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14-year-old earns win at junior tournament
By DAVE THEALL
© St. Petersburg Times, published August 1, 2000
Remember the name Brittany Lincicome.
The 14-year-old Pinellas Park resident is gradually working her way up the ladder of success on the national junior circuit.
Lincicome's latest win actually was on the international scene, winning the girls 14-15 age division at last month's Optimist International Junior Championship at Palm Beach Gardens. She shot rounds of 73 and 74 for a 3-over-par 147 and a five-stroke victory over the field of 41 golfers. Christy Reed of Coral Springs was the runner-up after 36 holes. The tournament was scheduled for 54 holes, but the third round was rained out.
Lincicome said she wasn't particularly concerned that she had only a one-stroke lead after the first day because margins aren't her focus in tournament play.
"I'm not concerned with leads," said Lincicome, who stands 5 feet 9 and averages 250 yards off the tee. "My goal each day is to play my game, the one I know how to play."
Lincicome (pronounced Lin-SI-comb) said the course was set up short for her game, only 5,400 yards, which resulted in her using irons off the tees, not her metal woods.
"My length is normally the strongest part of my game," she said.
"So it wasn't an advantage to me on that particular course."
In her final round of 74, Lincicome birdied the par-5 first hole by chipping up to within 3 feet and made her second birdie on the 125-yard par-3 13th after hitting within 8 feet with a pitching wedge.
"My improved play is the direct result of working with PGA teaching pro Tom West at Bardmoor," she said. "He's changed a lot with my swing, including getting me to slow my back swing. He's also changed my putting stroke. I was shooting in the mid-80s last year. Now after working with him, I'm consistently in the mid-70s. He's great." The win follows a runner-up finish on the prestigious American Junior Golf Association circuit to nationally fourth-ranked and Duke-bound Leigh Anne Hardin of Indiana in a tournament in Kentucky.
Lincicome will play in her second AJGA tournament next week, the Tampa Bay Classic at the Westin Innisbrook Resort's Copperhead course. Whitney Code of Tampa is the defending girls champion. But neither she nor her equally talented sister, Mallory, (winner of last month's AJGA's Tournament of Champions) will be competing, having withdrawn due to an invitational to play in the annual Canon Cup in Kansas. That tournament brings together the top 40 junior boys and girls in the nation.
The Canon Cup also will prevent Mike Barbosa of St. Petersburg, a member of the 1999 East boys team, from defending his title at the AJGA Tampa Bay Classic.
Meanwhile, Lincicome continues to hone her game with the Pinellas County Junior Golf Association.
She no longer plays with the girls in her age division and was recently "promoted" out of the girls 15-18 age division after winning the last tournament by nine strokes. Monday, she played in the boys 15-18 age division.
"I'll play on the boys team at Osceola High this fall," said Lincicome, who is home-schooled. "That is, until the district and state tournament, where I play with the girls."
MORE TAMPA BAY CLASSIC: Derril Bleakley, an incoming senior at Countryside, is in the field at Innisbrook, along with Joni Gossett of Germantown, Tenn. Gossett is the sister of David Gossett of the University of Texas, the 1999 U.S. Amateur champion who played in the British Open.
The boys field will be represented by six Pinellas players. They include Danny Allen, James Boothe and Jason Overton of Palm Harbor, David Cosper of Clearwater, Mark Welsh of Tarpon Springs and Ryan Nachit of St. Petersburg.
MORE CANON CUP: Ten of the 20 East players are from Florida. Beside Barbosa and the Code sisters, Amanda Dick of Clearwater is in the elite field.
She's a 2000 graduate of Countryside who will play for Florida this fall. Last year, she won an AJGA event, the Turnberry Isle Junior Classic at Miami.
Other Florida participants include Chan Wongluekiet and Yunny Cho of Bradenton, James Vargas of Miami, Nick Thompson of Coral Springs and Ty Tryon and Chris Greyling of Orlando.
The West team won the Ryder Cup-format match last year for the first time since 1992, when a teenage phenom named Tiger Woods played.
NORTH FLORIDA PGA: Jim Smith of Missing Links Range shot even par 72-72-144, finishing 14th at the Club Professional Championship at Lake Buena Vista to qualify for the Southern PGA Championship in October.
Qualifiers from that tournament in Illinois advance to the 2001 PGA Championship.
FLORIDA STATE FOUR-BALL CHAMPION: Jon Archard and Paul Newman of Cypress Run teamed up to finish tied for ninth at last week's championship at Jupiter. They shot 136 for 36 holes in a better-ball format, finishing nine strokes behind winners Doug LaCrosse of Tampa and Joe Alfieri II of Lutz.
Jack Gleason and David Niles of Wentworth finished at 139, followed by the brother team of Kent Whittemore of Lakewood Country Club and Jim Whittemore of Temple Terrace.
GEORGIA STATE AMPUTEE CHAMPIONSHIP: Mike Hudson, a Clearwater businessman, shot rounds of 77-76-153 to finish second in the annual Ray Rice Memorial tournament.
ON GOING: A sectional qualifier for 100th U.S. Amateur continues Tuesday at the Westin Innisbrook's Copperhead course. The top four finishers advance to the championship at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, N.J.
WEST COAST WOMEN: At a recent WCWGA match at Cheval Country Club, Kathy Speight of Feather Sound shot 80 to tie for second with Jackie Currier of Walden Lake. Judy Tickles of Northdale won with a 76. Melissa Hu of Innisbrook won Flight B with an 80.
U.S. KIDS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: Eight juniors from the Countryside Golf Center participated in a qualifier in Orlando for the Aug. 12-14 championships at Jekyll Island, Ga.
They are coached by golf professional Phyllis Lewellyn, who started the junior program at the center six years ago.
May Ling Ko, 10, shot 60 for nine holes to win the girls 12-and-under division to advance. And Zachery Sobel, 10, won the boys 10-and-under division to also advance.
Other players in the qualifier included Ricky Kittlestad, Jasmine Wade, Jonathan Im, Jose Molina, Preston Knox and Jessica Hoskinson.
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