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Weather puts Lincicome's PGA bounce-back bid on hold

3 min

Washington (AFP)

Brittany Lincicome's bid to bounce back from a disappointing first round in her anticipated foray onto the US PGA Tour was held up by the weather on Friday.

The 32-year-old American became just the sixth woman to tee it up in a PGA Tour event when she fired a first-round six-under par 78 in the Barbasol Championship in Nicholasville, Kentucky on Thursday.

Lincicome, whose eight LPGA titles include two majors, was hoping to turn things around at Keene Trace Golf Club.

But electrical storms delayed the start of the second round by more than two hours and before she had a chance to tee off play was suspended again as more storms moved through.

More than two hours after players were removed from the course organizers announced play was halted for the day with two dozen players still to tee off.

The second round was to resume Saturday morning.

Lincicome knew after Thursday's round that she had little chance to become the only woman besides Babe Zaharias in 1945 to make a 36-hole cut on the PGA Tour.

But she said her game was actually in good shape and with at least some of the inevitable nerves behind her she was aiming to produce a better round.

"If I can drive it like I did today and just make a few putts here and there, I think I'll be back in good shape," she said. "It's out there."

While she didn't score as she would have liked, Lincicome savored the opportunity to test herself against the men.

"It's so much fun being inside the ropes with them," she said.

"Obviously (I'm) nowhere near making the cut, but still just being inside the ropes with the guys, a cool feeling, a different feeling."

As Lincicome waited, overnight leader Troy Merritt made it around in five-under par 67 between the weather stoppages to stay atop the leaderboard, two strokes in front of Billy Horschel.

Merritt followed up a 10-under par 62 with a round featuring seven birdies and two bogeys for a 15-under par total of 129.

Horschel had six birdies in his six-under 66 for 131, while Richy Werenski and Tom Lovelady were both 12-under for the tournament through 17 holes when play was suspended.

Werenski faced a three-foot putt for par at 18 when the horn sounded. Lovelady was looking at a 25-footer to save par after finding the water at his last hole, the ninth.

Merritt, who claimed his only PGA Tour title at the 2015 Quicken Loans National, was pleased to get his round in given the uncertainty of the weather.

"They moved up tee times an hour 20 minutes, and we ended up teeing off about 20 minutes later than what we were supposed to anyway," he noted after officials' plan to start early in a bid to beat the weather failed to pan out.

"It's just always a little bit tough out there to keep a rhythm when you know you could be pulled off the course at any time. We had some dark clouds roll in from time to time, heard some thunder on the seventh tee. Just to try to put that to the back of your mind is the toughest thing on a day like today.

"It's nice to have two rounds under our belt, that's for sure," he added.

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