Lincicome, Tan share Women’s PGA lead at windy Aronimink
NEWTOWN SQUARE, PA (AP) - Brittany Lincicome recently took 16-month-old daughter Emery to a practice round at Aronimink Golf Club and let her run across the course and drop on Mum's pink golf bag.
At home with Dad, the TV was on so the Brittany family could watch what they do best, as one of the Tour's biggest hitters consistently found the greens she needed to compete for another big win.
Lincicome and Kelly Tan each shot 3-67 in windy conditions Thursday to challenge Aronimink to share the lead in the KPMG Women's PGA Championship.
Lincicome was sensational after missing the cut of one shot at the ShopRite LPGA Classic last weekend.
"I've had so much free time since I had Emery and took my time and COVID," she said. "Every week it was just one way to make the cut, make the cut, and so an eight-time winner shouldn't be playing golf."
Lincicome, a two-time winner of ANA Inspiration's eight major LPGA Tour victories, played bogey-free to stick with Tan and keep her eye on her first PGA women's title.
The 35-year-old Florida player is trying to win for the first time since he was born last July. One of the biggest hitters on the tour, she found her groove at 6,577 yards of Aronimink and just missed one green.
"I never tried to swing off the tee with the driver today," she said. "I was just literally," Get it into the fairway, then worry about the next shot. "And then on the green, aim at very specific spots."
Lincicome said her husband, professional long-distance skier Dewald Gouws, showed Emery all of her mother's big hits on television. Lincicome may even play long enough for her daughter to get old enough to remember how she played.
"It's too hard to go away," she said. “Obviously when she starts school it will be a little harder to figure out what we're doing. But it's cool to have her out here and see what I'm doing, and I think my husband actually was watching TV when I did some birdies and showed them off. That's pretty great. "
Danielle Kang, Lydia Ko, Gabby Lopez, Carlota Ciganda, Linnea Strom and Cydney Clanton were a hit back. Lopez and Ciganda tested positive for COVID-19 this year but recovered and were in great shape when they went on their second day at Aronimink.
One group could not finish the round because of darkness.
26-year-old Tan, who didn't finish better than 30 in any of her previous majors, played on the back nine without a bogey.
Tan has been looking for her breakthrough on the LPGA Tour and has been playing better lately after failing the cut at the Women's British Open this year. Tan's best result to date in a major came in 2016 when she finished 30th in the women's PGA.
She played like a contender for Aronimink.
"I just feel like I'm trying to tell myself that I have a small goal every day and I'm trying to reach it and build trust from there," said Tan. "My hit was really good and I think that was a key and it gave me a lot of confidence to go into the next day."
First-time great champions - even those who are not in the top 50 in the world - are becoming more common on the tour. Eight of the last nine great champions had never won one. Tan from Malaysia was inspired by all the newcomers to the big championship club.
"Winning golf tournaments out here is life changing," she said. "It's very emotional, even if I saw them win. I want to do that one day."
Tan showed up late in a championship three months late due to the coronavirus pandemic. Golfers struggled with a windy day and leaves all over Aronimink. Anna Nordqvist playfully tossed a handful of leaves at her caddy for a 69.
The 2009 champion Nordqvist is one of eight PGA women's champions in the field, which includes all eleven winners of that year on the LPGA tour.
"I know it can blow here, but I didn't expect it to blow so hard this early," said Nordqvist, "and it was really cold."
The absence of fans again made subtle changes to each hole, but about 20 officials, photographers, and other high profile guests socially distanced themselves around the 10th tee to watch defending champion Hannah Green and former tournament champions Kang and Brooke Henderson make their first Recorded the tournament. When some golfers were finishing a hole, the only sound was a polite golf smack or two as they moved on to the next without needing the slightest wave of approval.
Green opened with a 79. Henderson shot 71.
Clanton banged four of her last five holes to run for third place, making her one of only 12 players to break the par.
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