoff and coming back and having another win here where you won just a few years ago?

BRITTANY LINCICOME: Absolutely. I lost to Inbee. I hadn't been in that position in so long. I just wasn't playing that great. So I just took from that that it was nice to be in contention again. It was nice to have a chance to win the golf tournament again. Just didn't let it get to me. Misty and I, my caddie have been together for over a year, year and a half now. We've been close so many times, and it's just one of those where don't let it get to you. We'll just keep feeding from it and something good is going to happen. Lo and behold here, 2009 I won on Easter Sunday, and today is Easter Sunday, so it's pretty crazy to think about.

THE MODERATOR: Playing in a playoff against anyone is difficult, but when it's against one of your really good friends and you guys go hole after hole, was it only fitting that you had to go a few holes and battle it out to determine a winner?

BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah, especially because it was getting dark, and I was like, gosh, you know. My caddie we were talking about she wanted me to hit 3-wood into the green one of the times and I was like, no, my wedges are good. We're just going to lay it up and let the wedges do all the work. To be against Stacy who, A, is a good friend, and, B, is a tremendous competitor. She's always right there coming down the stretch on Sunday. So to be in a playoff against her, I knew I had my work cut out for me. It was obviously seeing her bogey that hole was not the way we wanted it to finish, but congrats to her. To be in a playoff anyway in a major is pretty incredible.

Q. I remember when you won it a few years ago and how excited you are. Talk about doing it twice. I mean, you said that was one of the ultimate goals you had and you've done it twice now. How amazing?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: It's pretty incredible when you think about it. I mean, to make eagle on any hole is pretty incredible, and then to do it on Sunday at a major, at this major where I did it in 2009, it's really surreal. I feel like if you would have bet me all the money in the world to see how many times you could do it, if I went back to the fairway now I probably couldn't hit that shot again. So like I said earlier, today was my day. Somebody was looking out for me today.

Q. So you knock it on the green in two in regulation, and all three times in the playoff you don't go for it. Obviously, the first time you were in the left rough. Was it just that the conditions had changed or you weren't quite where you needed to be?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Conditions were night and day different. When we even played 12, 13, 14, the wind switched so many different times out there during the course of the actual round, it was incredible. I'd be like okay, it's left to right, and my caddie would be like, nope, it's right to left now. It was really crazy. So the playoff hole first couple times I didn't drive it to the fairway, and the next time I did. I was 250, 220 to the front, and prior to that I was 170, so the conditions got colder outside. It was actually more into the wind than I hit the 5-iron the first time. It was down and into the wind and everything was fine after that.

Q. You've been very open to this point about the nerves that you've battled. Can you describe your evolution on that front? Is it better now, how has today helped?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I would like to tell you it's getting better, but Juli Inkster told me a long, long time ago if you're not nervous, you're not human. But I try to take it as a good thing that you're nervous. I mean, if you're not nervous, I don't feel like you really care. So for me, I don't know if you saw it, a couple times I brought my water bottle on the green with me and was trying to take some nice, slow, deep breaths and slow my heart rate down. Even after I won, I was talking to Jerry Foltz, and my hands were still shaking tremendously. The putt was done and the tournament was over, and I was still nervous. I think it's just a part of it. Just taking some deep breaths and drinking some water trying to slow my heart rate down a little is how I handle those nerves. I guess it's working because I made the putt again.

Q. Speaking of nerves, I saw your fiancee, his hands were shaking a little bit. A different place in your life now with this win. What did it mean to have him here to be able to experience that leap with you?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I mean, it's incredible to have anybody in your family there when you have a win. My dad was here, and De was here, to have him be here to do this wonderful tradition of jumping into Poppie's Pond, I couldn't have wrote it any better. It's pretty incredible, A, that he was here, and B, that he got to jump in the pond with me. There are no words. Thanks for sticking it out and coming out this week. He definitely helped me get through the week. When I saw him in the crowd, it always put a smile on my face.

Q. What was your yardage with the 5-iron in regulation?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: It was 172 to the front. I think it was 190 pin.

Q. When you won the last time you played alongside another good friend in Kristy McPherson. Did that help that you and Stacy are friends to calm your nerves a little bit or make you feel more comfortable?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: No, I was still super nervous. I know how Stacy plays. She's such a fierce competitor, and that's just the way she does it. It obviously works out very, very well for her. Somebody else asked me earlier, you were high-fiving the crowd and you seemed very smiley, but that's just the way that I handle the nerves. I knew it was going to be tough. It was nice have been somebody there that I knew. We didn't do too much chatting, unfortunately, but it was great to have a friend by my side even though we were there to win and do what we do.

Q. The first robe that you got, where's that? And this one is worth a little bit more money, do you wear the first one? Will you wear this one? Is it hanging somewhere?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: No, the first one is in a shadowbox at my parents' house hanging on the wall. We had it framed and it does not get worn. But this one being a little more expensive, I should definitely take better care of this one. But I should wear it. I'm not an expensive kind of girl, so I'd probably wear it. Wear it to the beach, wear it fishing. Maybe I'll wear it fishing.

Q. It will be a good fishing outfit and keep you warm on those cool days?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: In Florida when it's 100? (Laughing).

Q. There was no reason that you couldn't be standing on that green holding the trophy today. What was it that put that kind of confidence new? Is it your history on this golf course? Is it what happened at the LPGA last year?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I think it's just the golf course. The golf course sets up so well for my game. I've been looking forward to this week since the start of the season. The first couple of events I don't feel like the golf courses really fit my games particularly. So we've really been waiting for this tournament to come around. I didn't drive it as well today as I felt like I had the other days. But kept it in play, didn't hit any out of bounds or in the water hazards or anything. So I guess pulling from past experience on this golf course as well helped me pull it out today, I guess, and the fans out there are so helpful. They're always cheering for you and rooting you on, which gives you that extra encouragement.

Q. It seems like a lot of times the cameras caught you frustrated during the course of the day. Do you remember different moments? You only had one bogey, but did it feel like a frustrating day until 18?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I definitely didn't drive it well. I felt like I was in the rough a lot today. But I've been told that even when I bomb it 300 yards down the middle, I have all the negative reactions. I'm like a perfectionist, and I want to hit it absolutely pure every time, and if I don't, I don't always have a smile. So I wasn't hitting it that bad by any means. Especially, when it got windy, my goal was to make par. I was doing that, no problem. I didn't have too many long putts that I had to make to save par. So overall, it was a pretty smooth, stress-free kind of day until I got to 18 every time. But I think it's just my reaction, normally, I'm weird. I don't know.

Q. Has the 18th hole become kind of a special place for you to travel? Do you just -- have you always liked that hole or not?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I think just being a long hitter, obviously, I've come to like that hole, especially when the tee box is moved up and I can go for it in two. It's nice though because I feel like the first couple years we were here that those grandstands were back of the water hazard, and now if you blow it over the green, it hits the grandstands and you get a free drop. It's just a little chip shot. So I don't feel it's as hard as it used to be. It's just a perfect hole. You land it on the front, it takes that little slope, and I don't think my ball knows anything else other than that to do. It's done it twice now, so it's pretty incredible.

THE MODERATOR: Good pin placement for you. I noticed that right away when I looked at it this morning. Brittany, congratulations. Sixth career victory, second major championship. I'm sure this one is very special, and we all congratulate you here.

BRITTANY LINCICOME: Thank you very much.
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