While the Open Championship has taken just about everyone in the top 100 of the World Golf Rankings, the Barbasol Championship is the consolation prize for those who could not qualify for the major championship. The tournament, held at Champions at Keene Trace outside of Lexington, Kentucky, is in its first year in the new location.
Tournament organizers needed a hook to draw fans, and they think they have found one with Brittany Lincicome. The No. 30th player on the LPGA Tour accepted a sponsor’s exemption, and will tee it up with the men.
She said it took a while to consider the possibility of becoming the sixth woman to play in a PGA Tour event. She joins Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Shirley Spork, Annika Sorenstam, Suzy Whaley and Michelle Wie.
“I want to have fun,” Lincicome said. “If I make the cut, it’s an added bonus. I definitely want to go and shoot a good score and not totally embarrass myself. Whatever happens, happens.”
Oddsmakers don’t like her chances. The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook has her at 1000-1 to win, last behind Dru Love at 300/1.
Odds Long on Making Cut
Of the five women who have played in PGA Tour events, only Zaharias made the cut. The famous athlete played in seven tour events, making the weekend twice, finishing 33rd and 42nd.
Wie also played multiple times, but failed to make the cut in eight events. Sorenstam and Whaley played in one event and missed the cut. Spork was in an event with no cut and finished 105th.
Lincicome knows history is against her. So are statistics. She will be playing a 7,328-yard golf course, much longer than any she sees on the LPGA Tour. She is 10th on the LPGA Tour in driving distance at 269 yards. That would be 26 yards less than the PGA Tour average, and nine yards less than Brian Stuard, who is last in that category at 278 yards, and listed at 100/1.
“I would obviously love to shoot under par, around par. I think that kind of goes hand in hand with making the cut. Trying to block that all out and just go out and play and have fun and play my own game and not be too tense or uptight about it. I think if I can do that and take a few slow breaths and not pass out on the first hole, I’ll be okay.”
Horschel, Kirk Favorites
Much higher up the betting board is Billy Horschel and Chris Kirk. The Westgate has them both at 12/1 to win.
Horschel won the team event in New Orleans in April with Scott Piercy, and the Bryon Nelson last year. He has two top 10 finishes this season, including a tie for fourth at the CVS Health Charity Classic two weeks ago.
Kirk is also a multiple winner on tour, his last victory coming in 2015 at the Crowne Plaza Invitational. He has four top 10s, including a tie for sixth at the FedEx St. Jude Classic on June 10.
Someone to consider would be Joel Dahmen, who is at 16/1. He has finished tied for fifth and second in his last two events and could be ready for his first victory.