Notes Code of Conduct Caddies Banned

By Associated PressMay 6, 2008, 4:00 pm
2007 THE PLAYERSPONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- PGA TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem stressed in a players meeting last week the importance of having a professional appearance. About the same time, a video was making the rounds of John Daly looking anything but that.
 
Daly was in Branson, Mo., at a golf course that bears his name, John Dalys Murder Rock Golf and Country Club, for a television appearance. He showed up wearing only blue jeans'no shoes, socks or shirt, and played with a local TV anchor.
 
Finchem declined to say whether he has spoken to Daly, but he made his expectations quite clear Tuesday.
 
There are certain things about presentation that we must insist on, Finchem said. There are certain things about presentation that are not going to be tolerated. I think that the world changes and you make adjustments, but I think perhaps we need to be more direct in our comments to players about specific dos and donts, and increase focus in that area to make sure that we have a level of professionalism going forward that were comfortable with.
 
It was the latest incident with Daly that some found offensive.
 
Two months ago at the PODS Championship, he spent a rain delay in a Hooters tent, then used Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden as his caddie for the final few holes. Daly was playing on a sponsors exemption.
 
That led swing coach Butch Harmon to fire Daly for spending more time drinking than working on his game. Daly said last week that Harmon called and apologized for such harsh comments, and how it cost Daly his endorsements.
 
Harmon said he never apologized to Daly, then offered a quick look Tuesday at a text message he sent Daly that urged the two-time major champion to start taking responsibility for his own actions.
 
INNISBROOK ACTION
Innisbrook wondered if it would have a tournament next year. Now theres a chance for two.
 
PGA TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem inadvertently announced Tuesday that officials were close to a deal with a new title sponsor for the March event north of Tampa.
 
He was asked about the search for sponsors in Tampa and Atlanta.
 
Well, help me out here. I thought we announced Tampa, Finchem said. Did we announce Tampa?
 
This led to some stammering by his staff, who informed him there had not been an official announcement on the Tampa event.
 
Well, we have two big problems. One is Tampa, Finchem said, pausing to join the laughter. And one is Atlanta. And I think Im not supposed to say anything else. Its still our intention to fill the title positions in those two tournaments. If we are not done in Tampa, we are very close to being done.
 
Meanwhile, LPGA Tour officials have made two site visits to Innisbrook as it considers a new tournament. But while the men play on the Copperhead Course, resort owner Sheila Johnson is interested in having the LPGA Tour on the renovated Island Course.
 
Brittany Lincicome said she was asked to take part in an official site visit in March. LPGA Tour officials declined comment.
 
NO CADDIES ALLOWED
A half-dozen players not eligible for the pro-am last week on the LPGA Tour were on the putting green, with their caddies standing on the fringe. Thats courtesy of a daft new policy that bans caddies from being on the practice green between the hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
 
Turns out a couple of players were having a putting contest when a caddie was standing in their line. They asked him to move, he did, but that wasnt enough. They went to the commissioner to complain about crowded conditions on the green, and a new policy was enacted.
 
The fine for a caddie being on the green'to work with his players mechanics or retrieve balls from the cup'is $500.
 
The policy even applies to the chipping area, and its peculiar to see players hit three or four chips, then shag their own golf balls.
 
Count Juli Inkster among those who think the policy is bordering on ridiculous.
 
You know what? Its women, she said when asked for a comment. If you just put that down, everyone will know what you mean. Just capitalize women and you dont need to explain anything else.
 
RITA REUNION
There were plenty of hugs to go around in the caddie lunch room Tuesday when longtime looper Greg Rita, who is battling brain cancer, stopped by for a visit.
 
Rita, who caddied for Curtis Strange when he won back-to-back U.S. Opens and for John Daly when he won the British Open, had a malignant tumor removed and recently overcame a nasty bout with pneumonia. He is going through physical, cognitive and rehabilitative therapy five days a week.
 
I played hooky today, said Rita, who looked fit and hopes to take his son to the zoo on Sunday.
 
Rita said a Golfweek magazine report that four-time major champion Raymond Floyd sent him a $50,000 check was overstated, saying the check was for $2,500 to help with expenses. But he was no less grateful, especially since he never worked for Floyd.
 
I got his address from the check and wrote him a note, Rita said. It was very kind of him.
 
SPIN OF THE WEEK
The PGA TOUR says that 49 of the top 50 players in the FedEx Cup standings are at THE PLAYERS Championship.
 
But it only has 45 of the top 50 from the world ranking, making it the fourth-strongest field of the year using that criteria, behind two World Golf Championships and the Masters.
 
DIVOTS
THE PLAYERS Championship raised its prize money to $9.5 million, with $1.71 million going to the winner. Of the 144-man field at THE PLAYERS Championship, 101 players have won PGA TOUR events. It took four months for someone named Kim to win this year. The surprise was that it happened on the PGA TOUR, with Anthony Kim winning the Wachovia Championship. Phil Mickelson will try to become the first player to win back-to-back at THE PLAYERS Championship. Jack Nicklaus tied for fifth in 1977, the best finish by a defending champion.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK
There has not been a playoff at THE PLAYERS Championship since 1987, the longest streak on the PGA TOUR.
 
FINAL WORD
If he were here, Id tease him and say he wasnt that much of a factor in the past. So whats the difference?'Jim Furyk, on the absence of Tiger Woods at THE PLAYERS Championship. Woods has not finished in the top 10 since winning in 2001.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage
  • GOLF CHANNEL Airtimes
  • Getty Images

    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.

     

     

    Getty Images

    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.”

    Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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.”