In a dramatic Sunday shootout with fellow Americans Stacy Lewis and Lexi Thompson, veteran Brittany Lincicome battled them, her own nerves and even the weather to capture the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic on the first hole of sudden death.
Lincicome began Sunday a shot out of the lead having already put together great golf with a then course record opening round -9 under 64 for the overnight lead. Her Friday round included a hole in one to keep her near the lead headed to weekend. But, her biggest moments were saved for the closing holes just as the weather on the Carribean paradise island turned nasty.
With dark thunderstorm clouds being brought in by a gusting 15-20 MPH winds, Lincicome made a long par save after her bunker shot blew an extra ten feet past the flag on the par 4th 16th which kept her tied at the time with Thompson at -25 under for the tourney.
For her part, Thompson had bettered Brittany’s Thursday 64 with a scalding Friday 61 and started Sunday sizzling with three birdies in her first eight holes. But, Thompson faltered though, with bogeys at 9 and 12 which set the stage for the finish.
Rain began to fall, at times heavily, over the final couple of holes of play which made things more complicated for the finish.
Lincicome, who has two previous wins in majors, made bogey on the par 3 17th which gave Thompson the open door to win in regulation. But staying steady, Brittany hit a great second into the finishing par 5 18th and her two putt birdie re-tied Thompson at -26. Then, the heavy rain pelted the 18th with Thompson’s group finishing.
“Those last three holes were like a Hurricane out there,” Lincicome would tell the Golf Channel immediately afterwards.
Thompson missed the green in two and when her lengthy birdie putt for the outright win came up short, we were headed back to 18 tee for sudden death.
Lincicome hit two more big time shots off the 18th tee and out of the fairway onto the green again in two. That put the pressure back on Thompson who in the winds and slight rain came up well short with her approach and then was outside 20 feet for her birdie.
Sensing the opening that could end it immediately, Lincicome lagged her long eagle putt to a foot away and tapped in for birdie putting the weight of tourney on Lexi’s final try.
When it missed, Lincicome, who had previously been just 1-4 in sudden death playoffs in her career, had added another trophy to her distinguished pro resume’. Oh, and with Pure Silk as the sponsor, instead of Champagne spraying, it was shaving cream. Observe:
— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) January 29, 2017
“I worked hard this off‑season. My putting hasn’t been as well as it has this week, but hopefully that continues and it’s awesome,” Brittany told the media afterwards. “(On the playoff eagle putt) I was super, super nervous. My hands were shaking pretty bad. So, I was happy to just lag it up there and tap in for birdie.”
Interesting admission from a player who had won six times before, but it also shows how much it meant to Lincicome.
The win gave her over $200,000 and continued to push her worldwide career earnings north of $7 million.
Lewis was potentially going to be the playoff but could only make one birdie (on 18) coming in and missed sudden death by one shot at -25.
Lincicome gets to enjoy the “Pure Silk” win for three more weeks, as LPGA next plays then in February in Thailand.