Johnson Set for His Fifth Major - COPIED

By Associated PressJuly 10, 2008, 4:00 pm
2006 John Deere ClassicSILVIS, Ill. -- He hasnt been back to survey the destruction, not that Zach Johnson really needs it.
 
He saw the videos and pictures.
 
He heard the horror stories from his relatives and friends back home in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and he realizes just how fortunate they are.
 
The damage they suffered relative to other people, its really minimal, he said.
 
For those not so fortunate, Johnson encouraged the PGA TOUR to raise funds for flood victims. The PGA stepped up, and Johnson is relieved that his biggest problem heading into the John Deere Classic is getting his game on track.
 
Johnson is again one of the top attractions at the John Deere, which he considers his home event even though he cant seem to settle in here. He has never finished higher than 20th and missed the cut last year, a few months after winning the Masters.
 
This time, hes returning from left wrist tendinitis that kept him out for three weeks as he tries to conquer a course that has given him fits over the years. And hell be challenged by a relatively deep field for a tournament that the top players generally skip because of the British Open.
 
To combat that, organizers chartered a jet this year to fly participants from the Quad Cities to Manchester, England, meaning no more dashes to OHare for commercial flights. No more connections, either.
 
Last year, only eight participants went from the Deere to the British Open. This year, there are 22 on the passenger list, including two alternates and the highest finisher not already qualified for Royal Birkdale.
 
One player who wont be on that plane is veteran Kenny Perry.
 
A two-time tour winner this year, he chose to skip the British Open and stick with his plan to play the U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee next week.
 
You know what, Im an independent contractor, said Perry, ranked 20th in the world and fourth on the money list. I can do whatever I want, and I like that.
 
His focus is on helping the U.S. win the Ryder Cup at Valhalla in his home state, Kentucky. Winning a major?
 
That is the ultimate, he said. But at this stage of my career, I fought all that for 22 years. I want to play golf at the courses I enjoy playing at these last couple years, and Im going to go out on my terms, not on their terms.
 
Johnson was a surprise winner at Augusta in 2007, but he has struggled here for some reason.
 
He grew up just over an hour away in Cedar Rapids, serves on the tournaments board and believes the course suits his game.
 
So why the problems?
 
Maybe its just the added pressure on myself, he said. I havent figured that part out yet. Maybe Im just not clicking at the right time, either.
 
Johnson seemed to be clicking entering last years tournament, when he was ranked 15th.
 
Now?
 
Hes down to 29th after missing three cuts and finishing in the top 10 just once in 15 starts this year, although he thinks he played better than the scores indicate. This will be Johnsons first tournament since the U.S. Open when he was gone after the second round.
 
Tendinitis in the wrist surfaced the following Tuesday while preparing for the Travelers Championship in Connecticut. He iced it that night but couldnt move it the next morning.
 
What was frustrating was I get hurt and I thought it was a pretty big deal, but SportsCenter was Tiger and his injury; I got nothing, Johnson said in jest.
 
He started swinging again last week, but regaining his timing takes, well, time.
 
While he recovers, so does a region.
 
The Monday after the U.S. Open, Johnson suggested to commissioner Tim Finchem and several other officials that the tour raise money for the flood victims. A few days later, an unknowing Jerry Kelly did the same.
 
The fund started last week, and the total through the weekend was $12,975.
 
To me, this is like a Midwest Katrina, said Kelly, a Wisconsin native who got a firsthand look at the damage in his home state when he caddied at the Womens U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship at Erin Hills last month.
 
Johnson was in Cedar Rapids the week before the flood. His parents Dave and Julie left for the U.S. Open the day before it hit and were lucky to return to an intact house.
 
His moms downtown office was flooded, but she can work out of home or at a satellite office at a local high school. His dads chiropractic clinic escaped damage even though a nearby hospital and surrounding offices were devastated.
 
I saw a lot of pictures and some kind of video (of the area) and Im telling you its the luckiest thing, Johnson said. His office is sitting right there and you can see about two or three yards. His office is two or three feet higher than all the other offices there. No damage whatsoever.
 
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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.”