June 11, 2015 / 7:56 PM / 3 years ago

Friendly wager spurs group to share of LPGA lead

RYE, New York (Reuters) - A friendly wager helped spur Brittany Lincicome and Jessica Korda to join playing partner Cristie Kerr in a tie for the early lead in Thursday’s opening round of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

Jun 11, 2015; Harrison, NY, USA; Cristie Kerr hits from the1st tee during the KPMG Women's PGA Championship at Westchester Country Club - West. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Fellow Americans Korda and Lincicome were struggling on the front nine at Westchester Country Club and decided they could use a little spark to move up the leaderboard.

“Korda and I were both two over par and we said when we made the turn (after birdies at the ninth), ‘Let’s do a $5 birdie game to get us motivated to shoot better,'” said Lincicome, who is aiming for a second straight major after winning the ANA Inspiration.

The ploy worked as both Lincicome and Korda rebounded to register three-under-par rounds of 70 to join Kerr in an 11-way tie for the lead among the early finishers.

Lincicome was pleased, but said it was not the happiest ending for her.

“She (Korda) birdied the last so we were tied unfortunately or I was going to be up $5,” joked the long-hitting Lincicome.

“We just needed something to kind of motivate us to get back in it. We weren’t out of it by any means, but obviously being a major, you never know if you’re going to birdie that many holes coming in.”

Lincicome took a short cut by posting an eagle at the par-five 15th, while Korda birdied the last two to reach 70.

Kerr was not invited to join the wager, said Lincicome.

“We didn’t let Kerr in because she was already making too many birdies. She doesn’t need any motivation,” she said.

Kerr said she had benefited from playing in the friendly group.

“We are all friends and Solheim Cup team members,” said Kerr. “It was a good group to be in, I think, because the mood was very light. It wasn’t so serious that you’re grinding a ton. That was good.”

Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes

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