Notes Pressel Slays Sorenstam

By Associated PressSeptember 16, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 Solheim CupHALMSTAD, Sweden -- Nothing was sweeter for Morgan Pressel than beating Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam in singles and helping the United States retain the Solheim Cup.
After going 0-2-1 in her first three Solheim Cup matches, the 19-year-old rookie from Florida capitalized on two late, poor putts by Sorenstam to beat her 2 and 1 on Sunday.
The match was decided when Sorenstam missed from 4 feet for a bogey on the 15th, which Pressel parred. Then, Sorenstam misread her putt on the 16th, where the American made birdie. Both parred the 17th, ending the match.
'I'm sure she didn't putt as well as she would like to,' said Pressel, who became the youngest major winner in women's golf when she took the Kraft Nabisco Championship in April.
When Pressel saw the pairings for the singles Saturday night, she got a big surprise.
'I was like, 'I feel like I'm going to be playing Annika.' I looked at the list. It said 'Annika.' I was like, 'Wow,'' Pressel said.
The Europeans went into the final round with an 8 1/2-7 1/2 lead, but the Americans won 8 of the last 12 singles to win 16-12.
Sorenstam, the top points scorer in Solheim Cup history, has 84 career wins including 10 majors. But she is in danger of completing her first full season without a win since 1994, when she was a rookie.
Earlier this season, she missed two months because of back and neck injuries. She lost the top spot in the rankings to Lorena Ochoa and is now ranked No. 3.
'I thought (Pressel) played really well,' said Sorenstam, who teamed with Suzann Pettersen to beat Cristie Kerr and Pressel 3 and 2 in a best-ball match completed early Sunday. 'I thought I played well. I didn't miss really a fairway, not many greens.'
Juli Inkster improved her singles record to 6-1-0 after beating Iben Tinning 4 and 3 that tied the biggest winning margin of the day.
The 47-year-old Californian also went undefeated in two foursome and one best-ball matches during the three-day event.
A seven-time major winner, Inkster has played in seven Solheim Cups.
Laura Davis moved to within one point of Annika Sorenstam on the all-time Solheim Cup points list after winning the best-ball match with Becky Brewerton and then beating American rookie Brittany Lincicome 4 and 3 in singles.
Davies, the only golfer to have played in every Solheim Cup since its inception in 1990, has 23 points. Sorenstam leads with 24 points from eight events since her 1994 debut.
After going unbeaten in four foursome and best-ball matches, Maria Hjorth's streak was snapped when she lost 2 and 1 to Paula Creamer, whose tap-in on the 15th hole assured the Americans of the 14 points needed to retain the cup.
Annika Sorenstam and Suzann Pettersen stayed undefeated as a pair in Solheim Cup competition by beating Cristie Kerr and Morgan Pressel 3 and 2 in the last best-ball match that was suspended because of darkness Saturday and completed early Sunday.
The Swedish-Norwegian duo won one foursome and one best-ball match at Barseback, Sweden, in 2003, when Europe beat the United States. They won another foursome in 2005 at Crooked Stick Golf Course in Carmel, Ind., when the United States prevailed.
So why do they play so well together?
'We have a good time together, the chemistry is fine,' Sorenstam said. 'We help each other. If I'm out of the hole Suzann comes in and plays well. If she's not there, I'll try to be there.'
Pettersen, who became Norway's first major winner this year when she won the McDonalds LPGA Championship, says they have a great friendship.
'I think we like each other and we probably think the same way, and it makes us strong,' Pettersen said. 'We both hate to lose, so we'll do whatever it takes.'
Cold, wet and miserable. The bad weather continued for the third straight day and for some players it was hard to get charged up.
'It is, especially when you go to bed really late and wake up and it's still dark and still raining,' said Annika Sorenstam, who got used to that kind of autumn weather near Stockholm where she grew up.
'It's tough to get going. It's the Solheim Cup, and you have a lot of things at stake. It makes it a lot easier.'
The Solheim Cup will return to the United States in 2009, when the biennial trans-Atlantic match play competition will be held at Rich Harvest Farm outside Chicago. The Americans are undefeated at home in five Solheim Cups since the inaugural event in 1990 at Lake Noona, Fla.
Despite a wet start, Sunday's final matches drew 36,100 fans, bringing total attendance to 100,400 -- a record for women's golf in Sweden.
The 2003 Solheim Cup at Barseback, another south Swedish course, had 90,000 spectators.
The only other country to twice host is Scotland, the home of golf.
Related Links:
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  • Scoring - Solheim Cup
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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.”