LPGAs Lincicome tuning up against men


Brittany Lincicome is planning to tee it up against the men this week.

In a bid to keep her game sharp during yet another gap in the LPGA schedule, Lincicome intends to play in an Orlando men’s mini-tour event.

Lincicome, 24, the three-time LPGA winner, will tee it up Wednesday with 30 or so fledgling male mini-tour pros at the No Exemptions Tour event at Stoneybrook West in Winter Garden, Fla. It’s a one-day, 18-hole tournament. Lincicome is putting up $160 to play for the $1,000 first-place prize.

For Lincicome, though, it isn’t about money or a hidden desire to someday pursue a PGA Tour career.

It’s about finding the best way to hone her game during these long, idle stretches on the LPGA schedule. It’s about doing so while staying near her Seminole, Fla., home.

“I’m not doing this for any kind of notoriety or anything like that,” Lincicome said. “I’m doing it for the competition. I just want to get ready for Mexico next week.”

More than three months into the year, the LPGA has played just four tournaments. The season didn’t open until mid-February with back-to-back events in Asia. After three more weeks off, the LPGA opened its American schedule in late March with the Kia Classic and the Kraft Nabisco Championship played in back-to-back weeks. The LPGA is amid another three-week break before its schedule resumes with the Tres Marias Championship in Mexico next week.

Lincicome said the three months off between the season-ending LPGA Tour Championship last November and the season-openers in Asia were hard on her game.

“After two to three months away, it takes time to get your game back,” Lincicome said. “I was so nervous in Thailand and Singapore. I was nervous because I hadn’t played in so long.”

Lincicome will play from the back tees with the men this week at a course that will likely play to more than 7,000 yards.

“If you want to play for the prize money, you have to play from the back tees,” Lincicome said.

Lincicome also played in a men’s mini-tour event last fall and remembers shooting 74. She isn’t the first woman to play the No Exemptions Tour.

“Brittany has the best chance of winning a bonafide open professional tournament as any woman who’s come along in the history of our program,” said Frank Magee, the No Exemptions Tour director.

The idea of competing against men this week came from Lincicome’s friend, Ryan Gildersleeve, a pro from Clearwater. She said most of the women she competes against in the Seminole area are away on the Futures Tour.

“I’d rather play a long golf course with the guys than sit on the range all day,” Lincicome said.