DANVILLE, Calif. — Brittany Lincicome of Seminole shot 11-under 61 Thursday, recording the tour's best round of the season on the first day of the CVS/pharmacy LPGA Challenge.
Lincicome had 11 birdies at the 6,185-yard Blackhawk Country Club, posting the second-lowest score in relation to par 72 in tour history. The 61 also was a career best for Lincicome, who entered the week 62nd on the money list.
Wendy Ward was four shots back after a bogey-free 65. Moira Dunn had 66 and Jin Young Pak, Michele Redman, Amy Hung and Katherine Hull were at 5 under.
Lincicome used her power off the tees and a soft touch around the greens to avoid trouble, finishing with just 24 putts. Her lone mistake came on the par-5 No. 5, when she pushed her tee shot right into the rough and had to scramble to save par.
Lincicome set the course record and was just short of Annika Sorenstam's LPGA Tour-record 13-under 59 at the Standard Register PING in 2001.
"The only time I looked at the scorecard was when we made the turn," said Lincicome, who started her round on the back nine. "I was making everything. It was pretty crazy, even more myself. I was making 30-footers, 5-footers. Just one of those days where everything was going my way, and I couldn't do anything wrong."
It has been an up-and-down season for Lincicome, a three-time winner on tour.
In her first four tournaments of the year, Lincicome placed outside the top 20 three times and missed the cut in the other. After finishing second at the Bell Micro Classic two months later, she tied for 14th at the LPGA Championship and tied for 25th at the U.S. Open.
She seems to be rounding into form once again.
After a runnerup finish where she shot a final-round 7-under 65 at last week's Navistar Classic in Alabama to fall one shot short of winner Katherine Hull, Lincicome began Thursday with five birdies over her first nine holes.
Then the 25-year-old really warmed up. After her par on No. 5, Lincicome birdied her final four holes, including on the par-5, 505-yard No. 9. Her approach shot sailed past the green and onto a backside hill of rough but she chipped to within 12 feet and made her birdie putt to end the round.
Her reward? A doubles tennis match with friends later in the evening.
"We've played twice already this week," Lincicome said. "It's just more cardio, to get out and run around for an hour or two.
"I've taken two lessons now so I'm getting pretty good."
Lincicome became the first player to post an 11-under round since Paula Creamer in the 2008 Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic.
Ward had five birdies on the first nine holes, then two more.
"It didn't surprise me," Ward said of Lincicome's round. "The fairways are playing pretty hard and fast, and she hits it 50 (yards) past me. It was fun trying to chase her. I thought, 'Well, game on.' "