Brittany Lincicome found herself with some free time as she was driven from the Philadelphia airport to Seaview Resort in Galloway Township for the ShopRite LPGA Classic media day last month.

Lincicome, defending champion of the tournament that starts Friday on Seaview's Bay Course, pulled out her smartphone and began to respond to tweets.

"I think Twitter has been awesome," said Lincicome, whose Twitter handle is @Brittany1golf. "I try to reply back to every single person who tweets me."

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The LPGA has embraced Twitter - the social media in which people communicate in texts consisting of no more than 140 characters - like few other professional sports organizations. Beginning next week at the Wegmans LPGA Championship in Rochester, N.Y., the LPGA will put players' Twitter handles on the back of their caddies' bibs.

LPGA star Paula Creamer, whose handle is @ThePCreamer, already has nearly 90,000 followers.

"I thought it was brilliant,"said LPGA standout Suzann Pettersen (@suzannpettersen). "The space (on the bibs) is right there and this is how the fans love to kind of interact with us. So I guess it (puts) the pressure of all of us to kind of keep up Twittering and keep people up to date."

The LPGA has almost no choice but to be at the forefront of the social media craze, according to tour commissioner Mike Whan.

"Our players are going to lead us there anyway," he said.

A quick look at the putting green during an LPGA tournament illustrates Whan's point. Most players are in their 20s. Their phones are never far from their hands. Even 51-year-old Juli Inkster, who will miss the Classic after undergoing elbow surgery, tweets at @JuliInskter.

Whan jokes that he can't call a player. They won't answer. Instead, they text him back.

"They don't answer their phone," he said.

Twitter helps the LPGA sell the personalities of their players. Christian Kim last week tweeted tips on how to avoid an Orlando, Fla., traffic jam.

"If you follow Christian Kim (@TheChristinaKim) on Twitter, you'll be chuckling a lot," Whan said. "I have to believe she's as interesting as any athlete you can Twitter follow."

Cristie Kerr (@Ckgolferchic) joined Twitter in November. Her Twitter page reveals a passion for wines and the New York Rangers.

"It's amazing the response I've gotten (to Twitter)," said Kerr, won the 2004 Classic. "I didn't know I had that many fans, frankly. It's great to get support from people and to be able to answer their questions and just do random things, like (share) recipes or golf tips or makeup (tips)."

LPGA players use Twitter to communicate with each other. LPGA standout Stacy Lewis (@Stacy_Lewis) says Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) is a good LPGA star to follow.

"She seems to put pictures of food up all the time, and what she's doing every day," Lewis said of Wie.

Many of the tweets by LPGA players Monday dealt with the ShopRite LPGA Classic.

Lincicome tweeted Monday night: "Played 9 holes with my buddy @Meredith_Duncan and @bettybader :-). Dad ran me around the tennis court just to get some exercise. Fun day!!!"

Said Lincicome, "I think it's fun for the (fans) to see what we do on a day-in and day-out basis."

Contact Michael McGarry:


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