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Seminole’s Brittany Lincicome falls in playoff at LPGA Marathon Classic

Times wires

SYLVANIA, Ohio — Brittany Lincicome could have been forgiven for looking ahead. But that didn't appear to be a problem.

The Seminole resident took Thidapa Suwannapura into a playoff, falling on the first hole Sunday in the LPGA Marathon Classic and taking her strong performance into this week's PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship in Kentucky. She will become the fifth woman to play in a PGA Tour event, joining longtime Tampa resident Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Michelle Wie, Suzy Whaley and Annika Sorenstam.

Lincicome shot 67 Sunday. She had a chance to win in regulation, but her birdie putt from about 10 feet did a nearly 360-degree turn around the edge of the cup and stayed out.

RELATED: Brittany Lincicome makes the Tampa Bay Times Mount Rushmore of Tampa Bay individual sports.

Despite having eight career victories, including this season's opener in the Bahamas, the 32-year-old Lincicome said she was extremely nervous standing over that putt.

"I was shaking so bad. I had to take so many deep breaths. So it's kind of cool to have those nerves, but learning how to play through them after 12 years of being a pro … 14 years of being a pro, I still haven't figured it out, so that's a little disappointing," she said. "(The putt) caught a lot of the hole, so I feel like I hit a pretty good putt for how nervous I was. I really haven't seen one that aggressive in a long time, so that was just unfortunate, really."

Suwannapura's main focus going into the Marathon Classic was trying to put together four solid rounds that would help her keep her LPGA Tour card. She doesn't have to worry about that any longer.

Suwannapura picked up her first win, closing with a 6-under 65 and birdieing the first playoff hole at Highland Meadows.
In the playoff, Suwannapura converted a short birdie putt after Lincicome hit her second shot into a water hazard and scrambled for par.

"I never expect it was going to be today at all. I've just been struggling the whole year," said Suwannapura, whose previous best finish was seventh at the 2014 Kingsmill Championship. "Finally all my work I've been doing has come out and shown up today. After I knocked that last putt in, it just felt like a dream come true."

With the win, the 25-year-old Thai player has an exemption through the 2020 season. She is also the sixth first-time winner on tour this year

Suwannapura picked up three strokes over her final two holes, making eagle on the par-5 17th and closing with a birdie on the par-5 18th to finish at 14-under 270. She then had to wait for the final seven groups to finish.

Third-round leader Brooke Henderson led by two shots after six holes, but struggled the rest of the way. The Canadian shot 2-under 69 and was one shot out of the playoff.

"Sometimes golf is weird. Sometimes it just doesn't go your way, and that was kind of me the last four holes," said Henderson, who lost for the second time in six occasions she has led after 54 holes.

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