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July 17, 2018
THE MODERATOR: All right, we will go ahead and get started. Like to welcome Brittany Lincicome here to the 2018 Barbasol Championship. Thrilled to have you here, being just the sixth female to participate in a PGA TOUR event.
You bring all kinds the credentials with you: Eight LPGA Tour wins, six Solheim Cups, and a near miss last week.
With all that said, just some thoughts on being here this week.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I'm super excited. I mean, I've always thought it would be cool to play in a men's event, but never did I think I would actually have the opportunity.
To be playing in the practice round today, hitting on the driving range, it's kind of like surreal. I just can't stop smiling. Just a cool kind of week to be here. I can't wait for Thursday.
THE MODERATOR: You've had a chance to see the front, nine so far, I believe.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Uh-huh.
THE MODERATOR: How does it set up for your game?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: It's great. I was hoping for firm and fast, but obviously that's not going to happen.
But it is what it is, you know. Really wasn't that long today. Obviously the par-5s won't be reachable. Just got to make birdie the old fashioned.
Par-3s a little bit longer, but thank goodness nothing like crazy. All in all, keep it in the fairway and I think I'll be all right.
THE MODERATOR: And my final question before we open it up. Are you the type that comes in with a set of expectations, or are you more of a let's just see how things unravel?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I feel like that's kind of my strategy right now. Obviously I've heard many times it would be cool to be the first woman to make the cut in a men's event, but just going to roll with it and see what happens.
Obviously I'm going to try to have a good time with it. I mean, this is literally a once-in-a-lifetime probably, a one-and-done opportunity, and I'm just going to enjoy.
Everyone so far has been super great. Everyone is coming up to me and introducing themselves and wishing me luck, and that really means a lot.
THE MODERATOR: With that, we'll open it up for questions.
Q. What sort of feedback have you gotten from fellow golfers, the public about, about the step you're taking?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah, it's been amazing. When it got told at the U.S. Open that I was playing, I mean, all the girls in the locker room, everyone from my tour was awesome. They were wishing me luck, saying they were going to watch me play, and that was really cool. I knew they would be rooting for me, but I didn't know if they would be vocal and come actually tell me that.
Everybody has been awesome, and already have gotten a few text messages today from some of the girls and other friends. Everyone on social media has been awesome as well. It's great. You never know how they'll handle it, but I haven't had to block anybody and everybody has been very nice. (Laughter.) Because I will block.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: You know, I've heard that from a few LPGA girls. They're like, If anybody can do it it's you. You're just so relaxed and you never seem nervous. I promise you, even last week in Toledo I was super nervous.
But, yeah, she was great. It's great have so some friends coming out and supporting. I have other LPGA friends flying in to come watch me play, which really means a lot.
So to have everyone's support, hopefully get the crowd's support and everything, I think everyone backing me will help me play better.
Q. You talk about the support you got from the girls on the LPGA Tour. What's it been like with the guys out here so far?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah, it's been great. I've met so many guys out there. I played with a guy out there today, Dom, who Monday qualified, which is pretty awesome. I feel like the two of us out there, we were just trying to figure it out together, which was nice. We were talking a bunch and trying to figure out where to hit it on the course, which was great.
But, yeah, all the guys on the putting green, in the lunch room, everyone has been super supportive, which is great. They're all like, It's great that you're here. Thanks for coming. I was like, Thanks for having me, you know.
Yeah, it's really great.
Q. How do you feel about men and women competing on the same field, especially younger age groups, too? What are you thoughts on that?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I think it's great. I had to play on the boys' golf team when I was younger, and back then, 14, 15 years ago, there wasn't as many girls as there is now that played, so for me back in the day it was great because the guys were better, their games were better, and it pushed me to want to be better.
So I think playing with the guys, even this week, I'll learn a few things. I can take things from this week out into my LPGA events. I think it'll help my game for sure.
I think playing with the guys is awesome.
Q. What do you think they can learn from you?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Oh, man. Hmmm. I don't know, I'm pretty chatty out there.
Probably more like not so much the golf, but like what kind of snacks do I have in my bag, how many fish have I caught recently. Maybe lighten up a little bit on the course. When I hit a bad shot I try to still be chatty and not too uptight about it.
I don't know, maybe they can learn that.
Q. I know you've only been here today, but have you had an ah-ha moment where you realize that this is a different atmosphere from the LPGA Tour...
