Women’s British Open champion heads Dubai field

I-K Kim tees off at the eighth on the Majlis Course at Emirates Golf Club in the Omega Dubai Ladies Classic pro-am. Picture: Getty Images
I-K Kim tees off at the eighth on the Majlis Course at Emirates Golf Club in the Omega Dubai Ladies Classic pro-am. Picture: Getty Images
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In-Kyung Kim believes a smart course strategy and a soft touch around the greens will determine the outcome of the Omega Dubai Ladies Classic at Emirates Golf Club this week.

“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 this year’s Women’s British Open winner at 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.

“So, it’s cool to come and play in Dubai,” she said,

Meanwhile, 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 in the UAE event.

“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 Omega Dubai Ladies Classic 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. I have taken in a bunch of the sights: The Burj Khalifa and I have gone to the mall and played with the penguins. Done so many cool things, it’s been incredible.

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.

“It’s cool to be able to go fishing and hang out at my home and then still be competitive and practice enough to still be good to play the game,” said Lincicome who averages 270 to 275 yards off the tee.

“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.