November 17, 2020
Belleair, Florida, USA
Pelican Golf Club
THE MODERATOR: Happy Tuesday everyone. Welcome to the virtual media center at the Pelican Women's Championship presented by DEX Imaging & Konica Minolta here in Belleair, Florida.
Without further ado, we were joined by St. Petersburg native, Brittany Lincicome. Brittany, thank you so much for joining us today.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Thank you for having me.
THE MODERATOR: The first ever LPGA tournament was the Tampa Open in January 1950; the last time the tour played in Tampa Bay area was 1989.
You're a native here. You know the area quite well. How good is it to have the LPGA back in Pinellas County for the 70th anniversary season?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: It's so cool. You think of Florida you think of golf and it goes hand in hand. Why we don't have more events in Florida I don't know. We're getting more which is great.
Obviously this one being 40 minutes from my? House couldn't be more perfect. This golf course too is absolutely outstanding. I played it when I was younger when it used to be Bellevue, and now it's the Pelican. He's just elevated it to another level, and it's such a treat for us to get out there and play this golf course. I can't wait.
THE MODERATOR: Born and raised in the area. Just reflect on your junior career. What do you remember growing up and learning the game of golf in this region?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: That was too long ago. I just remember growing up and playing with my dad and two older brothers. I thought it was so cool to follow them a little bit. They were older, and just being with them on the golf course it was the greatest thing. Driving the golf cart when I was nine obviously helped. I just fell in love with it right away.
Just something about it. I picked up the game naturally, easily, and quickly and then just kind of progressed to there to a few junior tournaments and then went outside the state and it just kept going and here we are today.
But junior golf was the best. It was just hanging out with other kids on the golf course. There was nothing better. I still love going to see juniors clinics and seeing the kids out there. They're always smiling and having a good time, and that's how I try to play golf nowadays, just kind of like my ten year old self.
THE MODERATOR: That's a good way to do it. Do you remember the first course you consistently played at in this area, or even if you can remember the first course you played at?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah, I think it was Bardmoor or East Bay. I feel like I played both quite a bit. Probably more Bardmoor. I remember being on the range. I had pictures of myself in overalls hitting golf balls on the driving range. I don't know who thought that was okay.
But, yeah, just like you said, I grew up here and played all these golf courses so many times. It's just a great place to grow up. I love it. There are so many golf courses. They're all so different. They all offer different things and it's really cool.
THE MODERATOR: I read a story about several years that you were a standard bearer for the JC Penney Classic. Kind of a real first taste of professional competitive golf. What memories do you have from that experience?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Gosh, there are so many. I absolutely loved that event. I really wish we still had it on tour. I remember being inside the ropes with those pros was the coolest thing ever. I did it so many years in a row that I got to pick which groups I wanted to do the standard bearing for, so I always picked John Daly and Laura Davies because I loved to see them hit the ball as far as possible.
On Sunday I got to pick one of the lead groups and go out with them just to see the greatest golf. That's kind of I feel like what got me to where I am today, wanting to turn pro and doing this for a living.
That event definitely I remember being a kid getting autographs, like we see kids out today. That really meant a lot to me to have those pros do that, and made me want to turn pro one day.
THE MODERATOR: Off the course you have many passions. One of the greatest is fishing. How often do you get out? What's the biggest fish you caught? Any recent stories from the boat perhaps over the last three-week break?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Gosh, the weather has not been very cooperative, and then obviously the hurricane that just came through last week really messed up the water. This cold front is making it a little bit more challenging as well.
Mel Reid and Angel Yin, we were all supposed to go fishing this past weekend. Hopefully we are going to go after this tournament and try to get some chinook, trouts, reds, those are always fun to try to (indiscernible).
Biggest is honestly can't weigh it it's so big. I think it was around 350 pounds. It was a Goliath Grouper. I literally want to go out and catch Moby Dick every time I go fishing. My husband wants to catch dinner. We're a little bit torn in our house, but I just love going deep see fishing.
The further the better. You never know what you're going to see. One day we might see some turtles or some stingrays, Manta Rays, sharks. Literally the sky is the limit. I think that's what so cool about it.
Your phone doesn't work 30 miles offshore. It's just you and the water and how the clear the water gets. Obviously you got to go a lot further here in the Tampa Bay area to see clear water and get to deep water. You can go 30 mills and not be very deep.
So just to go offshore I think it's the coolest, and just like I said, you never know what you're going to see.
THE MODERATOR: So many unique creatures. Perhaps one of your greatest passions is giving back to the community of St. Petersburg. Your fundraising efforts through Brittany and Friends.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah.
