Unfamiliar Territory

Brittany Lincicome was number 15 on the LPGA money list last year earning $663,806 in 23 events. She is number 62 on the LPGA Career money list earning $3.3 million over the course of her five-year career. That qualifies her as one of the best players in the world. She’s a great player.

So I found this article by Julie Williams in Golf Week very interesting. It describes Lincicome’s brave effort to get some playing time in real tournaments while she’s waiting for the LPGA Tour to crank up again. She’s doing this by playing men’s Hooters Tour events in Florida. You can only beat balls on the range for just so long, and you can only play solitary practice rounds at home for just so long. The rubber meets the road in tournaments; ya gotta go play.

So she gave it a go in Tavares, Florida on the 7,029 Deer Island Golf Club. Not such a stretch for the second-longest driver on the LPGA last year behind Michelle Wie with an average drive of 267 yards. That was more than adequate for that length course. She was also 15th in Scoring Average at 71.25 strokes per round. (Number 10, Paula Creamer was at 71.00 and number 5, Jiyai Shin was at 70.25, just one stroke better than Lincicome, as an indication of just how tightly clustered the talent is: being number 15 is very good.)

From a mastery perspective, the article is quite interesting because of Lincicome’s candid reflections on her 2-over 74 that left her 10 strokes back of the leaders:

“I should have just gone in today wanting to win and not even caring, just kind of be aggressive on every shot,” she said.

For the long-hitting Lincicome, length was not the problem Tuesday, but rather a few nerves at being in an unfamiliar setting as well as several close calls on the putting green. Lincicome hung back-to-back birdie putts on the lip coming in that could have gotten her to even par for the round.

“On my tour, I’m really aggressive, if I blow it by 4 or 5 feet, it’s not a big deal,” Lincicome said of her putting. “I can make it coming back. I think there was a little more nerves today.”

She also worried how she’d be received by the men and that they might think that she was trying to compare herself with men. All traps of the ego.

So here you have one of the best players in the world who you would think would be immune from all manner of tournament pressures. And she is feeling vulnerable in a new setting, worried about what others would think of her and pulling her punches because of nerves. Which suggests that the risk of backsliding in the domain of the ego, even when you’re a great player, is always there. And that our work to step over the ego by remembering that it’s just an overlay of our true, indestructible, spiritual essence, is never done.

Read the whole article.

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