Calc Takes Over Top Spot in New Orleans

By Associated PressApril 20, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 Zurich ClassicAVONDALE, La. -- Mark Calcavecchia was on the PGA TOUR before Zurich Classic first-round leader Kyle Reifers was born.
 
They both put themselves in some tough spots during Friday's second round, and the seasoned pro handled it better than the TOUR rookie.
 
'It's a miracle I don't have any bogeys yet, considering the places I hit it today,' Calcavecchia said after his 3-under 69 vaulted him from second place to the top of the leaderboard.
 
The 47-year-old former British Open champ stood at 9 under, one shot ahead of Lucas Glover (69) and Nick Watney (67).
 
'I shot the lowest score humanly possible today, considering the places I was,' said Calcavecchia, who won the PODS Championship last month for his 13th PGA TOUR title. 'It kind of reminded me of Tiger Woods, who seems to make every 10-foot par put he looks at when he needs to.'
 
Reifers, who shot a course-record 64 on Thursday, repeatedly pulled shots left off of the tee, costing him his first two bogeys of the tournament as he failed to consolidate the two-shot lead he had when the day began. He finished with a 73, leaving him tied for fourth at 7 under with Charley Hoffman (69).
 
'I just couldn't buy one. I felt like I was hitting good putts and they just didn't drop,' Reifers said. 'I'm only two off the lead so I can't complain. I want to get on that back nine on Sunday and have a chance to win. So I didn't shoot myself in the foot too bad.'
 
Certainly, it could have been worse, but the 23-year-old impressively saved par twice on the back nine, where he started his second round.
 
On No. 13, his drive laded at the base of a towering cypress tree that blocked his view of the green. With his back pressed against the trunk, his ball surrounded by protruding roots known as cypress knees, he chopped the ball into the middle of the fairway about 92 yards from the pin.
 
'Those aren't fun ones, just hitting it 4 yards. It's like giving away a shot,' Reifers said.
 
His next shot landed 4 feet from the hole, setting up his par putt.
 
On the picturesque par-3 17th, with an alligator lurking in the water nearby, he missed the green on his tee shot, then botched his chip so badly that one spectator could be heard hollering, 'That's horrible,' as the ball skidded nearly 31 feet past the pin. He redeemed himself with a one-putt that quickly turned the gallery in his favor, then he tossed his ball into the crowd.
 
Moving to the front nine, he birdied the par-4 fourth after hitting an approach shot from to the rough to within 9 feet of the hole.
 
It was the first time in his young career Reifers had begun a second or later round of a PGA TOUR event with the lead.
 
'I didn't feel out of place. I didn't feel like I didn't belong,' Reifers said. 'I just didn't hit it the way I wanted to off the tee and got into some squirrelly places and was kind of grinding all day.'
 
Calcavecchia made what he termed 'miraculous pars' with one-putts of about 11 and 8 feet on the sixth and eighth holes. Both putts came after he had hit into bunkers with difficult uphill lies.
 
On No. 15, his approach shot went over the green, then his chip about 9 feet past the pin. He putted in from there to save par. On the par-3 17th, he needed two shots to hit the green, then made par again with a 10-footer. He finished with a crowd pleasing 29-foot put to end his round on No. 18, holding his club in the air as the ball dropped.
 
'Maybe I'm wising up a little,' said Calcavecchia, who credited a calmer mental approach to his 20th-place finish at the Masters two weeks ago. He said he easily could have turned that 20th place into a 40th or 50th 'like I have in the past by losing it a little bit ... and doing some stupid things.'
 
Just don't try to call him more mature.
 
'No. I'll never mature,' Calcavecchia said. 'I'll be a kid until I'm dead.'
 
DIVOTS
The cut was at 1 under, meaning 85 golfers moved on to the final two rounds. Boo Weekley, last weekend's winner at Hilton Head, S.C., was not among them after finishing his second round at 5 over. ... Six players finished the second round tied for sixth at 6 under, just three shots off the lead. They were Daniel Chopra, Wes Short Jr., Paul Stankowski, Jason Schultz, Steve Wheatcroft and Chris Stroud. Stroud was at 8 under before he hit into the water on No. 9, his final hole of the round, and ended his round with a double bogey. ... With Watney one shot back and Reifers and Hoffman two shots behind, chances were good that a first-time PGA winner could emerge from New Orleans' tour stop for the fifth time in the last six years. ... Former LSU star David Toms again had a large gallery following him. With a birdie on No. 8, he managed a 73 to go 4 under through the first two rounds. Because Reifers was fell back to into the field a bit, Toms predicted that 'anyone who makes the cut will have a chance.' ... After several players sponsored by Titleist played the opening rounds with Virginia Tech hats to show support for the university reeling from the murders of 32 people earlier this week, the PGA Tour received donated hats with the schools colors and trademark 'VT' to give to all players during Saturday's third round.
 
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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.”