By LARRY VAUGHT
Brittany Lincicome has enjoyed her first 24 hours in Kentucky.
“I just can’t stop smiling,” the LPGA Tour star said here Tuesday after playing the front nine in preparation for the PGA Tour’s Barbasol Championship that starts Thursday when she’ll become just the fifth woman to play in a PGA event. “It’s cool to be here.”
Lincicome joked she was hoping for a “firm and fast” track at Keene Trace Golf Club but Monday’s rain helped change that.
“But it really wasn’t that long today. The par fives are not reachable (in two) for me. The par threes are a little long but not crazy. All in all, if I can keep it in the fairway I think I will be alright.”
She’ll be trying to become the first woman to make the 36-hole cut in a PGA Tour event and admits this likely is a once in a lifetime opportunity for her. She even used a reference familiar to UK basketball fans.
“This is a one and done opportunity,” she said.
The local hospitality impressed here as soon as her flight got to Lexington late Monday night and says volunteers — and players — continue to wish her well.
Some LPGA players plan to make the trip to Jessamine County to see her play and LPGA rookie Emma Talley of Caldwell County will be playing in the pro-am Wednesday and then possibly staying to watch Lincicome play Thursday, too.
“Everyone backing me will help me play better,” Lincicome said. “I am pretty chatty out there (on the course). The more I am chatting on the golf course, the better I am playing. I’ll talk to whoever wants to talk to me really. I am a people person and just love talking.”
While her husband and caddy both are interested in Kentucky’s bourbon industry, Lincicome had a different wish list for potential off-course outings.
“I would love to go ride a horse,” she said. “I also a PGA guy who travels with a fishing pole. Maybe I can go fishing. I probably will not get to do any fun things but it would be really cool to do that. I can’t wait to explore this afternoon and see a little bit of it (Kentucky).”
However, the LPGA Tour has media reps at Keene Trace recording her every move and more. ESPN also plans a special segment with her and other radio/media requests are keeping her busy. She also did a brief clinic at the course.
Her pro-am group goes off at 12:09 p.m. Wednesday and she’s hoping a lot of young girls will have the chance to see her play then or in the tournament.
“If I can inspire one child to pick up the game and want to play, my job as a pro has been successful,” Lincicome said. “When I see kids I give them a ball, glove or sign an autograph. That’s just me.”