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Brittany Lincicome aims higher and connects at Women's PGA

Brittany Lincicome 1st round 2020 KPMG Women's PGA
Brittany Lincicome shares the lead after the 1st round of the KPMG Women's PGA.

After a season of uninspired results, the 2-time major champion changes her attitude, and the results follow as she shares the lead

Brittany Lincicome has had enough.

After missing the cut last week at the ShopRite LPGA Classic, Lincicome arrived in suburban Philadelphia knowing that she needed to change her mindset for the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. She did, and it showed.

Lincicome, 35, of the U.S., shot 3-under 67 on Thursday at Aronimink Golf Club to share the first-round lead with Malaysia’s Kelly Tan (scores).

In six tournaments since the season restart in July, Lincicome has finished no better than 51st. As an eight-time LPGA champion, including two major titles, she knows that she can do better. Thursday proved to be a good first step for Lincicome, who gave birth to her first child, daughter Emery, with husband Dewald Gouws in July 2019.

“I’ve had so much time off since having Emery and taking time off and COVID,” she said. “Each week it’s just kind of been, Let’s make the cut; let’s make the cut, and that’s not a way an eight-time winner should play golf.”

In the first round at Aronimink, it certainly wasn’t.

Lincicome, one of the women’s game’s longest hitters, tamed the 6,577-yard course, missing only one green and making only one bogey, at the par-3 No. 5, which was her 14thhole after starting on the back side.

“I never tried to swing hard with the driver off the tee today,” she said. “I was just literally, Get it in the fairway and then worry about the next shot. And then on the green, aiming in very specific spots.”

Tan, 26, birdied three of her first four holes after starting on the back nine and turned in 4-under 31. But she dropped two strokes to par early on her homeward nine before making one more birdie to join Lincicome in the lead. Tan, who won once last year on the Symetra Tour, is looking for her first LPGA victory.

American Danielle Kang, the only two-time winner this season on the LPGA, shot 2-under 68 and shared second place with American Cydney Clanton, New Zealand’s Lydia Ko, Sweden’s Linnea Strom, Spain’s Carlota Ciganda and Mexico's Gaby Lopez. Only 12 players broke par before play was suspended by darkness with one group in the 132-player field remaining on the course.

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