When Seminole's Brittany Lincicome is reminded of the recently completed LPGA season, her first response is, "Oh, gosh.'' Lincicome, 23, has four years on the tour, and 2008 is a season she would like to forget. The one-time home-schooled student who played on the Seminole High golf team entered 21 tournaments but had only one top-10 finish. She earned $114,963, 92nd on the money list. She went through a caddie change, missed 11 cuts and was disqualified from the Ginn Tribute, hosted by Annika Sorenstam, in June for not signing her scorecard. It was a far cry from 2007, when she won the Ginn Open and earned more than $817,000. Lincicome is back home for the offseason and hosts the second annual Brittany and Friends Celebrity Pro-Am for the First Tee of St. Petersburg on Monday at St. Petersburg Country Club. She recently talked about 2008 and what she expects when the 2009 season begins in February.
Have you been able to figure out what went wrong this past season?
It was kind of a ripple effect. I took too much time off during the offseason. I bought a boat and went fishing too many days. So when the season came around, I wasn't ready. We played, like, three or four events in a row, and when I came back home, my coach (Matt Mitchell) and I worked on a bunch of things. We seemed to keep changing things and never really got it to where it needed to be. I felt like I was making changes all year.
Then I had a bunch of caddie changes (Daniel Chapman and Greg Johnson). So I had to try to figure out the caddie situation. I learned a lot about myself. I learned a lot about the tour and how things go on out there. It was definitely a growing year. I guess if I'm going to have a bad year, it's good to have it early in my career. Now I can just move forward.
Who did you settle on as your caddie?
I've actually got a female caddie now. Her name is Tara Bateman, and she used to be on tour. She has the experience because she has been out there, so when we have a shot that we need to figure out, she stands over it and gives me her opinion about how she would hit it. I've never had a tour caddie who has been a player before. I thought it would be a good changeup. I've never had a female caddie before, so let's try something different.
Do you think you have your swing where you want it, or is it still a work in progress?
It's always an evolving thing. Tiger (Woods) took a whole year to change his swing, so hopefully I can get mine simplified. I want it to be one or two moves and not 50 things in my head that I'm thinking about.
You can only go forward from here. I feel like I'm such a good athlete that I should be able to play better than that. Swing changes or not, I should have still resorted back to what I know best. I've hit the ball since I was 10. It's funny that you can't hit it where you want to hit it even if you try to go back to an old swing when you still have new thoughts in your head. It's frustrating to not be able to do what I think I should do with a golf ball.
What phase of the game gave you the most trouble?
My driver is my favorite club in the bag, and I had no clue where it was going. Putting was better. I had to make a lot of putts because I was missing so many greens. But driving and chipping hurt me. My chipping is horrible right now.
How did you get involved with the First Tee of St. Petersburg?
I wanted to get involved with kids, and we decided that a tournament, something to raise money, was the best thing we could do. We did okay last year, and hopefully it will be bigger and better this year.
What else do you plan to do during this down time?
Maybe this year I'll play in a few more silly events leading up to the first Hawaii event. (Clearwater Futures Tour player) Jenny Gleason lives in the area, so I've been playing with her and a couple other LPGA players. I'll do that, and practice and play a little bit more.
Are you going to go fishing during your time off?