By LARRY VAUGHT
Brittany Lincicome knows she’ll have a lot of eyes on her when she plays in the PGA TOUR’s Barbasol Championship in Jessamine County next month.
She’ll be only the fifth LPGA player ever to play in a PGA event and hopes her appearance will generate a lot of buzz with fans.
“The more people there, the better. I love signing autographs for those people that come out to support us,” Lincicome said. “I will stand out there (after a round) as long as I need to sign. It makes me feel bad when I see someone not signing (autographs). I will be out there as long as I possibly can and sign as many (autographs) as I possibly can. I want them to want my autograph.”
Lincicome, 32, has won eight times on the LPGA Tour, including two major championships, and got a sponsor’s exemption to play in the event July 19-22 at Keene Trace Golf Club.
“When we first started talking about this, my first reaction was that I was so nervous,” she said. “I feel like people are expecting me to do well, and I am expecting myself to do well. I just want to go have fun.”
Lincicome has heard from other LPGA players that Kentucky has “very good fans” that will be welcoming to her.
“I don’t want to be compared to the guys. I just want to have fun,” she said. “I love social media. I a more of a Twitter and Facebook person. I try to answer every fan questions. I try to give insights. A lot even talk about fishing, which is a huge passion of mine.”
Her caddy, Missy Peterson, is a former Division III basketball All-American at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. Pederson, 37, has been a caddy for 11 years and has worked for Lincicome since 2013. Pederson had never played golf until after her basketball career ended but managed to qualify for the Futures Tour before becoming a caddy.
The caddy was all-in about the Barbasol Championship quicker than Lincicome.
“She was all for it. She said, ‘Heck yeah. We are going and going to do well,’” Lincicome recalled. “She is cool. She played professional basketball a year and I follow her lead when I get nervous. When my hands are shaking, she tells me I am ridiculous. She puts me back in my place. She thrives in situations like this (the Barbasol Championship).”
Kentuckian Josh Teater, a former PGA TOUR player who now plays on the Web.com Tour, also has a sponsor’s exemption for the Barbasol. He thinks having Lincicome in the field can only help.
“I don’t see anything that could be wrong with it. It is only beneficial for everyone and I think fans will be really excited,” Teater said before noting how NBA star Seth Curry and country music singer Jake Owen both played in Web.com events. “I am looking forward to walking the fairways with her.”
Lincicome admits she always envisioned playing in a PGA TOUR event but never thought it would happen.
“I always wanted to but just never did think it would come true,” she said. “I’ve got nothing to lose. If I miss the cut, it’s not a big deal. Maybe I will learn a few things.”