Brittany Licicome takes lead as Helen Alfredsson falters

By Associated PressMay 15, 2009, 4:00 pm
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LPGA Tour _newCLIFTON, N.J. ' Less than six months ago, Brittany Lincicome had a long sit-down with her parents and talked about the possibility of taking a year off from golf.
 
Bam-Bams game had gone bad.
 
With a little more work and a coaching change, things have turned around. Last month, Lincicome won her first major ' the Kraft Nabisco Championship ' and this week the 23-year-old from Florida is starting to show the consistency that all good players seem to possess.
 
Brittany Lincicome
Brittany Lincicome has a two-shot lead with two rounds to play. (Getty Images)
Lincicome followed an opening-round 64 with a 3-under 69 on Friday to take a two-shot lead over Suzann Pettersen of Norway and Ji Young Oh of South Korea at the LPGA Sybase Classic.
 
I really had no expectations today, just to keep it under par, Lincicome said. I was hitting it good yesterday, when I went to the range this morning, I felt like I was hitting it really well. I hit 17 greens today, which is pretty phenomenal.
 
The only one that Lincicome missed in a bogey-free round was at the par-4 16th.
 
Ive never had two full rounds, 36 holes, without making a bogey before, and I think that was the only thing on my mind on the back nine, Lincicome said. I looked at my caddie at one point and I just said, Can we just three-putt one hole just to get it out of the way and I can be done with it and move forward?
 
Lincicomes 11-under total on the Upper Montclair Country Club was the lowest 36-hole total on a par-72 course on the LPGA this year.
 
First-round leader Helen Alfredsson, coming off a career-best 62, shot 76 in a round that included a missed tap-in. She was tied for fourth at 6 under with Wendy Doolan, who shot 68.
 
Michelle Wie, looking for her first professional win, Hall of Famer Karrie Webb and Paula Creamer were among a group at 5 under.
 
Three-time defending champion Lorena Ochoa had another 71 and was in danger of seeing her hold on this event end.
 
Im not playing my best and you have to play your best to win here, Ochoa said.
 
Lincicome played 22 events last year and missed 11 cuts. She had one top-10 finish and earned $114,963, less than $700,000 than she earned in each of the previous two years.
 
This offseason I worked really hard to turn it back around, and luckily here I am, she said.
 
Lincicome was fortunate the 19-year-old Wie isnt closer.
 
She was almost perfect from tee to green, but she missed seven putts of 10 feet or less, including three on the last four holes.
 
Its just a little bumpy, said Wie, who created some headlines earlier this week by saying she still wants to win a PGA Tour event and play in the Masters. Ill work on putting a little more and make some more birdies.
 
The only leader to play in the morning Friday, the 28-year-old Pettersen shot a 2-under 70 that included two tap-in birdies.
 
Im playing my own game, and today 2 under was like a decent score, Pettersen said. But like I said, theres still a lot to be done out there.
 
Oh, who won the State Farm Classic last year, also had four birdies and two bogeys. She finished strong with birdies from 6 feet at the par-3 15th and 5 feet at the par-5 18th.
 
Winning a tournament on the LPGA Tour is never easy, regardless of how many wins you have had in the past, Oh said. (Winning) certainly means I have more confidence in my game. I know I can get there.
 
The downfall for the 44-year-old Alfredsson started at the fourth hole when she missed a tap-in for par. She added five more bogeys before the round ended, with the low point coming at the easy par-5 seventh. She clipped a tree on the right with her drive, pulled the next shot into the rough, then a clipped another tree before chipping onto the green and two-putting.
 
I just didnt feel comfortable, Alfredsson said. I was very jittery, not like a nervous jittery, but it was not like the calm I had yesterday.
 
Alfredsson said the shot miss at the fourth hole didnt start her downhill run.
 
I wasnt hitting it solid, she said.
 
