Final Event Finally Not Scary for Boo

By Associated PressOctober 31, 2007, 4:00 pm
 LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Boo Weekley was deep in the woods at dark for a quiet celebration.
It was opening day of bow hunting season in Florida.
'I ain't been able to hunt on opening day of bow season in six years,' Weekley said. 'I had to golf. I had to make money to keep my Nationwide Tour card or to get ready for Q-school. Dude, I was so excited. I was there an hour-and-a-half before daylight.'
Equally rewarding was what got him there.
This is the first time in six years that Weekley hasn't had to worry about where he was playing the following year or trying to explain to his family that he was good enough to make a living at a game they only saw as recreation.
Going into the final event of the season at Disney, Weekley already had earned $2.6 million and won at Hilton Head for his first PGA TOUR victory. He made his first trip overseas to Scotland this summer. He'll take his first drive down Magnolia Lane in April at the Masters.
And he's going to China next month to represent the United States in the World Cup.
Boo Weekley in China?
'They could open a new era in U.S.-China relations,' Scott Verplank said.
Even Weekley had a hard time digesting how a guy who grew up in the backwoods of the Florida Panhandle and once worked as a hydroblaster for Monsanto at $7.50 an hour could be carrying the flag for American golf in the World Cup.
He got the chance when Arron Oberholser withdrew to have surgery on his hand and five Americans ranked ahead of him weren't interested in spending Thanksgiving week in China on short notice. And he jumped on it when he realized he could take his old teammate at Milton High School, Heath Slocum, as his partner.
'It took me three days and then I realized, 'I can't believe I'm going to China.' It's hard to believe,' Weekley said Wednesday at the Children's Miracle Classic, where he is playing to start shaking off some of the rust. 'And the fact I get to take my best friend. Heath can relate to me. He knows me better than anyone. I get nervous around a lot of people. I'm like a cat in a roomful of rocking chairs.'
The trip to China was proof of how far Weekley has come this year. It also was a reminder that for all the hype over his homespun humor, twangy talk and simple lifestyle, the country boy can play golf pretty dang good.
He was a novelty when he first qualified for the PGA TOUR through qualifying school in 2002, back when he wore rain pants because regular britches gave him a rash, and sneakers because golf shoes made his feet sore. Asked where he went to college, Weekley replied, 'ABAC,' as if everyone knew about Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.
He didn't last long, finishing 200th on the money list, and spent three years on the Nationwide Tour before he made it back.
But what a return.
Weekley is among the best ball-strikers on tour, lacking only in self-belief. He found that in a troubling loss at the Honda Classic, when he three-putted for bogey from 30 feet on the final hole to fall into a four-man playoff, won the next day by Mark Wilson.
Most players would be scarred by missing a 3-foot par putt to win for the first time.
'It was probably by best moment, feeling that, 'OK, I belong here. I know I can compete,'' he said. 'I just choked. It happens to the best of us. Don't matter who you are.'
He won six weeks later by muffing a chip behind the 17th green at the Verizon Heritage, then chipping in for par to beat Ernie Els.
That put him in the spotlight more, and in front of a microphone.
He amused the British during his two weeks in Scotland, particularly when he was paired with Paul Lawrie at Loch Lomond and asked if he had qualified for the British Open -- apparently not realizing that Lawrie won at Carnoustie in 1999 and Open champions are exempt until they are 65. Worse yet, he had never heard of Jean Van de Velde.
Asked about the FedExCup, Weekley left the room laughing by saying, 'I was never good at math.'
Each one-liner fed into the perception of a country bumpkin who could swing a golf club. And that's just fine with Weekley. The twang is not an act. He naturally answers questions with a 'Yes, sir,' and refers to his parents as 'Daddy and 'Momma.'
He knows he can play. Whether anyone else pays attention to that is none of his concern.
'I like it that way,' he said. 'Don't want nobody to know. If you believe in who you are and what you're doing, you'll achieve your goals.'
So who is he? And what is he doing?
'I'm here to play golf,' Weekley said. 'And I'm going to do it as long as I can.'
Weekley doesn't mind mingling with the fans and the media, but he gets out of his comfort zone when approached by a horde of people. Perhaps the most nervous he felt all year was when he was asked to speak to students at Milton High, and found himself standing before a room of 100 kids and teachers.
'I started to stutter,' he said. 'I don't the spotlight. When I play, I don't hardly look at the ropes, just what in front of me.'
His future has never looked brighter.
One year he was on the Nationwide Tour, the next year he was No. 22 on the PGA TOUR money list, No. 36 in the world ranking, and on his way to China to play for his country.
And what does he know about China?
'It's a long ways away,' he said. 'And they got the Great Wall of China.'
That'll do.
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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.”