Brittany Lincicome Lincicome to defend LPGA Tour HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship

Brittany Lincicome will try to defend her HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship this week, but she'll be doing it on a different golf course: Wykagl Country Club in New Rochelle, N.Y.

Last year, Lincicome won the LPGA Tour title at the Hamilton Farm Golf Club in New Jersey. She charged through the brackets as the 39th seed to defeat second-seed Michelle Wie, third-seed Lorena Ochoa and eighth-seed Juli Inkster.

Lincicome has said this year's venue will be a tougher test.

"The course last year was not a birdie fest, but you could make a lot of birdies easily," Lincicome told the media. "Here, pars are going to be good. If you make a birdie, it's like a gift from God. So definitely a more challenging golf course I think."

Wykagl isn't unfamiliar to the LPGA Tour, however, having hosted the Sybase Classic for 17 years.

After the first round of matches Thursday, half the field will be eliminated. On Friday the top-16 players will advance to Saturday's third round. The winner will walk away with a $500,0000 check, one-quarter of the $2 million purse.

World No. 1 women's golfer Lorena Ochoa, who has three victories this season and is just shy of $1.8 million in 2007 earnings, is the top seed this week. Ochoa advanced to the semi-finals last year and was defeated by Lincicome in 19 holes.

Ochoa is joined by Annika Sorenstam, Karrie Webb, Se Ri Pak and Juli Inkster, none of whom have won an HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship title. Pak will be competing fresh off her victory at the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic last week, where she won for the fifth time.

The field also includes the top-30 players on the LPGA Official Money List through the U.S. Women's Open. Eighteen-year-old Ashleigh Simon of South Africa, who turned pro in June, is one of two sponsor exemptions. She is paired with Ochoa in the opening round.

July 18, 2007

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