'More mixed tour events? The LPGA players are always asking for them'
Not only is Brittany Lincicome one of the LPGA Tour’s biggest stars, she is also a down-to-earth individual who looks beyond her own status.
Having become just the sixth female to take on the men in a PGA Tour event last year, she has used her platform to help give something back to her community.
Her charity Pro-Am event, in support of her local First Tee programme which helps children get into the game of golf, has taken place annually for the last 10 years and is only going to get bigger and better.
The American star sat down with Lady Golfer…
First up, it’s Solheim Cup year…
That’s always at the top of my list. I’ve been lucky to make six teams and its an event that I’d never want to miss.
Wearing the colours, coming together as a team and representing your country is just the best feeling.
We have the Olympics now, but really, the Solheim Cup has always been our Olympics so I always want to be part of it.
How does teeing up at the Solheim Cup compare to, say, a major?
I remember at my first Solheim Cup, Sherri Steinhauer said to me: “You might get sick on the first tee.” That’s just how nervous you’ll be. Boy, was she right.
It was the most stress I’ve ever felt teeing up at a golf tournament, the whole country is watching you.
It’s nice to have a few under my belt now and to know what to expect whether we are in our country or in Europe, and when we have rookies coming onto the team we can give them advice.
Who has been your favourite partner in the Solheim Cup and why?
Brittany Lang, for sure. We just have so much chemistry, she’s one of my best friends, and our games and the way we think are pretty similar.
She makes me feel so comfortable on the course and we feel like we can beat the world when we play together.
You’ve won on your first starts in the past two seasons. How does winning early help set you up for the rest of the year?
It really builds my confidence and makes me think that because I’ve won early, there’s no reason why I can’t do it again.
Two years ago, I won my first start and I thought I was going to light up the tour, but it just didn’t really happen.
So, in 2018 when I won, I just wanted to be more consistent, have more top 10s and be around the top of the leaderboard more, which I did.
I really want to have two wins in one season and this year, win another major.
Your early season form has also come good for you at the majors, winning the first of the year – what is now the ANA Inspiration – on two occasions…
When you pull into Mission Hills, everything is perfect. The grass, the flowers, and the palm trees are beautiful, it just puts a smile on my face to be there.
The golf course is long, a lot of the holes are right-to-left, which suits my draw. You have to hit it straight and as I’m a long-hitter, if I can hit it straight I have a huge advantage.
The tournaments where the winning score is 20- or 25-under-par are not normally my strong suit. I prefer scores of 5- or 10-under-par. The harder, the better.
Any other goals for 2019?
I’d definitely like to get more top 10s this year and give myself more chances to win.
I’d really like to win a major, specifically the US Open. Every kid wants to win the US Open.
And, just to be more consistent to finish higher on the money list, I’ve got to improve on the previous year.
You competed on the PGA Tour last year at the Barbasol Championship. Tell us about that experience…
I was super nervous because I’d seen Annika Sorenstam and Michelle Wie do it and people aren’t always the nicest on social media, so I was worried how the fans were going to react.
But, it couldn’t really have gone any better, all the guys were welcoming and talked to me on the range and putting green, saying thanks for being here.
It was such a special week, I just wish it hadn’t rained so much!
Would you like to see male and female tours cross more often?
Absolutely. Every time we talk to the commissioner, the LPGA Tour players are all asking for it to happen.
We’d love to have an event like that, even with the Champion’s Tour, we would do it with anybody.
All of the LPGA players think it would be awesome to play with the guys, we never get to see them, if they are in California, we are in Florida.
How did your charity pro-am come about?
About 10 or 12 years ago, a friend and I decided that we needed to make a difference in kids’ lives and raise some money for the First Tee programme. So, we threw together a little tournament that was literally just a few groups a not for a lot of money.
We’ve now got a board and a committee and it’s a full time, year-round commitment.
It’s just amazing to see what its turned into now and to see that we are changing kids’ lives and getting them into the game of golf.
It’s awesome and I’m very pleased with where it’s at now. We raised $206,000 this year which is more than we’ve ever made.
What is the next step for the event?
The goal for the last couple years has been to fund a building that we finally managed to open last year. It’s a place where kids can go to do homework, play golf and have a snack.
Now, we’ve talked about doing some scholarships where we would give a few away each year.
Because, we build the kids up, teach them this wonderful game and then they don’t have the funds to go to college.
Maybe that would be something that we do, I’m hoping that will be our next adventure.
You’re an avid fisher. Where did that interest come from?
I’ve been fishing my whole life. When I was a kid, we had a canal next to our house and I used to literally catch turtles.
It was always my favourite thing when I was younger and it’s just progressed from there.
My mum or brother used to take me out fishing all the time and I’ve had a boat for about eight years now.
It’s so nice to go out onto the water, put the phone away and then it’s just you and the water.
You just never know what you’re going to see, which is what I love. When you go off-shore you see turtles, stingrays and sharks, so it’s just nice to get away from life for a minute.
Another love of your life – your dog, Dexter…
He’s awesome! He’s only five months old and he’s already 58 pounds, so I think we are going to have a monster on our hands soon.
My husband and I have always wanted a dog and he surprised me with him actually. I’ve spent the whole off-season with him and it’s been wonderful.
It begs the question, who will you miss more when you’re away – your husband or your dog?
Probably the dog!