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WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – Brittany Lincicome was hoping to slide under the radar at the Florida’s Natural Charity Classic. But it’s hard for a two-time major winner to blend in at an Epson Tour event.

Before Lincicome begins her 2023 season on the LPGA later this month in Arizona, the mother of two thought she’d try to regain some confidence at the season-opening event that’s about 90 minutes, without traffic, from her St. Petersburg home. It’s her first time playing on the official qualifying tour. The 37-year-old went straight to the LPGA from high school and was a rookie in 2005.

There are 12 players with LPGA status competing this week in Winter Haven. That’s the maximum allowed to play under Category F. Lincicome, who is returning from maternity leave, isn’t the only major winner. Sweden’s Pernilla Lindberg, who won the 2018 ANA Inspiration, now the Chevron, is competing along with Lauren Stephenson, Jaye Marie Green, Mariajo Uribe, Perrine Delacour, Marissa Steen and five players who graduated from the Epson Tour last year by finishing in the top 10 on the money list.

Delacour, Green and Steen are coming off medical exemptions while Uribe was also on maternity leave.

“Traveling with two girls is a lot more difficult than I thought,” said Lincicome, who is the midst of sleep training daughter Sophia. This week she’s staying in a rental home with fellow mom Rachel Rohanna.

Lincicome, an eight-time winner on tour who is 84th on the current LPGA priority list, has talked often in recent months about trying to find that carefree attitude she had as a younger player. Now she often feels like she’s trying to guard against making the cut, rather than charging up the board.

In addition to her growing family, Lincicome will also have to adjust to a new caddie this season as her longtime looper, Missy Pederson, transitions away from caddie life. Lincicome will work with Holly Clyburn this week but has hired Brittany Hamilton for the start of the LPGA season as Clyburn works for Paula Creamer.

“I just feel like I relate better,” said Lincicome of working with female caddies.

Lincicome is using one of three “test starts” this week. LPGA players who are out on maternity or medical leave can use three test starts on the Epson Tour, regardless of their status, to ease back into competition.

Playing on a test start, however, doesn’t guarantee a spot in an Epson Tour field. The 12 spaces that are available in Category F are filled based on priority status.

The top 60 players in the CME rankings from the previous season are not allowed to compete in Epson Tour events. Those who are ranked 61 and below, however, are allowed up to three starts in any given season. The 12 highest-ranked players get in.

The LPGA’s 2023 schedule doesn’t feature a full-field event until the Drive On Championship March 23-26 at Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club in Gold Canyon, Arizona. For players who graduated from the Epson Tour back in early November, that’s a five-month stretch without a paycheck.

With the Carlisle Arizona Women’s Golf Classic taking place the week prior to the Drive On in Mesa, it’s not surprising to see Category F for that field once again filled with LPGA players looking to get in some reps.