|Brittany Lincicome holds an umbrella while it rains during the final round of the Canadian Women's Open in Mirabel, Que., Aug. 28, 2011. (CHRISTINNE MUSCHI/Reuters)
MIRABEL, QUE. - She was singing in the rain.
That's how 2011 CN Canadian Women's Open champ Brittany Lincicome kept her nerves steady during Sunday's wet and wild final round at Hillsdale Golf and Country Club outside Montreal.
Playing in weather conditions that would make most golfers scream, Lincicome was hitting all the right notes.
"I was very, very patient, singing lots of songs, was very chatty," Lincicome said.
Singing lots of songs? Like what?
"Anything country, really," she said.
Working with sports psychologist firm Vision 54, the 25-year-old Florida native has discovered she plays her best when she lets her mind wander between shots.
"You really only need to focus 30 seconds over the shot that you're hitting, and after that you let your mind go wherever it wants to go, and my mind tends to sing," she said. "And I'm not a good singer, so I'm not singing for you."
While Lincicome's mind was wandering all over the place on Sunday, one place her eyes were not wandering was at the leaderboard.
The newly crowned champion didn't check a single scoreboard over the course of her round.
"There was one on the 17th green and I literally took my umbrella and put it in front of me and walked straight forward so I wouldn't see it because it just makes me nervous."
After holing her par putt on the 72nd hole, Lincicome still had no idea where she stood.
"I looked at my caddie A.J. (Eathorne) and I was like, 'Did I win?' and she was giving me a thumb's up."
Lincicome's success working with her sports psychologists might come in handy next month at the Solheim Cup in Ireland, where America looks to defend their title against Europe.
The gamesmanship involved in match play requires golfers to be even more mentally tough than usual.
If this week's leaderboard in Canada is a sign of what's to come, it's looking good for the Americans who saw team members Lincicome, Stacy Lewis, Michelle Wie, Cristie Kerr and Angela Stanford all place in the top five.
"That was really cool," Lincicome said. "With the Solheim Cup coming up in a few weeks, it's nice to see everyone playing so well and hopefully we can keep it going for a few more weeks."
If they are able to keep it going, the Americans -- and not just Lincicome -- will be singing plenty in Ireland.