Because there are no pictures from today of Brittany Lincicome and Beatriz Recari, I’m forced to post a crappy one taken by my crappy camera phone. Here, on the 18th and one-down, Brittany, who needed to hit the sand shot of her life, flew her ball 30 feet past the pin. Bea, who laid up, was safely on the green in three with a 10-footer.
Game. Set. Match. Hooray.
Entering the match as the heavy favorite, Brittany, who won the match play when it was last played at Hamilton Farm, lost a tough match to Beatriz, who is playing on a sponsor’s exemption. That’s why match play can be so fun and sucky at the same time. Like Juli Inkster knocking out the third-ranked Suzann Pettersen. By the way, any new Bea fans out there?
When I showed up at 11, Brittany had knocked it to 25 feet, but missed her birdie try. Bea stepped up and drained her 8-footer. She did tell me yesterday putting was the strongest part of her game — and distance was the weakest, but she was accurate. Uh yeah, she’s ridiculously accurate. I mean, it was insane.
I was also confused because I knew Brittany was 2-up early in the match, so I tweeted that she was still leading the match. Bea said the turning point for her was the 6th hole, when she birdied and Brittany bogeyed. Everyone kept emphasizing how bombers have an advantage and Brittany definitely rips the ball. I’ve said this before and I”ll say it again: I’ll take accuracy over distance any day.
Brittany was just ripping the ball straight down the fairway. I was shocked when we drove up to their balls on the 12th fairway to see Beatriz was 70 yards shorter than Brittany. Same deal the rest of the round. My jaw couldn’t stop dropping. I mean, wouldn’t it feel very daunting for Bea to have a hybrid in her hands (she thinks around 165-170 yards on average) into every green while Brittany had a wedge? Clearly, the mental game is another one of her strengths.
“I said okay, I’m very good with my hybrids and woods and I just have to concentrate a little bit extra just to make sure that I put them by the pin because she’s going to have an easy iron into the pin, so I have to make birdies with her,” Beatriz explained. “That’s how I faced the match today and it went well.”
But it sure helped that Bea was sticking every shot. Which made her play all the more impressive. Meanwhile, Brittany had 108 yards from the fairway into 15 green and flew a sand wedge over the green. This was after Bea had stuck a 4-hybrid pin-high to 10 feet.
I can’t even explain how fun it was to watch. Afterward I asked her if that was intimidating, she replied with an interesting yet logical answer.
“Actually, sometimes it’s more intimidating for the long-hitter when the short-hitter is sticking hybrids because they feel frustrated if they don’t knock it even closer. I think that might have happened today.”
She plays against the other hot Spanish rookie, Azahara Munoz. I can’t wait to watch that match.
I live-tweeted the match starting on the 11th hole (sorry for all the errors, I kept getting distracted). It should be airing on tape-delay on the Golf Channel now. I recommend watching it. It was impressive and baffling. My day was actually kinda moving slowly until I found Bea-Brittany.
But by far, the best part of my day was when the Golf Channel’s Jerry Foltz, who was covering the match, rolled up in a golf cart and told me to hop in. (Who do you think was feeding him those little tidbits about Bea during the coverage? I feel like the Beatriz Recari expert. In the media tent, I’ve been asked by two scribes how old Bea is. 23.)
Seriously, though, riding in a cart is the way to watch a tournament. I want to snag that deal the rest of the week. I might even be able to live-blog from a cart. By the way, Jerry really enjoys covering women’s golf. He does have a sweet gig. How do I snag that job?
Beatriz faces fellow hot Spanish rookie, Azahara Munoz, who beat Se Ri Pak 3&2 today, in Round 2. They tee off at 12:30. Definitely a must-watch.