PGA Doesnt Make Lehmans Picks Any Easier

By Associated PressAugust 20, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 PGA ChampionshipMEDINAH, Ill -- This wasn't much help.
Tom Lehman's choices for his two Ryder Cup captain's picks are no clearer now that the PGA Championship is over than they were when it started. If anything, his decision might be tougher.

This was the last chance to earn Ryder Cup points or impress Lehman, but instead of bringing out their best, players still scrambling to make the team did little to distinguish themselves.
'I don't know what he should do, really,' said Davis Love III, one of a half-dozen players still in the mix to fill out the team, which Lehman will announce Monday morning.
'He doesn't really have anybody from 10 down that's playing that well. He's got a bunch of guys playing good, but they don't seem to be (between) 10th and 20th on the list. So I don't know. He's in a tough position.'
The top 10 in the Ryder Cup point standings after the PGA automatically make the team, and Lehman gets two additional picks. Five players had clinched their spots even before they got to Medinah Country Club, and British Open runner-up Chris DiMarco was all but a lock.
Brett Wetterich was 10th when he arrived at Medinah this week. He took quadruple bogeys in the first round, a 9 the second day and badly missed the cut, along with Vaughn Taylor, who was seventh in the standings, and Zach Johnson, who was ninth. J.J. Henry, who was eighth in the standings, tied for 41st at even par.
All will make the team anyway because no one else capitalized.
'The top 10 stayed the same? Well then, we're going to have some rookies on the team,' Tiger Woods said. 'I don't know what Tom is going to do with his picks.'
Love, Stewart Cink, Steve Stricker, Lucas Glover, Tim Herron and Scott Verplank are considered the likeliest candidates to be Lehman's picks.
With so many inexperienced players locked in, Lehman could go for veterans with either Love, Cink or Verplank -- or even Herron, who has four career victories, including this year's Colonial.
Or, if he's looking for raw talent, he could opt for Glover, who has three top-five finishes this season and three more in the top 10. Lehman also could opt for specific skills, taking someone like assistant captain Corey Pavin, known his tenacity and short game.
Love has played on every Ryder Cup team since 1993, the longest active streak by an American, but he said that should have no bearing on Lehman's decision.
'You pick somebody you think can help the team,' Love said. 'It doesn't matter how many times they've played or how many times they haven't played. Lucas Glover in match play might be a great partner. Corey Pavin might be a great partner.
'You've got to pick someone who's going to play well and putt well,' Love added. 'I'd pick a putter right now.'
Who Lehman will pick is anyone's guess, because he wasn't talking Sunday. Instead he spent the day in a golf cart, making last-minute evaluations of the guys who are still potential picks.
Cink faded after an opening-round 68, but he rallied with a 3-under 69 Sunday. It didn't hurt that he was paired with Pavin, either. Herron was in contention with a share of the second-round lead, but he shot even-par 72 on Saturday and 1-over 73 Sunday.
'It's disappointing,' Herron said. 'I had a lot going on this year -- a lot of positive things. I've had twins. I had a win this year. I'm not going to hang my head. But I just wasn't real organized. I haven't had too many top 10s this year.'
Glover was the first-round co-leader after a 6-under 66 Thursday, but spent the next three days trying to find par.
'It's been a dream and a goal of mine,' Glover said. 'It's really difficult. I hit two bad shots all day Thursday. I don't think I've hit two good shots since. I can't say if that's pressure or not.'
Love might have been the biggest disappointment of all. After beginning the year fourth in the rankings, the 1997 PGA champion had dropped to 15th and needed to finish eighth or better for an automatic spot.
Love was in position after opening with 68-69 that left him one stroke off the lead, but he limped home with a 73 Saturday, and had an even more dismal 76 Sunday.
'I just didn't score. I felt like I was playing well and I just didn't score,' Love said. 'This is the one time when I tried hard. Probably a little too hard.'
The only one who really impressed was Stricker, who has revived his career this year after finishing out of the top 150 the last three seasons and losing his fully exempt status. Stricker was tied for 27th in the rankings and needed to finish third or better to get on the team.
He came close, finishing in a tie for seventh after a 69. That moved him up to 21st in the Ryder Cup standings.
'I wish I'd gotten a little closer,' Stricker said. 'At least I gave myself a shot at it.'
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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.”