THE MODERATOR: Share what this specific program has meant to you and what your goals have been to help impact the lives of young aspiring golfers with the First Tee of St. Petersburg.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah, originally it was just getting more kids involved with the game of golf. The area that we're in there is a lot of children who's family can't afford it. Golf is expensive.
It was just a way to get more kids involved and get more kids out there. Like I said earlier, just seeing a kid on a driving range or hitting a ball for the first time and seeing how excited they get when they do something good, there is nothing better.
But now obviously we have grown and we have some scholarship programs. It's just the first -- it just teaches so many different things. Golf is kind of what gets them out there, but the game teaches so many life lessons and so many wonderful things of how to be respectful and being accountable and just everything the game has to offer. It's so great.
So I think this was our 12th or 13th year. We were going to do it again in January. I was a little bit nervous with COVID if people were hesitant to come out, and we already have 29 teams signed up.
So doing really well. It's obviously our biggest fundraiser for the kids, and every dollar goes back to the kids. I can sit here and I know firsthand being on the board that we're really changing lives and it's a really special thing.
THE MODERATOR: There is no doubt golf fans will get to see adorable Emery this week. How often will we see her out here at Pelican Golf Club, and what has life been like for you preparing for golf events while also fulling motherhood duties?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah, definitely a little bit more of a juggling act. Okay, I can't just go on a whim and play a few holes of golf or practice. I have to obviously make sure -- my mom and dad live 20 minutes down the road, so they've been a huge help watching her if I want to go practice or go do something, so that is great.
But it's cool to -- like yesterday she came out and I just did some practicing on the range, so she was helping me hit some balls and then helping me hit some putts. I think a few people saw on social media. Yeah, it's so cool. When she sees it on TV now she literally starts clapping. So I'm trying to associate like mommy plays golf, and so it's really cool to see her brain working and processing everything.
She'll probably be out tomorrow for the Pro-Am, and then I still don't know tee times yet, but I'm sure she'll be out couple days here on the weekend hopefully.
Again, she's so great. She'll go 18 holes and not make a peep the whole time, maybe take a few cat naps out there. She loves being out there and riding around in the stroller and just watching.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up for questions right now.
Q. Can you talk about the challenge of this golf course and then just kind of its reputation since it's been redone in the Tampa Bay area?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah, so there is definitely some long holes. Some 420 yard holes, so you definitely got to take advantage of the shorter holes and be more conservative on the longer holes. There are only two par-5s, which if you know me is a little bit disappointing. I want every one to be a par-5. One of them is definitely reachable; the other one is a little bit iffy.
I don't to say this golf course is easy, because it's not easy by any means. But from tee to green it's very generous. With the fairways being pretty big, there is not a lot of hazards, not a lot of out of bounds. But the greens are going to be where every player will struggle for sure.
If you haven't been out here yet, there is elephants buried everywhere. There are multiple tiers on some of the holes. We're looking at 18, but it doesn't even tell you how bad some of the greens are out there and how big they are.
To go out and play your practice round, you're going to spend probably 20 minutes on every green just trying to chart it. I was kind of telling my caddie it's kind of like the U.S. Open where you have to be very specific which tier you want to end up on and where you want leave the ball, because you could have 30 feet but might be on the wrong tier and have to putt uphill or downhill.
It's going to on very challenging on the greens for sure, and I'm sure -- I played with some members on Sunday and the greens were a little bit slow, so I'm guessing they're going to be a lot faster come Thursday.
Q. And then just the reputation of the course since it's been redone and how it's changed. You didn't play here too often when you were a kid, did you?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: No. The layout of the holes from what I remember is pretty much the same. 1 still goes this way, 2 still goes this way kind of thing. Definitely taken out some trouble spots, but like I said, the greens are totally different and definitely not what they used to be back in the day when I played it. I remember taking golf lessons ones this driving range with a female instructor. It's definitely different, but the layout is the same.
So it's kind of the same but it's different.
Q. How old would you have been for the lessons?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Oh, gosh, like 12 or 13.
Q. So just I wanted to ask about 2020 because we all know what type of year it's been. But golf has almost been like people could get out and play. We've seen more people getting out. You mention young people and how important it is to want to promote the game. How do you think maybe golf has been different than other sports this year that has allowed people to get out and enjoy the game and for you to keep your skills up as well?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah, absolutely. I think golf has been a release for most people just to go and be able to social distance yourself and go out and play a round of golf. Our home club at Pasadena we have dividers, plastic dividers in the carts so people can ride. When this whole thing started and everybody had to take their own golf carts, but now there are dividers so you can share carts.
