Golfer Looking for Sponsors to Start Career

By Associated PressFebruary 26, 2005, 5:00 pm
CHICAGO -- Willing to dole out thousands of dollars to help further the career of a golfer you've probably never heard of?

Brian Payne is looking for you.

Payne has gone on eBay looking for someone to sponsor him as he pursues his dream of playing professional golf on the PGA tour.

Payne is seeking at least $10,000 -- the starting bid he set for the online auction -- to defray his expenses for the 2005 season. In return, he'll give up to half of whatever he wins on tournaments to the charity selected by whoever sponsors him and place the high bidder's corporate logo on either his golf bag or some piece of clothing, or both if the bid is at least $25,000. He'll also give 10 percent of the winning bid to two charities he's selected.

Payne is seeking at least $10,000 -- the starting bid he set for the online auction -- to defray his expenses for the 2005 season. In return, he'll give up to half of whatever he wins on tournaments to the charity selected by whoever sponsors him. He'll also give 10 percent of the winning bid to two charities he's selected.

'I call it a win-win-win opportunity,' said Payne, a suburban Chicago resident who is now in Orlando, Fla., practicing and playing in small tournaments. 'The winning bidder, myself and a couple of charities. Everybody's going to benefit.'

Payne, 31, isn't just some guy who doesn't like his job at the shoe store. He can play golf.

An All Big Ten golfer while at Northwestern University, Payne has won some professional tournaments -- including the Illinois Open and a Canadian Tour tournament.

That's him holding a trophy from the 2002 Illinois Open on the eBay listing titled 'Golf Sponsorship: Sponsor a Tour Winning Pro Golfer.'

But the payday for winning the kind of tournaments he's been playing in for the last six years is at most about $20,000, a far cry from the checks for as much as $1 million going to winners of the big PGA tournaments.

Payne's biggest year was 2001 when he took home $62,000 -- not much when you consider Payne estimates that golfers shell out $40,000 to $60,000 per year just paying for everything from hotel rooms to golf balls as they travel from tournament to tournament.

Like many golfers in his position, he's had sponsors who have paid his expenses. But that ended after the 2003 season. Since then, he's been paying his own way with his winnings and the money his wife makes working at computer firm in Chicago.

So, as he has looked for ways to raise 'operating capital,' he thought that perhaps eBay, where just about everything imaginable is for sale, could help him sell a piece of his career.

Elizabeth Payne, who also played collegiate golf at Northwestern, liked her husband's idea.

The response from the company, which has had some experience with human listings, was, 'Why not?'

'We've had people try to sell minor league baseball teams and hockey teams,' said eBay spokesman Hani Durzy. 'We had someone try to sell a weekend in Las Vegas with Dennis Rodman.'

Payne is aware of what people might think of someone asking others to pick up his dinner tabs so that he can devote himself to a game and ultimately crack a tour where he could become rich.

'The whole point of this for me ... is that I just felt like I could raise money in a way that would not only benefit myself but other causes far greater than golf,' he said.

Even if no one bids -- as of Friday nobody had -- Payne said that maybe people will at least look at the listing and see two charities that are important to him, including one dedicated to raising money to battle a disease that killed the father of one of his best friends.

Payne believes he is poised for a big year, giving him momentum at the PGA Tour qualifying school the first week in December. If he does well enough in Canada, he said he won't have to take part in the first of the three stages of what is called Q-school, which would be a huge help in his quest to get his PGA card.

After suffering through physical problems like tendinitis in his left arm and wrist, he said he's completely healthy now for the first time in 18 months.

'Thirty-one is the beginning of a golfer's prime,' he said. 'My best golf is ahead of me.'

Payne also gets inspiration from seeing golfers he once beat who now have their PGA cards and are playing with the likes of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. 'I can compete with the guys out there,' he said.

Then there's the story of Todd Hamilton, who qualified for his PGA card on his eighth try and won the British Open at the age of 38.

'I look at that and I think that's kind of cool,' said Elizabeth Payne. 'That means there's always an opportunity.'
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.

The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.

Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.

Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.

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Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson

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Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

“There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

“I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

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Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

“I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

“It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

“I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”