Notes A Golf Balls Wild Ride Irish Tag Team

By Associated PressJuly 21, 2007, 4:00 pm
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland -- John Senden strolled toward the 18th green with a troubled look. He knew his ball should be somewhere right of the green, but he didn't see it.
Then some of the fans began yelling for him to look on the other side of the cup.
The Aussie played a version of bumper golf as he came to the end of Saturday's third round at the British Open, hitting both a metal railing and an out-of-bounds marker with one shot. He wound up taking a double bogey, but figures it could have been much worse.
'I guess I can't be picky,' Senden said. 'I'm lucky it wasn't an 8 or 9.'
His adventurous route to the flag began when he drove into a hazard, forcing him to take a penalty drop. He decided to go for the green with a 3-wood, but the ball faded out toward a grandstand along the right.
Senden strained to see where his shot had landed, not knowing that it clanked off a temporary barrier and shot straight left -- probably a good break for those folks staying at the hotel behind the 18th green, who might have ended up with a golf ball in their salad.
Instead, it shot straight across the green and was heading out of bounds, until it ricocheted off a pole that stakes off the forbidden zone in front of another set of stands. Still in play.
'I didn't have a clue where it was,' Senden said.
After two lucky bounces, he now had a chance to get up-and-down for bogey. Alas, he had used up all his good fortune, missing the putt to take a 6. But that was better than the possible alternative.
'If I had gone out of bounds, it would have been a long walk back to hit another shot,' he said.
Already assured of the silver medal as low amateur, Rory McIlroy was in no mood to relax.
'I want to play in this next year,' McIlroy said.
The top 15 at the British Open are exempt for next year, and that's what the 18-year-old amateur had in mind Saturday. He started and finished just fine, but four bogeys in an eight-hole stretch in the middle of his round sent him to a 73.
'That is what my mind-set was, to go out and play my best golf and sort of hit a few good shots,' he said.
After a three-putt bogey on the 11th, McIlroy found his form with one of only five birdies at No. 12 and gave himself good looks at the 13th and 15th. He wound up at 4-over 217, leaving him tied for 45th.
'I'm happy enough,' McIlroy said. 'If I can go out tomorrow and shoot something in the 60s, I'll be very happy.'
McIlroy got into the British Open by winning the European Amateur.
Paul Casey was appreciative of the scoreboard operators who recognized his birthday.
He just wished they had left it at that.
Casey turned 30 on Saturday.
'It was nice to see it on the scoreboard,' he said. 'But they didn't have to say 30th birthday.'
Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley are teammates for Ireland in the World Cup, and they were on the same page Saturday at Carnoustie. Both had three birdies on the front nine, both dropped only one shot, and both shot 68.
And yes, both finished three rounds at 3-under 210.
Whether they feel they still have a chance to give Ireland its first major depends on Sergio Garcia, who was six shots ahead.
'Maybe the two of us could play better-ball tomorrow against Sergio,' Harrington said. 'We might catch him that way.'
McGinley sounded more realistic than optimistic. He has played with Garcia in the Ryder Cup, which he called the biggest stage in golf. Then again, funny things can happen at golf's oldest championship.
'I'm one of 10 or 15 guys who may have a chance of winning,' McGinley said. 'You never know what's going to happen.'
Sandy Lyle, who won the British Open 22 years ago, knows he won't be getting his name on the claret jug a second time.
But the 49-year-old ex-champion deserves some sort of award for consistency this year.
For the third day in row, Lyle shot a 2-over 73 on a course that is quite a test for his aging game.
'I feel 73 is almost par around here,' he said. 'I'd like to have been around in 71 and perhaps make something up on the field, but I mustn't be too greedy. I'm happy to be playing.'
Lyle worried that he might miss the cut after making a bogey on the final hole Friday. But he got through to the weekend, which was like a victory in its own right. He has only one top-10 finish in the Open since his '85 win at Royal St. George's.
'It was a lot easier for me, pressure wise, to go out there and play on the weekend,' he said. 'Nothing to lose, nothing to gain. Just go out there and play for my own satisfaction. Making the cut was obviously my target.'
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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.”