Aussie Exchange Pampling Overtakes Scott

By Associated PressJune 2, 2007, 4:00 pm
DUBLIN, Ohio -- Rod Pampling had reason to look concerned as his tee shot sailed toward trouble on the right side of the 18th fairway. Given how the rest of his third round had gone Saturday at the Memorial, Pampling had no worries.
Instead of hanging up in thick grass on the side of the hill, it tumbled into a flat lie on the bunker.
Tiger Woods
Three-time winner Tiger Woods is 11 strokes back. (WireImage)
It wasn't all sheer luck for the 37-year-old Australian. For every good break came a great shot, including his 9-iron from the bunker that stopped 3 feet away for a birdie that changed everything Saturday.
A sterling back nine gave Pampling a 4-under 68. His final birdie, coupled with a bogey for Adam Scott, gave him a three-shot lead over Scott (72) and Sean O'Hair (69).
Next up could be a rare double: Only six other players have won tournaments hosted by Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. Pampling's last PGA TOUR victory came a year ago at Bay Hill.
'That would be nice,' Pampling said. 'Hopefully, the good fortune will keep going tomorrow.'
Scott was in the lead most of the day until watching Pampling make an unlikely birdie on the 14th from 40 feet. Scott kept in range with three straight one-putt greens down the stretch, his luck running out on the final hole.
The 26-year-old Aussie hit his tee shot on about the same line as Pampling, only his ball was nestled in thick grass next to a steep slope, and he couldn't reach the green. Scott chipped to 8 feet and missed the par putt.
With storms in the forecast, tee times will be moved up Sunday and the final round will be threesomes. Pampling was at 15-under 201, and in the last group with Scott and O'Hair.
'I'm still playing with Rod,' Scott said. 'And I'll know what's going on, so I can put pressure on, hopefully.'
O'Hair stumbled out of contention until he holed a bunker shot from behind the seventh green for eagle, then rallied with three birdies in a four-hole stretch on the back nine. It's a good opportunity for O'Hair in his first tournament since THE PLAYERS Championship, where he lost a duel to Phil Mickelson while putting two balls in the water on the island-green 17th.
'A great day of patience, so that was huge for me,' O'Hair said.
Will MacKenzie and Stewart Cink each shot 65, the low rounds of the day, and were at 205 with Aaron Baddeley (71). The group at 206 included U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy (67) and K.J. Choi (67).
Tiger Woods sputtered again, making birdie on only one of the par 5s in his round of 70 that left him 11 shots behind.
'I just haven't made anything,' Woods said.
Bubba Watson couldn't blame his meltdown on bad luck, just bad choices. He was tied for the lead in the middle of the round and still very much in the hunt until he wound up six shots behind in a span of four holes.
His troubles came on the 15th when his drive went left into the trees and deep rough. Instead of taking a drop, he tried to play out into the fairway, hit a tree and then had to take a penalty shot for an unplayable lie. He hit his fourth shot into the right rough, his fifth shot over the green and he failed to get up-and-down for an 8.
'I screwed up,' Watson said. 'My caddie told me to take a drop on 15. But I was going to be a hero and chip the ball back to the fairway. Afterward, he laughed and said, 'Next time, let's just take the drop.''
Pampling's good fortune began on No. 2 when he pushed his tee shot to the right, toward the creek. It caught a finger of land, and he hit a beautiful approach to the front of the green for a two-putt par.
He also avoided a big number. Pampling hit 3-wood that came up short of the par-5 fifth green and into the water, and after taking a drop, his slid off the front of the green and was headed back into the water until the rough held it up. He escaped with bogey, the last mistake he made the rest of a gloomy afternoon.
'Once I made that bogey, things totally changed,' Pampling said. 'I said to my caddie, 'Why am I being so conservative out here? Let's me more aggressive.''
Scott had his chances. He had a number of birdie putts inside 15 feet that grazed the lip, and he wasted a chance to build a two-shot cushion after a beautiful approach over the bunkers to 35 feet on the seventh. But he three-putted for par, missing from 3 feet, and a daring approach from the right rough on No. 9 clipped a branch, taking enough off the ball to send it into the water.
'I didn't really ever get it going today,' Scott said. 'I struggled with the pace on the greens. I just didn't get any momentum going.'
After a birdie on No. 10 to join Watson at 12 under, Scott had four straight birdie putts inside 15 feet and didn't make any, the most discouraging an 8-footer after an aggressive shot left of the pin on the 13th.
For all his birdies, what might have saved Pampling was a slick, 6-foot putt to save par from a bunker on the 10th. Then came another save from the bunker for birdie on No. 11, just as Nicklaus and his grandson pulled up in a cart to watch.
He took the lead for the first time with the 40-foot birdie on the 14th, and even that required a small piece of luck. He pulled his hybrid off the tee, and was begging for it to stop rolling, which it did with about two paces to spare before going into the creek.
The final break, of course, came at the 18th, especially considering where Scott wound up.
'I had a nice, flat lie in the bunker, and Adam had a pretty gnarly lie there,' Pampling said. 'That's just the breaks. Thankfully, it went my way and I hit a great shot.'
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    Lincicome grouped with two rookies in Barbasol

