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Sports Last Updated: Jan 31, 2018 - 11:56:01 AM

Brittany Lincicome storms to victory, defends title in Sixth Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic
By Dave Shedloski
Jan 28, 2018 - 11:46:31 PM

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Brittany Lincicome storms to victory, defends title In Sixth Pure Silk-bahamas LPGA Classic

Closing 66 good enough for Two-stroke Triumph and Eighth Career Title

Paradise Island, Bahamas – With darkness closing in, Brittany Lincicome shined bright down the stretch Sunday at the $1.4 million Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic, firing a final-round 7-under-par 66 with birdies at four of her last five holes at Ocean Club Golf Course at Atlantis Resort to successfully defend her title.

A Pure Silk ambassador – and, in fact, the first – Lincicome, 32, won her eighth LPGA title and her first since her playoff victory over Lexi Thompson a year ago here. This time, despite a slow start in the opening round, Lincicome won outright, beating Wei-Ling Hsu by two strokes and Amy Yang and world No. 1 Shanshan Feng by three. Lincicome finished 54 holes in 12-under 207 after beginning the third round two behind Feng.

“I’ve never defended before so that’s pretty cool,” said Lincicome, who played 27 holes on Sunday and did so in a collective 10 under par with 12 birdies and two bogeys. Her 67 was the low round of the tournament until she bettered it with her closing 66. The Florida native is the first player to successfully defend an LPGA title since Shanshan Feng at the 2017 TOTO Japan Classic.

“It was totally on my bucket list,” Lincicome added about winning back to back for the first time.

Hsu (pronounced “she”) was tied with Lincicome until she bogeyed the par 3 17th hole after a spectacular chip in to save par at 16. Lincicome birdied 17 with a 12-foot putt to move two strokes ahead and then played the 18th hole in the gloaming. She converted a six-foot birdie at 18 under floodlights that had been used earlier in the day to illuminate the practice area when play resumed at 7 a.m. EST.

Hsu closed with a 5-under 68, her best finish since joining the LPGA in 2015. Her best previous finish was T-89 at the 2015 Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic. Yang had a 70 and Feng a 71 on Sunday. Danielle Kang carded a 68 to end up alone in fifth at 8-under 211.

“I was very happy for my performance this week because my low ball wasn't playing that great all the time,” Hsu said. “Trying to improve it over the winter and it looks like it done pretty good this week and got to play a lot of low shots and playing into the wind so very happy for me, especially my rhythm this week was very good.”

The sixth edition of the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic was reduced to 54 holes after sustained high winds gusting to 43 miles per hour caused a suspension of the second round for nearly 27 hours.

Lincicome began her title defense Thursday with a 1-over 74, but found her stride over the final 36 holes to win $210,000 and 500 points in the first event of the Race to the CME Globe competition. She emerged with the win amid a bunched leaderboard. At one point on Sunday, she was among five players tied for the lead with Feng, Hsu, Yang and Lexi Thompson, who ended up tied for sixth at 212.

“The conditions were pretty rough out there and you just kinda had to stay patient and have some fun with it,” Lincicome said. “There wasn't a lot you could do, and my putter was incredible all week, I made so many good putts, so many good par saves and good birdies coming down the stretch which really proved a lot to myself I think today playing 27 holes.

“Obviously, I missed my nap today,” she added. “And then to birdie a couple of holes down the stretch, that's pretty incredible.”

First-round leader Brooke Henderson had a 72 to finish ninth at 213.

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