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Seminole's Brittany Lincicome enters LPGA's second major on hot streak

In her last two events, Brittany Lincicome, on right with caddie A.J. Eathorne, has won and finished tied for third. “Hate to say it, but golf’s been kind of easy lately,” she said on the eve of the LPGA Championship.

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In her last two events, Brittany Lincicome, on right with caddie A.J. Eathorne, has won and finished tied for third. “Hate to say it, but golf’s been kind of easy lately,” she said on the eve of the LPGA Championship.

In her past two tournaments, the ShopRite Classic on June 5 and the State Farm Classic on June 12, Lincicome has finished first and tied for third, respectively. She has boosted her yearly winnings to $498,065 (fifth on the money list), and the season is only halfway over.

A few more tournament wins and she'll be even closer to buying the USS Lincicome.

"I've got my priorities right,'' Lincicome said. "Golf first, boating second.''

Before teeing it up today with playing partners Cristie Kerr and Michelle Wie, Lincicome talked about a variety of golf topics, from her hot start in June to yet another caddie change.

Lincicome has played in two tournaments this month. Out of seven June rounds, six have been in the 60s and one was a 70. No player is on a bigger roll heading into today's second major.

"I feel like I've been playing pretty well all year. It's been one little thing here or there that has kept me from winning, but then it all started to fall into place. The key was I started chipping and putting well. I've been chipping it to tap-in range lately. Hate to say it, but golf's been kind of easy lately. You never hear "golf" and "easy" in the same sentence, but that's how it's felt."

Lincicome has four career wins, including a major at the 2009 Kraft Nabisco Championship. When Annika Sorenstam was 25, she had two LPGA wins and one major. Lincicome's sponsors are numerous, from Titleist and Adams Golf to Pure Silk lotion and Barbie. She is starting to get noticed more by golf fans.

"It was really weird. I was on the plane on the way home from State Farm (two weeks ago) and there were like 10 different people who recognized me and congratulated me. It's nice to be recognized for your accomplishments.''

Lincicome has made all nine cuts this year. Her only real setback was a first-round elimination at the Match Play Championship in May. She has been a member of the 2007 and 2009 Solheim Cup teams, the LPGA equivalent to the Ryder Cup. Her success in June all but solidifies another Solheim Cup appearance.

"My goals this year were to be in the top 10 in the rankings (she's 14th now) and make the Solheim Cup. I've pretty much locked up the Solheim Cup and I've got a chance to win at least twice on Tour. It's going pretty well.''

When Lincicome started on the LPGA Tour in 2005 she used her dad, Tom, as her caddie. Since then she has changed caddies three times. Her latest is A.J. Eathorne, a former LPGA player. Eathorne started at the match-play event and has been on the bag for Lincicome's last two tournaments.

"I think things get old sometimes and you need to change. It's like taking a golf lesson. Sometimes you need to see somebody else. A.J. has been a player, and she knows what a player goes through. It's kind of like she knows what I'm thinking and she's watched me play before. I can count on her for good advice. She'll tell me what to hit, or where to hit it. Our first tournament together was the match play, which only lasted 15 holes. But the next time we were together we won. It's been a good fit."

In her career, Lincicome has won $3,775,831. Her first win came at the Match Play Championship in 2006. She won again in 2007, but was winless in 2008. Since 2009, Lincicome has retained mental coaches to help with her game.

"I'm still working with the people from Vision 54. They always tell me that if you have a bad day, be positive. Get the negative thoughts out of your head. Take a negative and make it a positive. I used to have a problem with that, but when things are going badly I just take a break and get refocused.''

The only other time Lincicome has had two straight top-three finishes was in 2007, when she tied for second at the Kraft Nabisco and followed that with a win at the Ginn Open. In her next tournament, she missed the cut. Lincicome has never won twice in one year.

"It's time to take another step in my career. Things have all come together lately. It's been very stress-free, and I'd like to keep it that way. It's hard to tell what's going to happen, but I've been driving it well and everything else has just been getting better and better. This is a great time to be playing well.''

A week before the start of today's second major tournament of the LPGA season, the LPGA Championship, Brittany Lincicome was driving back from a round of golf in Sarasota. Before she arrived at her home in Seminole, Lincicome took a detour to look at a new boat. With the kind of season she has had so far, Lincicome, 25, can afford to go boat shopping.

.Fast Facts

LPGA Championship

When/where: Today-Sunday; Locust Hill Country Club, Pittsford, N.Y. (Par 72, 6,506 yards)

Purse: $2.5 million ($375,000 winner's share)

Defending champ: Cristie Kerr

TV: Today-Friday, 12:30-2:30 p.m. Golf Channel; Saturday-Sunday, 4-7 p.m. Golf Channel

Seminole's Brittany Lincicome enters LPGA's second major on hot streak 06/22/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 22, 2011 7:19pm]
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