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  • Lexi 'applaud's USGA, R&A for rules change

    By Randall MellDecember 11, 2017, 5:15 pm

    Lexi Thompson’s pain may prove to be the rest of golf’s gain.

    David Rickman, the R&A’s executive director of governance, acknowledged on Golf Channel’s "Morning Drive" Monday that the new protocols that will eliminate the use of TV viewer call-ins and emails to apply penalties was hastened by the controversy following Thompson’s four-shot penalty at the ANA Inspiration in early April. The new protocols also set up rules officials to monitor TV broadcasts beginning next year.

    “Clearly, that case has been something of a focus point for us,” Rickman said.

    Thompson reacted to the new protocols in an Instagram post.

    “I applaud the USGA and the R&A for their willingness to revise the Rules of Golf to address certain unfortunate situations that have arisen several times in the game of golf,” Thompson wrote. “In my case, I am thankful no one else will have to deal with an outcome such as mine in the future.”

    Thompson was penalized two shots for improperly returning her ball to its mark on a green during Saturday’s round after a viewer emailed LPGA officials during Sunday’s broadcast. She was penalized two more shots for signing an incorrect scorecard for her Saturday round. Thompson ultimately lost in a playoff to So Yeon Ryu.

    The new protocols will also eliminate the additional two-shot penalty a player receives for failing to include a penalty when a player was unaware of the penalty.

    Shortly after the ANA Inspiration, the USGA and R&A led the formation of a video review working group, which included the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and PGA of America.

    Also, just three weeks after Thompson was hit with the four-shot penalty, the USGA and R&A released a new Rules of Golf decision decision (34-3/10) limiting video evidence in two ways:

    1. If an infraction can’t be seen with the naked eye, there’s no penalty, even if video shows otherwise.

    2. If a tournament committee determines that a player does “all that can be reasonably expected to make an accurate estimation or measurement” in determining a line or position to play from or to spot a ball, then there will be no penalty even if video replay later shows that to be wrong.

    While the USGA and R&A said the new decision wasn’t based on Thompson’s ANA incident, LPGA players immediately began calling it the “Lexi Rule.”

    Getty Images

    PGA Tour, LPGA react to video review rules changes

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 1:32 pm

    The USGA and R&A announced on Monday updates to the Rules of Golf, including no longer accepting call-ins relating to violations. The PGA Tour and LPGA, which were both part of a working group of entities who voted on the changes, issued the following statements:

    PGA Tour:

    The PGA Tour has worked closely with the USGA and R&A on this issue in recent years, and today's announcement is another positive step to ensure the Rules of Golf align with how the game is presented and viewed globally. The PGA Tour will adopt the new Local Rule beginning January 1, 2018 and evolve our protocols for reviewing video evidence as outlined.

    LPGA:

    We are encouraged by the willingness of the governing bodies to fully vet the issues and implement real change at a pace much quicker than the sport has seen previously. These new adaptations, coupled with changes announced earlier this year, are true and meaningful advances for the game. The LPGA plans to adopt fully the protocols and new Local Rule as outlined.

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    Sharma closes on Monday, wins Joburg Open

    By Associated PressDecember 11, 2017, 12:43 pm

    JOHANNESBURG – Shubhankar Sharma won his first European Tour title by a shooting 3-under 69 Monday in the final round of the weather-delayed Joburg Open.

    The 21-year-old Indian resumed his round on the eighth green after play was halted early Sunday afternoon because of storms. He parred that hole, birdied No. 9 and made par on every hole on the back nine.


    Full-field scores from the Joburg Open


    Sharma finished at 23-under 264, three strokes ahead of the pack, and qualified for next year's British Open, too.

    ''I actually wasn't going to come here about a week ago ... so I'm really happy that I came,'' said Sharma, who shot 61 in the second round. ''I don't think I'm ever going forget my first time in South Africa.''

    Erik van Rooyen (66) was second, three strokes ahead of Shaun Norris (65) and Tapio Pulkkanen (68).

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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 pm