Ogilvy leads Big Easy just one back in Maui

By Associated PressJanuary 8, 2009, 5:00 pm
PGA TourKAPALUA, Hawaii ' Geoff Ogilvy opened the PGA Tour season Thursday without making bogey on his way to a 6-under 67 and a one-shot lead in the Mercedes-Benz Championship, a score that only surprised him because of the location.
 
In his eight previous rounds on the Plantation course at Kapalua, he had never shot better than 72.
 
But the former U.S. Open champion is coming off a victory in the Australian PGA Championship and a tie for sixth in the Australian Open last month, and he was just as sharp in taking the first-round lead over Ernie Els, Kenny Perry and fast-closing Johnson Wagner.
 
We only finished Australian Open three week ago, Ogilvy said. And three weeks isnt enough to get rusty.
 
Els arrived in Maui having played only once in the last six weeks, and that worked well for him. In his first time to Kapalua in four years, he made only one blunder ' a tee shot into the hazard on the par-5 15th ' to get his season off to a solid start.
 
Wagner, one of a dozen newcomers to the winners-only Mercedes with his victory in the Shell Houston Open, wasnt even in the picture until a birdie-birdie-eagle finish. Perry joined the group at 68 with a birdie on the last hole.
 
Davis Love III, who won the final event of 2008 at Disney, and Ryuji Imada were in the group at 69. Imada ran off seven straight birdies starting at No. 6 ' one short of the PGA Tour record ' but followed that streak with consecutive bogeys.
 
As for all the hype over the youngsters?
 
Anthony Kim wore an Oklahoma hat on the first hole while playing with Florida alum Camilo Villegas before taking it off, and it took awhile for his game to arrive. Kim had a 71, while Villegas had to rally for a 74.
 
It was an idyllic start, as often is the case at Kapalua, with moderate wind, occasional light showers, sunshine, rainbows and plenty of optimism about the new season.
 
I want to have a good season, like everybody, Els said.
 
The Big Easy was off to a phenomenal start with an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole and a 31 on the front nine. He was 6 under through 11 holes, but played the rest of the way at 1 over ' despite playing two par 5s ' and had to settle for a 5-under 68.
 
I would have taken it before I teed off, Els said. But Im a little hot under the collar right now.
 
He hooked his tee shot into the hazard on the 15th, had to take a penalty drop and hit out sideways, and he did well to make bogey. Els had a 4-iron into the green on the par-5 18th, but left it out to the right to avoid trouble on the left, and missed a 10-foot birdie.
 
Ogilvy also finished with a par, but was all smiles.
 
He was rarely in trouble, and the only time he had to get up-and-down was on the par 5s. But with a 3-iron to the 18th green, he pulled it into the hazard, and after a lengthy discussion where to drop, he was faced with a 50-yard pitch, which he hit to 4 feet for par.
 
I havent shot very many good rounds around this course, so maybe thats a surprising thing, said Ogilvy, whose average score was 73.875 in his previous two trips. But the fact that Im playing OK is not surprising.
 
Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway hit the ceremonial tee shot to begin the season, a 350-yard drive that speaks to the elevation, wind and the grain in the grass that makes the Plantation course unlike any other they will play all year.
 
Wagner is among a dozen newcomers to Kapalua, but he arrived last Friday and quickly became acquainted.
 
Ive played Saturday and Sunday, every day Ive been here, and fell in love with the golf course, Wagner said. Its early, but I feel really comfortable out here.
 
He didnt look terribly comfortable on the greens, which can takes years of experience to figure out the slope and grain. But it all came together at the end, with a 10-foot birdie down the slope on the 16th, a 25-foot birdie across the grain on the 17th and his 18-foot eagle on the final hole.
 
It was a great finish, and turned a 71 into 68 real quick, Johnson said.
 
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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.”