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Lincicome gets a little star-struck

By BOB HARIG
Published June 25, 2005


CHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, Colo. - As an aspiring golfer, one of Brittany Lincicome's idols was LPGA star Laura Davies, the long-hitting player from England who teamed with John Daly several times in the old JCPenney Classic at Innisbrook.

Lincicome, who used to work the tournament as a standard bearer, was so enamored of Davies and her game that Lincicome requested to be put in her group and worked in that capacity several years.

Far different circumstances brought them together this week at Cherry Hills Country Club.

They were part of the same threesome - along with Michelle Wie - in the first two rounds of the U.S. Women's Open.

"It was awesome," Lincicome said. "The first day my hands were shaking so much, I had a 4- or 5-footer on the first hole for birdie, and it didn't even touch the hole. But she was great to play with. Very pleasant to be around."

Lincicome held her own, shooting two rounds of 74 to finish 36 holes at 148. She let the end of each round get away from her, making bogey on the final hole of her first round Friday morning, then made double bogey at the par-4 ninth in the second round.

"I think I just ran out of energy," she said.

Lincicome, 19, of Seminole, led last year's Women's Open after a first-round 65 and eventually finished 65th. This is the 12th event of her rookie year on the LPGA Tour, and she has made four straight cuts, her longest stretch of the season. She was eight strokes back of leader Nicole Perrot.

WOE IS LAURA: Davies, who won the 1987 U.S. Women's Open and is a 20-time winner on the LPGA Tour, had a horrendous two days, shooting 84-81.

"I had seven three-putts, and I was just trying to keep out of Michelle and Brittany's way," she said. "They were playing so well."

Once Davies knew she wasn't going to make the cut, she pulled out her driver and simply attempted to hit the ball as far as she could.

"I needed to shoot 66, and that wasn't going to happen," Davies said. "I'd rather miss the cut by 10 than by one."

CHANGING ATTITUDE: Australia's Rachel Hetherington, an eight-time winner on the LPGA Tour, has struggled most of this year, posting just a single top-10. But she learned something from watching the U.S. Open on Sunday.

"I feel like I have been a little bit hard on myself," she said. "Striving to hit the ball perfect. I watched the men's Open and realized you don't have to hit it perfect to play well. The last couple of weeks I've changed my mind-set a little."

Hetherington shot 69 on Friday morning to finish at 143 and saw her score keep inching up the leaderboard as the day progressed. She made seven birdies in her round and ended up tied for fourth, three strokes back.

"I am extremely happy," she said. "I hit the ball really solid. Even when I was making bogeys, I actually hit good shots."

AROUND CHERRY HILLS: Catherine Cartwright was the first player in the field to birdie the 459-yard par-4 18th, doing so early in the second round. The hole was playing the toughest on the course and has yielded only three birdies. ... Three amateurs were in the top-10 and four were in the top 22 through 36 holes. ... The 36-hole cut came at 150, 8 over par.