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I mean, even just driving in, you know, going past the cop coming in, I'm shocked. He like looked at me and he goes, Yeah, go. I was like, Oh, okay. Obviously everyone knows I'm here, which is great. I haven't had to be like, Oh, no, I'm actually playing in the tournament. Everyone has been super welcoming. It's great.
Going to the driving range hitting golf balls next to the guys, I was trying not to get in anybody's way. But just everyone has been so great. It's really nice to see.
Q. (Regarding Brittany being one of the nicest people you will ever meet.)
BRITTANY LINCICOME: She lies. No.
Q. Where do you get that demeanor from and have you always been that way?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I think I have always been that way. My upbringing with my parents, you know, just maybe them back in the day, but I don't know.
I'm just a people person. I love talking and being chatty. The more I'm chatting on the golf course actually the better I'm playing, so I kind of use that to my advantage, whether it's with the fans or the standard bearer, or the walking scorer that day, whoever wants to talk to me really.
But, yeah, I think it's just the way I play. I play better when I'm chatty.
Q. (Regarding distance.)
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Correct.
Q. How do you try to compensate for that? What are your expectations on what you could do?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah, you know, it was funny. At the U.S. Open Danielle Kang came up to me and she was like, Now you're going to know what it feels like to be me, you know, when she was hitting hybrids and I was hitting short irons into the greens.
I kind of felt that today. The gentlemen I played with, Dom, he was outdriving me by 100 yards it felt like.
Yeah, it is what it is. I'm obviously going to have longer clubs than I'm used to. I think if I can keep it in the fairway, I mean, really my longest iron into a green was a 5-iron on the front nine. Actually I hit hybrid into 9, I'm sorry. But that's only one hybrid. Its really not that bad, and 5-iron is one of my favorite clubs, so that's okay.
But, yeah, just the par-5s, won't be able to get to the par-5s. Have to lay it up to my favorite number, make birdie, and take advantage of those holes for sure. Keep it in the fairway.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: She was working for another player who was retiring, and I wasn't happy with my caddie at the time. So I've actually had a lot of female caddies over the past. Just feel like I work better with a female caddie; I can relate better, I can maybe tell them all about my problems. They can just relate better being a girl.
But, yeah, we clicked right away, and I couldn't imagine, especially being here or any other week, without her. She really calms me down when I need it and talks me through shots, especially like chip shots around the green.
When I'm feeling a little nervous I can ask her opinion. She tried to play for a year so she knows how to play golf, which helps. Yeah, our chemistry, if I would've had her my rookie year we would probably be together still to this day.
Q. Would you like to see more men and women play at the professional level more, and why?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I think you said that earlier and I totally missed it. Yeah, we had JC Penney Classic, the mix team, way back in the day. They canceled it right before I came on tour, but I used to do the standard bearing for that event when I was a kid.
I always thought it was so much fun how they interacted playing a mixed team event. I actually got to be the standard bearer for Laura Davies and John Daly. That's probably why I like hitting it far now.
But, you know, I would love to see more of those events. I did this event in Rockford on Monday, and that's the closest we get to the PGA guys. I got to play four holes with a couple of the guys, which was super fun.
So I would love to see more of those, and I know a lot of my LPGA friends would like to see more mixed team, because it's just really fun. We never get to see the guys. We're in Florida, they're in California. They keep us really far.
Q. Who were the men you played with?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I knew you were going to ask that. Troy Merritt, David Hearn, Kevin Streelman. I think that was it. I think then we had an amateur.
Q. What if anything did they say to you about this week?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Not much. Just wished me luck. I think that's about it, yeah.
Q. One last thing. Will there be one part of your game that will be a sign on Thursday that you're playing well, like one thing that might be clicking that would tell you everything is going to be fine?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I would say if I drove it well it would make for an easier day. Which driver is my favorite club, so I don't foresee that being a problem unless I try to over hit it, which is very possible.
Yeah, it's golf. Literally I can -- you can have like the worst days but you scrape it around and shoot a great number and makes it seem so easy, and the next day super hard. So it is what it is.
But, no, I don't really think so.
Q. Have you talked to Michelle or Annika about what this might be like?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: You know, I played with Michelle in Arkansas a couple weeks ago, and she was not very helpful. Said she couldn't really remember it was so long ago. I.
