My Road to Memphis

By Kip HenleyMay 25, 2005, 4:00 pm
April 25, 2005 ' Today is the first round of the Tennessee Section event for Club Professionals and the best amateurs in the state, The True Temper Classic. The tournament is held at The Colonial Club in Memphis Tennessee. (This is the course that Al Gieberger shot the 59 on.) Derick Calcote the CEO of a golf forum internet company, (one of my endorsement deals that I
Kip Henley
Kip Henley made his first start last week at the Henrico County Open.
am working with) is caddying for me. We kind of struggled around all day. Standing in middle of the 18th fairway, 210 yards, all carry over water, to the hole, I kind of fat pulled a 4 iron short and in the water. We went down a few yards to drop at the edge of the water and I pured a 5 iron onto the bank and it trickled back down into the water. Now Im thinking we could be here all day or ROB (run outta balls). I decided to hit 4 iron and totally blew it over the green, but alas, across the water and got it up and down for an 8, turning my 69 into a 75. A 68 was low round for the first day. The course is pretty hard if you ask anybody but Mr. Geiberger.
April 26, 2005 ' I bogeyed 18 again today and it was playing shorter than the day before. Shot a 71, one under par and 2 over for the tournament. Still somehow ended up solo 3rd place and won $1400 bucks. Not great but certainly not bad for how I played.
Just to show you how stubborn I am, I let Derick, who is a member at this course, read just 2 putts in 36 holes. He absolutely read both putts perfect and I made them both but still I was to prideful to let him read more. I felt that I hit the ball good that last day and was feeling pretty positive about the Fed/Ex St. Jude qualifier at TPC SouthWind the next day.
April 27, 2005 ' Today I shot a 3 over par 73 on a very windy tough day. The course recently went through a major renovation. The biggest change being converting the greens from Bent Grass to Champion Bermuda grass - now theyre harder than Chinese arithmetic. The 73 was not a great score but good enough to qualify me for the tournament and I AM PUMPED. That gives me six Nationwide starts and one PGA Tour start, a lot of great opportunities.
May 2nd and May 3rd, 2005 ' Chattanooga Classic media day and Knoxville Open media day. Had to give a short speech at both. I never make notes for my talks at these kind of events, I just shoot from my heart and people seem to enjoy them. I guess my idiotic red-neck banter humors most smart people.
May 11, 2005 ' A camera crew from The Golf Channel flew in today and shot film for the Quest for the Card show. Dont miss it because you get to see my hot wife Sissi and our two beautiful daughters, Darbi and Stormi. They have footage they should show of Stormi singing and it will knock your socks off. We had a blast filming and we cant wait for it to air. The folks at The Golf Channel have sure been good to me.
May 13, 2005 ' First stage U.S. Open qualifier at Holsten Hills in Knoxville Tennessee, a good ole Donald Ross course. I shot 2 under par 70 and still missed by one or two shots, DANG IT!!!
May 15, 2005 ' Flew outta Knoxville into Richmond for The Henrico County Open.
Kip Henley
Kip Henley had a strong following in his Natiowide Tour start in Richmond.
May 16, 17 and 18, 2005 ' Pro-Ams and practice rounds with a ZILLION media requests squeezed in between them. I truly enjoy them but it really feels that it puts more pressure on me than I was already feeling without it. Guess I better get used to it.
May 19, 2005 ' JEEZ-LOUISE!!!! What a pressure packed day. The cameras followed from the time I got out of the car until the time I got back in it. I somehow managed to scrape it around for an even par 72 but there is an asterisk attached. I had a 2 shot penalty when my caddy inadvertently switched balls with me after me marking my ball on the green. Its a long story and if you did not see the coverage you probably aint reading this noways.
May 20, 2005 ' I just thought day one was jeez-louise, today was the real
JEEEEZ LOUISE!!!!!!!! Even the best Boy Scout could not have been prepared for a day like today. I started the day on the practice range in short sleeves and finished soaking wet and frozen. By the end of the day I had put on everything I had in the car. We managed a 2 under par 70, one of the few under par scores from the morning wave of tee times. I really caught a bad wave of tee times. They say they that it evens out over time but if you ask me Gods got some catching up to do to get me evened out. I sill missed the cut by 2, (kinda ironic huh), disappointing as all getout but I have had worse showings. I dont feel it was that bad of a score considering all that happened during that tournament.
May 22, 2005 ' Flew into Memphis for the Fed/Ex St. Jude Classic where I will be staying at my usual host home with the most beautiful family that you have ever seen, Chip and Susan Cayce and their two great kids Lindsay 9, and Jimbo 6 (better wear a cup in Jimbos presence cause he gives you a punch square in the short hairs every time you walk past him).
May 24, 2005 ' Today I am nursing an unbelievably sore elbow. Yesterday I pulled the old club professional idiot move. I hit practice balls all day. The brand new practice pro V range balls and nice grass are too tempting to resist. I am not joking about the elbow, I had to pull out of a practice round with former U.S. Open champion Scott Simpson on the second tee. Scott was a great sport and an even better guy. We have had to seek medical attention today and I am scared to death of not being able to start Thursday. I plan to get a shot to help ease the pain. Say a few prayers and pull for Kipper.
Related links:
  • Kip's Diary Archive
  • Big Break II Home
  • Full Coverage - FedEx St. Jude Classic
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    Confident Lincicome lurking after 54 holes at Founders