But I think they have 120 rounds on Saturday. Like it is so busy. The golf course is always so busy. But even back when COVID started think it was great for people to get out. You can walk if you really were worried about COVID and you didn't want to take a cart and be next to somebody.
Golf gives you the opportunity to walk or take a cart. Like you said, just to be out in the fresh air and social distancing yourself, golf has definitely been a huge help for a lot of people to get out. Maybe people that didn't really play golf before, when COVID hit and there wasn't a lot to do, I feel like a lot of people are picking up the game.
Q. And just I know you mentioned having your daughter running around and being out there. Being a parent but being a professional in this year for anyone, no matter what they do is difficult. Finding that balance, how was that, and just being able to get your work in but being also to maybe enjoy being at home a little bit?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah, I said that kind of when this whole pandemic started early in the year when we thought, Oh, it might be a week or two or we're skipping Thailand, Singapore. Great. We have Emery. We're going to get to spends so much time with her. And then the more weeks that went on, the more months that went on, my husband and I are so blessed to have her.
Literally I don't know what we would've done with our time if we didn't have her. Now when we look back she's such a blessing. We watch every move she makes and we joke like what did we do before her. Did we just sit on the couch and stare at each other? We probably watched maybe more TV. Maybe went to dinner more.
But now we don't go to dinner and we love being in and cooking with her and spending as many minutes as possible with her before she has to go to bed. When she goes to bed, we look at each other and say, Should we go wake her up so we can hang out with her a little bit longer. It's definitely a balance.
My parents have been so great. They're watching her today. My husband is at work. So it's definitely been a huge blessing to have them and it's made it pretty easy to balance being a mom and being able to work on my game as much as I need to get ready for the next tournament.
Q. I just want to ask you, not to say that you've been around for a long time or make it seem like you're a wily old veteran, but how does it feel to be in that position and being a mentor to the younger players, and especially those that are up and coming from the Tampa Bay area and Florida?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah, it's really cool. I was getting my nails done this morning and the lady next to me was asking what I do. I told her I played golf professionally. She said, how long have you been a pro, and I said 16 years, and she looked at me like you're not old enough to be a pro for 16 years.
I said obviously thank you very much. But, yeah, it's crazy to think that I am a veteran and been out here as long as I have. Literally feels like yesterday that I was trying to get my tour card and make it to the LPGA. To be out here this long is really cool, and to help that next generation of kids, anybody in the Tampa Bay area. In our club we have a lot of junior clinics and I try to hang out with the kids as much as I can and play them, or if they have questions.
We have an eight year old little boy right now whose dad wants to go to dinner so he can pick my brain on what path he needs to take. Obviously there is no secret recipe and there is no one right way. There are a lot of different ways, especially since he's only eight years old.
But it's cool to try to help them as much as I can to maybe put them on the right path to turning pro one day. Even at the end if it's just a high school thing or a college thing, golf is such a great sport that I hope every kid picks up the game.
Q. I also had to ask about the tournament without fans. You got the great course, incredible field. Looks to be just a terrific event. To not be able to have fans experience this live, what is your feelings about that?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: It's such a bummer, especially being in any backyard. Obviously I have brothers and family members. I wasn't sure if my husband was going to be able to come out because we only get two people and I registered my mom and dad. We're trying to still work on getting my husband out.
It's such a bummer to be in area. Everybody loves golf around here. At our club all the members are asking, Can we come out and watch? How do we get tickets?
It's just unfortunate that COVID is still going on and that they can't experience this. Like you said, this is such an amazing event. It's such a beautiful golf course. So many people don't get out here and see it because it's private. A lot of people haven't been able to play it yet. So to be able to come out and watch us play and see the golf course is really just a bummer that they can't do that. It's really unfortunate.
My family doesn't get to see me play that often, and to have this event 40 minutes from our house is just a bummer. But it's on a schedule for next year, so we'll just look forward to 2021.
Q. One more related question without the fans. Great field, looks to be a great event. It's going to be available to watch internationally. How big an event is this to get on the tour, and how much do you think it can work towards growing the women's game?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Oh, it's huge. I mean, DEX Imaging and the Pelican people, we can't thank them enough for taking a chance on the LPGA and keeping their event going. A lot of the events said, Hey, we're going to take the year off and come back in 2021.
So we cannot thank them enough for keeping this event going and being a part of women's golf and the LPGA. I feel like once you kind of see what the LPGA is about you'll be a sponsor forever. All the girls are so great. Our commissioner Mike Whan is fantastic.
It's just a blessing to be able to do what we do, so we can't thank DEX Imaging enough and the Pelican people for having us out and taking a chance on us and having this event during a pandemic in a crappy year really.
