Rookie Leblanc bombs way around Locust Hill

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PITTSFORD, N.Y. – Long-hitting rookie Maude-Aimee Leblanc of Quebec made a solid debut in the first round of her first major championship.

Leblanc, a Purdue graduate, fearlessly hit her driver across the narrow confines of Locust Hill Country Club Thursday and shot even-par 72 at the LPGA Championship. She was tied for 10th when she signed her scorecard.

Leblanc, who stands 6 feet 1, bombed her drive 304 yards at No. 6. That was almost 10 yards longer than Brittany Lincicome hit it there. That means something because Leblanc conceded she would like to lead the LPGA in driving distance.

“The long driver gets a car at the end of the year,” Leblanc said, in reference to one of the LPGA’s four Kia Performance Awards, a Kia Optima Limited automobile.

Lincicome started this week leading the tour in driving distance at 280 yards per drive. Leblanc was second at 279 yards per drive.

Leblanc hit driver 12 of 14 times she had the chance. She said she abandoned a more conservative game plan at week's start to try to take better advantage of her length.