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Strong field to vie for top honours at DLC
December 06, 2017
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DUBAI: A super competitive Brittany Lincicome teed her 2017 season with a victory and is looking to close it out in a similar fashion this week on her debut at the Omega Dubai Ladies Classic (DLC) which gets underway at the Emirates Golf Club from Dec.6-9.

“Having a win early in the season at Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic, I was kind of hoping for another one or close finishes, but that didn’t happen. It will be great if I can get another win in Dubai,” said the 32-year-old American, famed for her prodigious length off the tee.

“I’ve never been to Dubai before and I always wanted to come and play in this event. It’s at the end of the year and that’s why a lot of players, especially from America, don’t want to play because we just want to be done for the year.

“The DLC was definitely an event that had been on my bucket list for a long time. Finally, it worked out. I feel like I should have been here before because it’s so incredible.

“The atmosphere here is awesome. The golf course is great. We finally played all 18 holes.”

About her ambitions for 2018, she said: Obviously, if I can get a win or two would be nice. I would like to be more consistent. I seem to kind of a roller coaster ride most time, and that’s never fun,” said Lincicome, who always seems so relaxed and let her talent do the work.

“I enjoy everything that I do, don’t think of it like a job, try and make everything fun. I try to keep a good balance. I am super competitive and I want to do good every time, but it’s golf. You are not going to play good every week.

“I really don’t know who is the longest driver from America. I am probably one of three. Lexi (Thompson) is definitely up there. She is killing it. It’s cool to see her evolve,” said Lincicome, nicknamed “Bam Bam” for her power.

Key emphasis on putting

In-Kyung Kim believes a smart course strategy and a soft touch around the greens will determine the outcome of the DLC.

“There are many strong contenders out there in the field and whoever makes more putts, I guess, will have a chance. Keeping it on the fairway is very important on this golf course.

“Some pin positions are also really hard to get in and so whoever is brave and plays smart golf would be the winner,” said the 29-year-old South Korean, the winner of the season-ending Ladies European Tour event in 2009.

“I have so many memories of Dubai that stand out and look forward to having another fun week in Dubai. I just love this (Majlis) course. Playing in Dubai for the first time in 2009 was such a great experience that I wanted to come back every year,” said the recent Women’s British Open winner in Kingbarns.

“I am just happy to be here again. The new trophy looks amazing; it’s more like the guys trophy. Just fantastic. It looks like a genie is going to come out or something! It’s kind of a piece of art,” said Kim, a three-time winner on the LPGA Tour this season.

“It has been a fun year, not because I have won a couple of tournaments, but I have seen the progress and that I have put in the work. Of course, I would like to win this week as it’s a special tournament,” said Kim, who is making her third appearance in Dubai.

Kim’s bid to defend her title may have fallen short in 2010, but her tied sixth place finish contributed to her winning the Ladies European Tour Rookie of the Year award that year.

Camille eyes Rookie title

France’s Camille Chevalier is looking for a top finish in her first appearance at DLC to confirm her position as the LET’s Rookie of the Year.

The 23-year-old from Aix-en-Provence claimed her maiden title at last month’s Hero Women’s Indian Open and sits approximately 31,000 euros ahead of second ranked rookie Jenny Haglund from Sweden heading into the season-ending tournament.

Chevalier has earned 62,985 euros from eight tournaments this year and with the first prize worth US$75,000, or approximately 63,246 euros, any of the other first year members in the field could effectively seal the leading rookie title with a victory in Dubai, if Chevalier missed the cut.

Haglund or Luna Sobron, ranked third in the rookie race with 28,163 euros in season’s earnings, could mathematically overtake Chevalier with a runner-up finish, worth US$45,000, or 37,949 euros.

However, Chevalier is determined to end her debut season on a high.

“I am very motivated, because I will be playing against great players and I want to figure well in the tournament,” said Chevalier, adding: “A win would be awesome. If not, a top 10 will be okay. I came here to win. If you don’t come to win, then why do you come?”

Chevalier is keenly aware of the stakes this week and said that being named Rookie of the Year would be a special achievement.

“It will be awesome because it will mean that I managed to give everything I have this season. It was my goal, so I’m excited and it means I improved since I got here. I decided to go pro last year and before that, I really didn’t want to go pro.”

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