Thursday, February 22, 2018
Golf

Seminole's Lincicome starts third at LPGA Championship

PITTSFORD, N.Y. — When Morgan Pressel signed her card after the first round of the LPGA Championship on Friday, she turned to her friend and playing companion, Brittany Lincicome, and said, "That's a little better for the two of us. You know what I mean?"

What she meant was that Pressel, despite being one of the most popular and recognizable players, is 67th on the LPGA Tour money list and has not won a tournament since 2008.

Seminole's Lincicome, like Pressel a major champion and a hope for American prominence on the tour, knew the feeling. Her last wins were in 2011. She said her confidence was so low entering the second major of the year that she wrote "5" on her ball to remind her she has won five tournaments and can, in fact, do this.

Both were encouraged Friday, with Pressel shooting 4-under 68 and Lincicome 69, each in good position in a rain-delayed and -soaked tournament. Chella Choi of South Korea led at 5 under despite having played in the afternoon, when it was raining. Jiyai was with Pressel at 4 under.

Lincicome said she tried taking lessons earlier this year, "and that backfired."

"I think I was trying to change too many things at one time, so I kind of stopped doing that," said Lincicome, who took off last week to regroup. "I went fishing, I caught an 8-foot nerve shark, it was cool."

More than 9 inches of rain had fallen on the course in the previous nine days, half of that Thursday, when the opening round was pushed back one day. Casual water remained in various spots around the soggy 6,615-yard layout, and players were permitted to lift, clean and place their golf balls. The schedule for the weekend called for the second round to be played today and 36 holes Sunday.

PGA: Harris English shot 6-under 64 to open a two-stroke lead in the St. Jude Classic at Memphis, at 10-under 130. He had never even had a piece of a lead on tour until Thursday, when he was tied with five others after 18 holes. Shawn Stefani (65) was in second, two shots back. Paul Haley II (68) and Scott Stallings (68) were 5 under. Phil Mickelson (67) was 2 under.

Champions: Duffy Waldorf shot 4-under 68 to take a one-stroke lead over Jeff Sluman at 9-under 135 after the soggy, weather-delayed second round of the Regions Tradition, the second of five majors, at Birmingham, Ala. Fred Couples (71) and Mark Calcavecchia (69) were among four at 7 under.

U.S. Open pairs: Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott will play together in the opening two rounds of the U.S. Open next week at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa. For the third straight year, Open officials put the top three-ranked players in the same group. Officials disclosed the Nos. 1, 2 and 3 groups on Twitter. "Decent group for the first 2 rounds at Merion I see ..." McIlroy responded on Twitter. Playing in front of that threesome will be former U.S. Open champions Jim Furyk and Graeme McDowell, and former Masters champion Zach Johnson. In front of that group will be Bubba Watson, Dustin Johnson and Nicolas Colsaerts.

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