I think it's so great that they're a sponsor of the LPGA, and we're obviously growing and getting better. Our schedule next year is so jam packed. I don't want to look at it yet because I'm not sure which weeks I'm going to take off because there are so many great events.
But it's a good problem to have.
Q. I wanted to ask you about Haley Moore. She's obviously very open about her story, what's she's gone through with bullying. How empowering -- you talk about kids and how important it is to show kids, be the right example all the time. How empowering can her story be not just for kids, but adults that are going through some level of insecurity? How great is it that she's so open about what she's gone through?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: That's so funny. She is literally on the 18th green right now. I'm staring at her. I'm so grateful that she told her story. A lot of people go through things and they kind of keep it in sometimes. I was so grateful that she told her story, she got it out there. Like you said, it's definitely going to help a child I'm sure to overcome something.
But even an adult. Adults can go through things just like kids. Her story is definitely going to help a lot of people. She's a wonderful person. She is so nice and just loves the game, so I wish her so much luck every week, and I hope she does well. Yes, her story is incredible and the way it was told was really just amazing. So happy she did that.
Q. Just kind of going back to what Jeffrey was talking with you about with the whole pandemic, I was curious, with you being in the tour this long, having this much experience, like does it make opportunities like this weekend and all the tournaments that you've been able to do so far in 2020 that much more meaningful? Not saying this it didn't mean as much before. Just knowing how quick things happen, how much was taken way not just from golf, but sports across the board and people and their livelihood. Does it mean more now? Do you have a better understanding of it and just how much it means?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Absolutely. I mean, talking with other players they're saying, I don't like this golf course I might take this week off. I'm thinking in my head, we have an opportunity to play golf and to make money and to move up the world rankings and all this wonderful stuff. There is no chance I'm taking any weeks off.
Just being pregnant, taking time off, it was probably about a full year of taking time off, and I have never taken that much time off ever in my career. So every week on tour that we have I definitely want to play, get out there and try to be my best.
Like you said, all the other years and tournaments all mean a lot, but this year obviously with what we've been through and everybody is going through, you just count your blessings, and when there is a week that you can play, you go play.
But definitely we're so grateful that these events have happened. We are just so grateful they're playing and we're getting to play some golf and keep our skills fresh. Obviously if we would've taken the whole year off it would've been hard to come back.
So all the events at the end of the season, it's just a blessing really and we're so grateful.
THE MODERATOR: Couple quick ones before we let you go related to the holiday season right around the corner. With Thanksgiving next week, can you recall any fun family traditions from your childhood? And to elaborate on that, maybe any that you would like to start with Emery?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: So this is the first year that we're not going to West Virginia to see my grandmother. She always does Thanksgiving. It's a week I look forward to all year. Obviously she's man, 87, 88 years old, so getting up there. So to not go see her this year is super sad. Obviously each day that goes by you just never know if that's the last time.
But just with COVID, obviously keeping everybody safe, I totally understand not wanting to be jump on an airplane to go see my older grandmother, and heaven forbid I made her sick and something happens.
So we will be doing Thanksgiving at home this year, which is different. But just to get together as a family. There is not really one specific moment. It's just like I don't get to go see her that often, or all of my family. They're really all up in West Virginia. So just that kind of few days out of the year in November that we get to go up there is see her and the rest of the family is just so great. We plays cards every night. We play quarter, nickel, dime, poker games, little house games. My Grandma likes to play Mexican Train, so we try to get that in there as well.
It's just great being with family and eating a bunch. I feel like I gain like ten pounds. That's all you do is eat. So, yeah, definitely going to do something different this year, but hopefully next year we'll get up and see her.
Christmas we're doing at home. We are starting traditions there of just being home with the tree. I can't wait to get my tree. We have three tournaments in December so I feel like I'm going to miss out on the Christmas thing. The second Christmas trees come out I am going to get one.
THE MODERATOR: Any specific meals or unique family recipes that stand out?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: My favorite Thanksgiving is the corn casserole. It's like the corn bread kind of thing. It's just delicious. This year since my mom is cooking she's adding a meatloaf. I fricking love my mom's meatloaf. So we'll do the traditional Turkey and ham, but she is going to add a small meatloaf in there for me.
THE MODERATOR: Anything that anybody has ever showed you that you tried to make yourself?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Oh, gosh, no. I try little things at home, but not big things. My husband has made prime rib for Christmas dinner a couple times now. I don't know how it he does. It's so delicious. It just always comes out so perfectly.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you everybody for joining us this afternoon. Thank you Brittany for stopping by, and best of luck this week.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Thank you.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports