Fujikawas father speaks openly on his own drug use

By Associated PressJanuary 14, 2009, 5:00 pm
2007 Sony OpenHONOLULU ' A year ago, as 17-year-old Tadd Fujikawa was making his hometown debut as a pro and trying to repeat his previous Sony Open magic, his father was nowhere to be found.
 
Derrick Fujikawa was cheering on his son on TV, thousands of miles away in a rehab clinic in Newport Beach, Calif., trying to kick a drug habit hes had for years. Today, Derrick Fujikawa says hes been clean for more than a year, turned his life around and vows to never leave his sons side again.
 
In his first interview since he was indicted on drug trafficking charges in July 2008, Fujikawa told The Associated Press about his addiction that nearly destroyed his life and brought unwanted attention on his sons fledgling career.
 
I almost lost everything, Derrick Fujikawa said Wednesday, a day before the opening round of the Sony Open where his son is playing for the third straight year.
 
He still has a lot to lose. And could end up leaving his son again.
 
Fujikawa remains free on $50,000 bail and faces decades in prison if convicted on charges of distributing methamphetamine on two occasions in an undercover police sting.
 
News of the charges made front-page news in Honolulu where Tadd is a fan favorite for his humble, squeeky-clean, gee-whiz personality and compact stature. The 5-foot-1 spark plug weighs about 110 pounds.
 
Derrick Fujikawa said he felt ashamed and remorseful, but above all, he was worried about how it may cast a shadow on his son.
 
I cried, Derrick Fujikawa said. It was a sad time for the whole family, not just Tadd.
 
Fujikawa wouldnt comment on his pending criminal case, other than to say how upsetting it was to hear accusations that he sold drugs to fund Tadds golf career. Fujikawa said his son and golf had nothing to do with it.
 
Defense attorney Victor Bakke said he was confident that the matter would be resolved. Fujikawas next court appearance is set for Feb. 3.
 
The 45-year-old Fujikawa had a long battle with crystal methamphetamine, or ice, which his wife, son and entire family endured.
 
Im in the process of changing my life. Ive cleaned up my act, he said.
 
He, like his family, is trying to heal.
 
Derrick Fujikawa said he never used ice in front of his son and hid his habit from other family members. The use got really bad and grew to a $200-a-day habit before he voluntarily checked into a Narconon clinic where he spent six months away from his family, and learned how to rethink life, about honesty and how much he has to lose.
 
Fujikawa said he hopes the mistakes he has made in life will help his son, who turned 18 on Jan. 8, make the right choices.
 
I talk about it all the time to Tadd to remind him to stay the straight line and on the right side of the fence, Derrick Fujikawa said.
 
His biggest fear was how everything would affect his only child. Someone he remembers watching swing the golf club at age 5 in the backyard.
 
I just want to focus on my game, Tadd Fujikawa said. It does have an impact on me because its my family. Its tough. Everyone has ups and downs, and you just have to take it as it comes. Every day is different. There are good days and bad days. It just makes me want to work harder.
 
Fujikawa, one of the crowd favorites at Sony for the past two years, didnt earn an invite this year and had to earn a spot through a Monday qualifier at Turtle Bay.
 
He is making eighth PGA Tour start as a pro and is still seeking his first tour paycheck. He first grabbed the attention of the golf world in 2006 as a 15-year-old player when he qualified for the U.S. Open at Winged Foot, becoming the youngest to participate in an Open.
 
As a 16-year-old high school sophomore, he tied for 20th at the Sony Open ' a shot better than John Daly, two better than Vijay Singh ' and became the youngest player in 50 years to make the cut on the PGA Tour.
 
A month after the Sony, Fujikawa became the youngest winner of the Hawaii Pearl Open, beating a field packed with pros from Japan. He turned pro that summer and has struggled ever since all over the globe.
 
Its been a little tough, he said. I think Ive had my ups and downs and downs and downs, but thats life and thats golf.
 
Tadd Fujikawa said hes worked harder than ever before and hopes it will pay off in a couple years with a PGA Tour trophy.
 
Although, I do want to win now, I think its not going to be as important as it is two or three years from now, he said. Im almost there.
 
For Derrick Fujikawa, hes working hard to be a good father and husband. Hes confident his son will succeed because of drive, focus and spirit.
 
Tadd Fujikawa has come back from personal challenges before. He was born 3 1/2 months early, so small that he weighed only 1 pound, 15 ounces. He made it through a series of operations the first year when doctors gave him a 50-50 chance to live.
 
Im feeling good about my game, he said. I think I have the game to do it. I just need to go out there and do the best I can and have fun and be myself.
 

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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.”