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

Brittany Lincicome walks to the 11th green during the first round of the Barbasol Championship at Keene Trace Golf Club on July 19, 2018 in Lexington, Kentucky

Brittany Lincicome's bid to bounce back from a disappointing first round in her anticipated foray onto the US PGA Tour was being 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 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 that delayed the start of the second round by more than two hours forced another suspension of play in the afternoon before she had a chance to tee off.

Lincicome knew after Thursday's round that she had little chance in becoming 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 of the new stage 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 said she was delighted with her experience playing with the men.

"It's so much fun being inside the ropes with them," she said. Hopefully I can get a good one tomorrow.

"I'll probably still be nervous," she admitted. "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 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.

Merritt 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 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.