    By Randy SmithMarch 18, 2018, 2:45 am

    PHOENIX – Brittany Lincicome is farther back than she wanted to be going into Sunday at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, but she’s in a good place.

    She’s keeping the momentum of her season-opening Pure Silk Bahamas Classic victory going this year.

    Her confidence is high.

    “Last year, I won in the Bahamas, but then I didn't do anything after that,” Lincicome said. “I don't even know if I had a top 10 after my win in the Bahamas. Obviously, this year, I want to be more consistent.”

    Lincicome followed up her victory in the Bahamas this year with a tie for seventh in her next start at the Honda LPGA Thailand. And now she’s right back on another leaderboard with the year’s first major championship just two weeks away. She is, by the way, a two-time winner at the ANA Inspiration.

    Missy Pederson, Lincicome’s caddie, is helping her player keep that momentum going with more focus on honing in the scoring clubs.

    “One of our major goals is being more consistent,” Pederson said. “She’s so talented, a once in a generation talent. I’m just trying to help out in how to best approach every golf course.”

    Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

    Pederson has helped Lincicome identify the clubs they’re likely to attack most with on the particular course they are playing that week, to spend more time working with those clubs in practice. It’s building confidence.

    “I know the more greens we hit, and the more chances we give ourselves, the more our chances are to be in contention,” Pederson said. “Britt is not big into stats or details, so I have to figure out how to best consolidate that information, to get us exactly where we need to be.”

    Lincicome’s growing comfort with clubs she can attack with is helping her confidence through a round.

    “I’ve most noticed consistency in her mental game, being able to handle some of the hiccups that happen over the course of a round,” Pederson said. “Whereas before, something might get under her skin, where she might say, `That’s what always happens,’ now, it’s, `All right, I know I’m good enough to get this back.’ I try to get her in positions to hit the clubs we are really hitting well right now.”

    That’s leading to a lot more birdies, fewer bogeys and more appearances on leaderboards in the start to this year.

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    Returning Park grabs 54-hole Founders lead

    By Randall MellMarch 18, 2018, 2:09 am

    PHOENIX – In the long shadows falling across Wildfire Golf Club late Saturday afternoon, Inbee Park conceded she was tempted to walk away from the game last year.

    While healing a bad back, she was tempted to put her clubs away for good and look for a second chapter for her life.

    But then . . .

    “Looking at the girls playing on TV, you think you want to be out there” Park said. “Really, I couldn't make my mind up when I was taking that break, but as soon as I'm back here, I just feel like this is where I belong.”

    In just her second start after seven months away from the LPGA, Park is playing like she never left.

    She’s atop a leaderboard at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, looking like that’s exactly where she belongs.

    With a 9-under-par 63 Saturday, Park seized the lead going into the final round.

    At 14 under overall, she’s one shot ahead of Mariajo Uribe (67), two ahead of Ariya Jutanugarn (68) and three ahead of 54-year-old World Golf Hall of Famer Laura Davies (63) and Chella Choi (66).

    Park’s back with a hot putter.

    That’s not good news for the rest of the tour. Nobody can demoralize a field with a flat stick like Park. She’s one of the best putters the women’s game has ever seen, and on the front nine Saturday she looked as good as she ever has.

    “The front nine was scary,” said her caddie, Brad Beecher, who was on Park’s bag for her long run at world No. 1, her run of three consecutive major championship victories in 2013 and her gold medal victory at the Olympics two years ago.

    Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

    “The front nine was great . . . like 2013,” Park said.

    Park started her round on fire, going birdie-birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie. She was 6 under through five holes. She holed a wedge from 98 yards at the third hole, making the turn having taken just 10 putts. Yeah, she said, she was thinking about shooting 59.

    “But I'm still really happy with my round today,” she said.

    Park isn’t getting ahead of herself, even with this lead. She said her game isn’t quite where she wants it with the ANA Inspiration, the year’s first major championship, just two weeks away, but a victory Sunday should go a long way toward getting her there.

    Park is only 29. LPGA pros haven’t forgotten what it was like when she was dominating, when she won 14 times between 2013 and ’15.