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 17, 2018, 9:54 pm

    Brittany Lincicome will tee it up with a pair of rookies when she makes her first start in a PGA Tour event Thursday at the Barbasol Championship at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Ky.

    Lincicome, an eight-time LPGA winner, is scheduled to go off the 10th tee at 9:59 a.m. ET in the first round with Sam Ryder, 28, and Conrad Shindler, 29. They’re off the first tee Friday at 2:59 p.m. ET

    Lincicome will become just the sixth woman to play in a PGA Tour event, joining Babe Zaharias, Shirley Spork, Annika Sorenstam, Suzy Whaley and Michelle Wie.

    “The first three or four holes, I’ll be a nervous wreck, for sure,” Linicome said.



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    Lincicome thrilled by reception from male pros

    By Randall MellJuly 17, 2018, 8:31 pm

    Brittany Lincicome wondered how PGA Tour pros would greet her when she arrived to play the Barbasol Championship this week.

    She wondered if there would be resentment.

    She also wondered how fans at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Ky., would receive her, and if a social media mob would take up pitchforks.

    “I can’t stop smiling,” Lincicome said Tuesday after her first practice round upon arriving. “Everyone has been coming up to me and wishing me luck. That means a lot.”

    PGA Tour pro Martin Piller, husband of LPGA pro Gerina Piller, welcomed her immediately.

    Other pros sought her out on the practice putting green.

    She said she was also welcomed joining pros at a table in player dining.

    Fans have been stopping her for autographs.

    “It has been an awesome reception,” said Dewald Gouws, her husband, a former long-drive competitor. “I think it’s put her much more at ease, seeing the reception she is getting. There’s a lot of mutual respect.”

    Lincicome, 32, wasn’t sure if she would be playing a practice round alone Tuesday morning, but when she made her way to the first tee, Domenico Geminiani was there, just about to go off.

    He waved Lincicome over.

    “He said, `Hey, Brittany, do you want to join me?’” Gouws said. “Come to find out, Dom’s a pretty cool guy.”

    Geminiani made it into the field as a Monday qualifier.

    “The two of us were both trying to figure things out together,” Lincicome said.

    Keene Trace will play to 7,328 yards on the scorecard. That’s more than 800 yards longer than Highland Meadows, where Lincicome finished second at the LPGA’s Marathon Classic last weekend. Keene Trace was playing even longer than its listed yardage Tuesday, with recent rains softening it.

    Nicknamed “Bam Bam,” Lincicome is one of the longest hitters in the women’s game. Her 269.5 yard average drive is 10th in the LPGA ranks. It would likely be dead last on the PGA Tour, where Brian Stuard (278.2) is the last player on the stats list at No. 201.

    “I think if I keep it in the fairway, I’ll be all right,” Lincicome said.

    Lincicome is an eight-time LPGA winner, with two major championships among those titles. She is just the sixth woman to compete in a PGA Tour event, the first in a decade, since Michelle Wie played the Reno-Tahoe Open, the last of her eight starts against the men.

    Lincicome will join Babe Zaharias, Shirley Spork, Annika Sorenstam, Suzy Whaley and Wie in the elite ranks.

    Zaharias, by the way, is the only woman to make a 36-hole cut in PGA Tour history, making it at the 1945 L.A. Open before missing a 54-hole cut on the weekend.

    What are Lincicome’s expectations?

    She would love to make the cut, but . . .

    “Just going to roll with it and see what happens,” she said. “This is once in a lifetime, probably a one-and-done opportunity. I’m just going to enjoy it.”

    Lincicome grew up playing for the boys’ golf team at Seminole High on the west coast of Florida. She won a couple city championships.

