Brittany Lincicome stands by support of caddie alignment rule: 'I don't see the problem'

Saturday March 4th, 2017
1:22 | Rules of Golf
New Rules: Picking up the pace of play

Brittany Lincicome is standing by her statement: Caddie alignment should not be taken away from professionals on tour.

In an interview with GOLF.com, LPGA star Lincicome defended her criticism of the USGA and R&A's decision to do away with caddie alignment, one of many proposed rule changes unveiled March 1. Under the current rule, allowing a caddie or partner to align a player isn't a condition of competition and, therefore, is not prohibited. That will change if the proposal stands come January 1, 2019.

Lincicome tweeted her displeasure Wednesday, arguing that her fast pace of play and 40-second shot allotment should be used however she pleases. Even when fellow LPGA legend Karrie Webb suggested pros should be able to manage without caddie alignment, Lincicome stuck to her guns: "I'm sorry but I need it. And I'm fast. That's not the reason people are slow."

For Lincicome, the alignment is a privilege, a kind of stop-gap that only a trusted partner like her caddie, Missy Pederson, can offer.

"I tend to aim a little bit right so it’s just nice to have that reassurance," Lincicome told GOLF.com. "She never tells me I’m wrong, she’s never called me off. And if she does, I would readjust the shot, it’s not like I back off like some players do."

"I am a fast player," she continued. "I don’t see the problem with her lining me up. We get 40 seconds to hit the ball, I don’t think it should matter what I do in those 40 seconds. People are doing aim-point, plumb-bobbing, all of these other things, that takes a lot of time. I don’t understand the caddie-aligning thing."

Brittany Lincicome and caddie Missy Pederson line up a putt at the 2017 Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic.
Getty Images

The caddie alignment issue isn't the only thing on Lincicome's mind. She and countless other pros have weighed in on other proposed changes and have even suggested others, such as permitting players free relief from divots in the fairway.

MORE: Cheat sheet: 9 essential things you need to know about the changes

Lincicome agrees with her peers that there could be a separate, more exacting set of standards for professionals -- but getting rid of caddie alignment is a no-go for her. She plans to use the six-month feedback period to draft a submission to the powers-that-be about her concerns. Ultimately, it's not her call, and she says she'll live with whatever rules are written into law.

"If they take away aligning…I mean, I’ve won seven times. It’s not because Missy’s been lining me up every time, trust me," Lincicome said. "But, yeah, I think in the next couple of months they’ll iron things out and get it more finalized and make it as great as they can."

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