The Daly Show Remains a Big Hit on TOUR

By Associated PressMay 22, 2007, 4:00 pm
John Daly withdrew from five tournaments and missed the cut in eight others on the PGA TOUR. His best finish was third place at the Skins Game, which had only four players. And that didn't really count because it was after the 2006 season, the worst of his career.
 
As a result, Daly lost his card.
 
But not his appeal.
 
How else to explain why tournaments would trip over themselves to give sponsor exemptions to someone who has missed the cut, withdrawn or been disqualified from 45 percent of his PGA TOUR events since his rookie season in 1991?
 
'I always get three questions,' Kym Hougham, tournament director of the prestigious Wachovia Championship, said Tuesday. 'Is Tiger coming? Is Fred Couples coming? Is John Daly coming? As strong a field as we had, people still thought it was important to have him.'
 
Wachovia certain didn't need any help selling tickets. It had 27 of the top 30 players in the world, the fifth-strongest field this year behind THE PLAYERS Championship, two World Golf Championships and the Masters.
 
What did Daly bring to Quail Hollow?
 
Those who joined his circus in the second round could say they watched him hit a milestone with his 50th career round in the 80s on the PGA TOUR. He was 1 under par through seven holes and still managed to shoot 87.
 
Give him credit. He counted every shot and signed for the correct score. There ought to be FedExCup bonus points for that.
 
'I know he had a tough day here,' Hougham said. 'I didn't see any of the shots. But I was still glad to have him in the field. John is loved by the people. And we all have a responsibility to put people on the golf course that the paying public wants to see. Does his star remain bright? He's good for the gate, good for the crowd, good for concessions.'
 
There shouldn't be a question whether Daly deserves so many sponsor exemptions.
 
Even though it seems like a fading memory, he did capture two major championships in unforgettable style. One was the 1991 PGA Championship, when he drove through the night to Crooked Stick as the ninth alternate and introduced golf to his 'grip-it-and-rip-it' ways. The other was the British Open, always special when a claret jug is hoisted at St. Andrews.
 
His other three PGA TOUR titles don't stand out nearly as much as the three divorces, two trips to alcohol rehab, outrageous tales of gambling losses, trashed hotel rooms and suspensions.
 
No doubt, he brings flavor to a vanilla sport.
 
And that's not all.
 
'One thing I know he'll bring -- fans,' said Larry Peck, golf marketing manager for Buick, after announcing that Daly would get an exemption to the Buick Open at the end of June.
 
'John Daly has been so good to the Buick Open,' Peck said. 'He's done clinics. He comes to the skyboxes to shake hands with our clients. We feel like we owe it to John to let him in. And it's self-serving. Fans love him. They come out to watch. He asked for an exemption, and we didn't even flinch. Yes, of course.'
 
Daly is not missing the cut on purpose, best anyone can tell.
 
He has been dealing with injuries, most recently a shoulder problem that first surfaced at the Honda Classic when Daly tried to stop his warp-speed swing upon noticing a fan trying to take his picture. He tried to play the next week in Tampa, only to withdraw in the second round when he couldn't keep two hands on the club.
 
But with a history of so many MCs, WDs and DQs, Daly needs an MRI to convince people he's really hurt.
 
It was the same story last year. A sciatic nerve problem forced him to withdraw after the first round of three straight tournaments in the summer. A broken pinky kept him from playing the last two weeks of the year. Thankfully, he healed in time for the silly season.
 
Most players in Daly's position write letters asking for an exemption, then hope for the best.
 
Daly already had 20 offers by Christmas.
 
He even received an exemption late last year to the Target World Challenge, which takes top players available from the world ranking and extends four invitations. How did Daly merit an invitation at No. 147 in the world and winless since 2004?
 
'Anywhere he goes, he brings one of the biggest galleries,' tournament host Tiger Woods said. 'We're running a business, and we're trying to make as much money as we possibly can to put everything to our learning center.'
 
The exemptions continue to pour in, even as Daly continues to pull out.
 
Still uncertain was whether his ailing shoulder would allow him to take another exemption next week at the Memorial, where in 14 trips to Muirfield Village he has seven rounds in the 80s, two WDs, four MCs and his best finish was a tie for 11th.
 
'Our captain's committee pays a lot of attention to all the players out there,' tournament director Dan Sullivan said in explaining the invitation to Daly. 'Two things come to mind. He's always supported the Memorial well, and he's a fan favorite.'
 
And one of the great appeals of Daly is you never know what will happen next.
 
He wrote in his autobiography about the dismal state of his life and his game a dozen years ago. He was missing the cut every third tournament. He got married, became a father, got divorced, got remarried, became a father again, tried to stop drinking and built nearly $4 million in gambling debts.
 
'Going into the 1995 British Open, I was a train wreck,' he wrote. 'And yet somehow, I felt pretty good about my chances.'
 
That's the thing with Daly. He keeps everyone guessing.
 
And maybe that's why they keep watching.
 
Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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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.”


Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


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.”