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Lincicome gets set to test her game against the men

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Lincicome gets set to test her game against the men

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(Reuters) - Brittany Lincicome has always wanted to know how her game would stack up on the PGA Tour and she will finally get her chance at this week's Barbasol Championship in Kentucky.

The long-hitting American will become the sixth woman to compete in a PGA Tour event and the first since Michelle Wie in 2008 when she tees off in Thursday's opening round at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville.

"Just going to roll with it and see what happens," said Lincicome. "This is literally a once-in-a-lifetime, probably a one-and-done opportunity. I'm just going to enjoy it."

Lincicome, who represents Barbasol's parent company, Perio Inc. and accepted one of the tournament's sponsor exemptions, brings plenty of credentials into the event as she has two majors among her eight wins on the LPGA Tour.

With the top players in the men's game competing in this week's British Open in Scotland, Lincicome, 32, will set out to try to become only the second woman to make a cut in a PGA Tour event. Babe Zaharias did it in 1945.

"I've always thought it would be cool to play in a men's event, but never did I think I would actually have the opportunity," said Lincicome. "I think if I keep it in the fairway, I'll be all right."

Lincicome, who played on the boys golf team at her Florida high school, is one of the biggest hitters on the LPGA Tour with an average driving distance of nearly 270 yards.

She will start her first round at 9:59 a.m. ET (1359 GMT) alongside PGA Tour rookies Sam Ryder and Conrad Shindler at the par-four 10th hole.

"The first three or four holes I'll be a nervous wreck for sure," said Lincicome.

With five top-10 finishes on the LPGA Tour this year, including a win in January when she successfully defended her title at the Bahamas PGA Classic in January, Lincicome arrives at Keene Trace in fine form.

Lincicome said her goal this week is to shoot under par or around par, which she feels would be enough to make the cut but she also said she is doing her best not to focus on her shot at history.

"Trying to block that all out and just go out and play and have fun and play my own game and not be too tense or uptight about it," said Lincicome. "I think if I can do that and take a few slow breaths and not pass out on the first hole, I'll be okay."

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Toby Davis)

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