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Short season costs LeBlanc an LPGA Tour award

Maude-Aimee LeBlanc of Canada

© Christinne Muschi / Reuters/REUTERS

Maude-Aimée LeBlanc didn't get to finish her rookie season on the LPGA Tour because of a back injury. She won't get to be recognized as the tour's longest driver either.

The 6-foot-1 long bomber from Sherbrooke, Que., shut down her season in early August after being diagnosed with a stress fracture in her back.

She had competed in eight tournaments and led the tour in driving distance, with an average pop of 282 yards. But to qualify for the Kia Power Drive award, she needed to have started in nine, a tour spokesman said Tuesday.

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Her numbers were thus wiped out, leaving Brittany Lincicome to take over the top spot at 275 yards. Fellow American Lexi Thompson is five yards behind.

Assuming Lincicome holds her advantage after the season-ending Titleholders this week, she'll win the award and its prize: a Kia Optima Limited.

Car maker Kia is sponsoring four awards this year: for longest average drive, most top-10 finishes, most compelling performance and most exceptional community assistance.

With LeBlanc, 23, out of the mix, Alena Sharp of Hamilton is Canada's longest driver. Her average tee shot is 262 yards this year. Lorie Kane of Charlottetown is 60th at 250, Rebecca Lee-Bentham of Toronto is 93rd at 245 and Stephanie Sherlock of Barrie, Ont., is 131st at 236.

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