Do have Annika's number. Her husband was gracious enough to give he her number, and I just haven't had time to call the her yet. Maybe I'll do that today.
Obviously I didn't have time to prepare. I literally got invited just a couple months ago. Just more I wanted to ask her about the mental side of it. Obviously that first tee shot and first couple holes I will be super nervous.
Just kind of how she blocked out -- no offense to you guys -- but obviously there will be a lot of media attention and following me on my first couple rounds. Just how she kind of blocks that out and plays through that would be my biggest question for her.
Q. During the practice round there were several young women, and you could see they were looking at you with awe in their eyes. Do you feel like this is a great opportunity for you to inspire?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Absolutely. I actually met a dad and daughter at the U.S. Open this year that said they were coming out. I saw the dad today, but the daughter unfortunately got sick. He brought a photo that we had taken so I signed it.
But, I mean, playing in this event is just great for stuff like that. If I can inspire one child to pick up the game of golf and want to play, I feel like my job as a pro has been succeeded.
To influence any child is pretty cool to be in the position we are, so any time I see kids I always try to give them a ball or a glove or make sure I sign their autograph. That might be that one autograph that will bring them back next time, and that's a pretty cool feeling.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I said that earlier in my Facebook live thing. I would love to go ride a horse. I'm guessing somebody can probably make that happen around here.
Then I just saw an PGA guy that travels with his fishing hole pole. Maybe go fishing at a pond maybe. But my week is so busy that I probably won't get to do any of these fun things, but that would be really cool.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah, so Tom Murray called me, the owner of Barbasol Pure Silk. He was like, I have a sponsor invite. I would love for you to accept it. Literally was like speechless. I was like, Wow, it's crossed my mind, but I never actually would've gone out looking for an opportunity like this.
So definitely took me a couple days to kind of make sure it was the right thing for me to do, make sure there was no negatives. My caddie was 100% in from day one. She was like, Absolutely we're going. Why would we not?
Talking with my family and everybody there was only positives. Yeah, it took us a couple days, but wasn't that long for me to be like, Yep, I'm in. (Laughter.)
Q. What are your expectations for this week?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: You know, I would obviously love to shoot under par, around par. I think that kind of goes hand in hand with making the cut. Obviously I've heard many times I would be first LPGA or female person to make the cut in a men's event.
Trying to block that all out and just go out and play and have fun and play my own game and not be too tense or uptight about it.
I think if I can do that and take a few slow breaths and not pass out on the 1st hole, I'll be okay. (Laughter.)
Q. (Regarding everyone playing course for the first time. )
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah, I think that's huge. That's definitely going to be helpful because obviously nobody is going to know the greens that well or maybe where to miss it as much.
I think everyone playing it for the first time yesterday or today is definitely an advantage. Yes, for sure.
Q. What do you do to try to get rid of some of the nerves?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: You know, if I knew that that would be really helpful. Juli Inkster told me years ago that if I wasn't nervous I wasn't human. If I wasn't nervous that obviously I didn't care and I was just going through the motions and didn't want to be out here anymore.
Even last week playing the 18th hole and then that putt I was shaking like a leaf. Literally this is like my 14th year as a pro. You would think that would be way gone and I would know how to handle it.
I just take a lot of deep breaths, maybe take two extra seconds to kind of calm myself down before I go hit the shot. There are a lot of deep breaths. Maybe drinking some water and my caddies basically telling me you're ridiculous and I need to relax.
Yeah, the first three or four holes I'll be a nervous wreck for sure.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah, absolutely. I wish I could have hit more drivers lasts week. I think I only got to hit two or three each day.
Definitely got to work on the wedges. If I happen to miss a fairway here and need to layup or anything, I hit my wedges really well and my putter was working pretty good last week.
Finishing second at an LPGA event with how strong the competition is these days is really a good motivation in helping me come into this week.
I played really well last week, and taking a lot of positives. I think I only had three bogeys all last week, which is pretty awesome.
Q. What's been your experience so far with Kentucky hospitality?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: It's been pretty awesome. I literally just got in like at midnight last night, but everyone at airport last night was super friendly; all the volunteers I've met so far here all have been welcoming. Thanks for coming; we're happy to have you.
So, yeah, I can't wait to kind of explore maybe this afternoon and actually get to see a little bit of it.
THE MODERATOR: Well, Brittany, we sure appreciate you coming in, and all the best this week.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Thank you very much.
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