    They haven’t forgotten how she can come back from long layoffs with an uncanny ability to pick up right where she left off.

    Park won the gold medal in Rio de Janeiro in her first start back after missing two months because of a ligament injury in her left thumb. She took eight months off after Rio and came back to win the HSBC Women’s World Championship last year in just her second start. She left the tour again in the summer with an aching back.

    “I feel like Inbee could take off a whole year or two years and come back and win every week,” said Brittany Lincicome, who is four shots behind Park. “Her game is just so consistent. She doesn't do anything flashy, but her putting is flashy.

    “She literally walks them in. It's incredible, like you know it's going in when she hits it. It's not the most orthodox looking stroke, but she can repeat it.”

    Park may not play as full a schedule as she has in the past, Beecher said, but he believes she can thrive with limited starts.

    “I think it helps her get that fight back, to get that hunger back,” Beecher said. “She knows she can play 15 events a year and still compete. There aren’t a lot of players who can do that.”

    Park enjoyed her time away last year, and how it re-energized her.

    “When I was taking the long break, I was just thinking, `I can do this life as well,’” Park said. “But I'm glad I came back out here. Obviously, days like today, that's the reason I'm playing golf.”

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    Joh on St. Patrick's ace: Go broke buying green beers

    By Randall MellMarch 18, 2018, 12:57 am

    PHOENIX – Tiffany Joh was thrilled making a run into contention to win her first LPGA title Saturday at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, but she comically cracked that her hole-in-one might have been ill-timed.

    It came on St. Patrick’s Day.

    “This is like the worst holiday to be making a hole-in-one on,” Joh said. “You'll go broke buying everyone green beers.”

    Joh aced the fifth hole with a 5-iron from 166 yards on her way to an 8-under-par 64. It left her four shots behind the leader, Inbee Park (63).

    Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

    One of the more colorful players on tour, Joh said she made the most of her hole-in-one celebration with playing partner Jane Park.

    “First I ran and tackled Jane, then I high-fived like every single person walking to the green,” Joh said.

    Joh may be the LPGA’s resident comedian, but she faced a serious challenge on tour last year.  Fourteen months ago, she had surgery to remove a malignant melanoma. She won the LPGA’s Heather Farr Perseverance Award for the way she handled her comeback.

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    Davies, 54, still thinks she can win, dreams of HOF

    By Randall MellMarch 18, 2018, 12:22 am

    PHOENIX – Laura Davies limped around Wildfire Golf Club Saturday with an ache radiating from her left Achilles up into her calf muscle at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

    “Every step is just misery,” Davies said after. “It’s just getting older. Don’t get old.”

    She’s 54, but she played the third round as if she were 32 again.

    That’s how old she was when she was the LPGA’s Rolex Player of the Year and won two major championships.

    With every sweet swing Saturday, Davies peeled back the years, turning back the clock.

    Rolling in a 6-foot birdie at the 17th, Davies moved into a tie for the lead with Inbee Park, a lead that wouldn’t last long with so many players still on the course when she finished. Still, with a 9-under-par 63, Davies moved into contention to try to become the oldest winner in LPGA history.

    Davies has won 20 LPGA titles, 45 Ladies European Tour titles, but she hasn’t won an LPGA event in 17 years, since taking the Wegmans Rochester International.

    Can she can surpass the mark Beth Daniel set winning at 46?

    “I still think I can win,” Davies said. “This just backs that up for me. Other people, I don’t know, they’re always asking me now when I’m going to retire. I always say I’m still playing good golf, and now here’s the proof of it.”

    Davies knows it will take a special day with the kind of final-round pressure building that she hasn’t experienced in awhile.

    Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

    “The pressure will be a lot more tomorrow,” she said. “We'll see, won’t sleep that well tonight. The good news is that I’ll probably be four or five behind by the end of the day, so the pressure won’t be there as much.”

    Davies acknowledged confidence is harder to garner, as disappointments and missed cuts pile up, but she’s holding on to her belief she can still win.

    “I said to my caddie, `Jeez, I haven't been on top of the leaderboard for a long time,’” Davies said. “That's nice, obviously, but you’ve got to stay there. That's the biggest challenge.”

    About that aching left leg, Davies was asked if it could prevent her from challenging on Sunday.

    “I’ll crawl around if I have to,” she said.

    Saturday’s 63 was Davies’ lowest round in an LPGA event since she shot 63 at the Wendy’s Championship a dozen years ago.

    While Davies is a World Golf Hall of Famer, she has been sitting just outside the qualification standard needed to get into the LPGA Hall of Fame for a long time. She needs 27 points, but she has been stuck on 25 since her last victory in ’01. A regular tour title is worth one point, a major championship is worth two points.

    Davies said she still dreams about qualifying.

    “You never know,” she said.