    “I always thought it would be cool to compete against the guys on the PGA Tour,” Lincicome said. “I tend to play more with the guys than women at home. I never would have gone out and told my agent, `Let’s go try to play in a PGA Tour event,’ but when Tom Murray called with this opportunity, I was really blown away and excited by it. I never in a million years thought I would have this opportunity.”

    Tom Murray, the president of Perio, the parent company of Barbasol and Pure Silk, invited Lincicome to accept one of the tournament’s sponsor exemptions. Lincicome represents Pure Silk.

    Lincicome said her desire to play a PGA Tour event is all about satisfying her curiosity, wanting to know how she would stack up at this level. She also wants to see if the experience can help take her to the next level in the women’s game.

    As a girl growing up, she played Little League with the boys, instead of softball with the girls. She said playing the boys in golf at Seminole High helped her get where she is today.

    “The guys were better, and it pushed me to want to be better,” Lincicome said. “I think playing with the guys [on the PGA Tour], I will learn something to take to LPGA events, and it will help my game, for sure.”

    Lincicome has been pleased that her fellow LPGA pros are so supportive. LPGA winner Kris Tamulis is flying into Kentucky as moral support. Other LPGA pros may also be coming in to support her.

    The warm fan reception Lincicome is already getting at Keene Trace matters, too.

    “She’s already picked up some new fans this week, and hopefully she will pick up some more,” Gouws said. “I don’t think she’s putting too much expectation on herself. I think she really does just want to have fun.”

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    Stunner: Inbee Park steps aside for Int. Crown

    By Randall MellJuly 17, 2018, 4:00 pm

    There was a big surprise this week when the LPGA announced the finalized lineups for the UL International Crown.

    Rolex world No. 1 Inbee Park won’t be teeing it up for the host South Koreans Oct. 4-7 in Incheon.

    She has withdrawn, saying she wanted another Korean to be able to experience the thrill of representing her country.

    It’s a stunner given the importance the LPGA has placed on taking the UL International Crown to South Korea and its golf-crazy allegiance to the women’s game in the Crown’s first staging outside the United States.

    Two-time major champion In Gee Chun will replace Park.

    "It was my pleasure and honor to participate in the first UL International Crown in 2014 and at the 2016 Olympics, and I cannot describe in one word how amazing the atmosphere was to compete as a representative of my country,” Park said. “There are so many gifted and talented players in Korea, and I thought it would be great if one of the other players was given the chance to experience the 2018 UL International Crown.”

    Chun, another immensely popular player in South Korea, was the third alternate, so to speak, with the world rankings used to field teams. Hye Jin Choi and Jin Young Ko were higher ranked than Chun but passed because of commitments made to competing in a Korean LPGA major that week. The other South Koreans who previously qualified are So Yeon Ryu, Sung Hyun Park and I.K. Kim.

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    Na: I can admit, 'I went through the yips'

    By Rex HoggardJuly 17, 2018, 3:35 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following his victory two weeks ago at A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier, Kevin Na said his second triumph on the PGA Tour was the most rewarding of his career.

    Although he declined to go into details as to why the victory was so gratifying at The Greenbrier, as he completed his practice round on Tuesday at the Open Championship, Na shed some light on how difficult the last few years have been.

    “I went through the yips. The whole world saw that. I told people, 'I can’t take the club back,'” Na said on Tuesday at Carnoustie. “People talked about it, 'He’s a slow player. Look at his routine.' I was admitting to the yips. I didn’t use the word ‘yip’ at the time. Nobody wants to use that word, but I’m over it now so I can use it. The whole world saw it.”

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    Na, who made headlines for his struggles to begin his backswing when he found himself in the lead at the 2012 Players Championship, said he asked other players who had gone through similar bouts with the game’s most dreaded ailment how they were able to get through it.

    “It took time,” he said. “I forced myself a lot. I tried breathing. I tried a trigger. Some guys will have a forward press or the kick of the right knee. That was hard and the crap I got for it was not easy.”

    The payoff, however, has steadily arrived this season. Na said he’d been confident with his game this season following a runner-up showing at the Genesis Open and a fourth-place finish at the Fort Worth Invitational, and he felt he was close to a breakthrough. But being able to finish a tournament like he did at The Greenbrier, where he won by five strokes, was particularly rewarding.

    “All good now,” he smiled. “I knew I was good enough to win again, but until you do it sometimes you question yourself. It’s just the honest truth.”