When the Barbasol Championship tees off on July 19, the PGA Tour event will include a woman in the field. Brittany Lincicome, an eight-time winner and two-time major champion on the LPGA Tour, was offered a sponsor’s exemption by tournament director Tom Murray.
At first surprised, Lincicome has embraced the opportunity.
“I was kind of torn. I can already hear people saying, ‘You are trying to compare yourself to the men,’” Lincicome said last month at the U.S. Women’s Open. “That’s not what it is. I love competing with the guys. I feel like I step up my game when I play with them. I play a little harder. I always thought it would be cool to try.”
The Barbasol Championship, played opposite the British Open at Carnoustie, will be hosted by Keene Trace Golf Club near Lexington, Kentucky. Grayson Murray is the defending champion. The purse is $3.5 million.
Set up for a PGA Tour event, Keene Trace will play much longer than courses on the LPGA Tour, although Lincicome is among the biggest hitters on the ladies circuit, averaging 271 yards off the tee.
“The golf course sounds like it’s pretty wide open,” she said. “It’s going to be obviously pretty far, but that’s nothing I don’t think I can’t handle.”
In 2003 Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam played alongside men at the Bank of America Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas. From 2004 to 2008 Michelle Wie played in eight events on the PGA Tour. Babe Zaharias (1945 Los Angeles Open) and Suzy Whaley (2003 Greater Hartford Open) have also played in PGA Tour events. Only Zaharias has made a cut.
Apparently Lincicome is not too worried about that.
“If I play well, great,” she said. “If I don’t, it’s still going to be a cool week.”
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