Ryder Cup and U.S. Senior Open win don't compare for Browne

By Associated PressAugust 1, 2011, 12:21 am

TOLEDO, Ohio – One of the most historic and inspirational achievements in Olin Browne’s career came when he wasn’t playing.

Browne, who won the U.S. Senior Open on Sunday, was selected by Paul Azinger as an assistant captain for the 2008 U.S. Ryder Cup team that beat Europe 16 1/2 -11 1/2 at Valhalla in Louisville, Ky.

For Browne, just being a part of the patriotic competition was eye-opening.

“I learned how much fun it can be to be part of a winning team when you don’t have to carry the lumber,” he said. “Those guys were so good, and they played so great, and Paul set up such a great team situation, it was just a blast to be a part of it.”

Other players might not have been able to handle it, not being a player while pumping up the same adversaries you compete against every week. But Browne relished it.

“He and I had been talking about it for years leading up to it,” he said. “And I was honored and thrilled to be invited to be a part of it.”

Still, he said that victory and his one at Inverness Club on Sunday – the biggest of his career – had very little in common.

“There’s a difference between theory and reality, and when you’re dreaming about things that happen in life, that’s theory,” the introspective and thoughtful Browne said. “And then when the situation presents itself, that’s reality. And even though they’re connected somewhat, they’re not related. You know what I mean?”

NO TWO IN A ROW: Russ Cochran was still coming off the high of winning the Senior British Open when he arrived at the U.S. Senior Open.

Despite being tired, and dealing with the lingering aspects of his first major win, the left-hander from Kentucky still did quite well, thank you.

“The big thing is, I’m usually great at dismissing a tournament and getting right into another tournament,” he said. “But with family and friends and not speaking with them that much with the phone situation (a 5-hour time difference) in England, when I came back to the States it seemed like it ran into three or four days. I was still answering questions on Thursday when I was getting ready to play (here) and that was a very tough thing to do.”

He did fine, however.

Cochran matched a tournament record with five consecutive birdies while shooting a 2-under 69 in Sunday’s final round at Inverness Club. He followed rounds of 70, 69 and 73 to finish at 3-under 281.

He birdied so many in a row that he lost track while going over the details.

“How many’s that?” he asked.

Cochran said he grew tired as the week wore on, particularly when he was forced to return to the course early Saturday morning to complete his rain-delayed second round.

“My son’s 27 and in great shape and he was talking about being lethargic and his legs feeling bad and stuff,” said Cochran, referring to Ryan, who was caddieing for his dad this week. “That kind of mirrored what I was feeling.”

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Olin Browne, asked what it feels like to finally have his name on a major championship trophy: “You know, I’m just not sure at the moment. When I started playing golf, my bride – she wasn’t my bride then – and I would go to the driving range, a little dumpy par-3 course with a driving range called Arroyo Seco. She’d have her books out, she was pre-med and a French major and she was doing her homework. And I’d tell her, `This is the U.S. Open. What’s the shot here?’ She would say, `All right. U.S. Open, 700 yards, par 4.’ I said, `That’s not how it works. How about 440, dogleg right?’ And then I’d hit a shot. So this goes back a long way for us.”

FINE DINING: Tony Packo’s is a Toledo hot dog restaurant made famous by favorite son Jamie Farr, who played Cpl. Max Klinger on TV’s “M*A*S*H”. Klinger, faraway in the Korean war, constantly pined for Packo’s hot dogs from back home.

The joint’s feature item might have fueled one of the day’s best rounds at the U.S. Senior Open.

Steve Pate shot a 68 that left him at 277. He credited a Toledo staple for his strong showing.

“I think two double-dogs down at Packo’s were a big help today,” he cracked.

BUSY MAN: Damon Green has a full schedule.

After shooting a 1-under 70 in Sunday’s final round of the U.S. Senior Open, the Florida pro said he had a long couple of weeks ahead – but mostly because he’s the caddie for PGA Tour pro Zach Johnson.

“I fly into Cedar Rapids (Iowa) at 8, play in Zach’s pro-am for his charity, jump on a plane and we all fly to Akron” where Johnson will play in this week’s Bridgestone Invitational, Green said. “Caddie Akron, caddie Atlanta (where the PGA Championship will be played the following week), then I think I have my first full week at home since May.

“I’m kind of looking forward to that. I’m a little worn out.”

Green shot rounds of 67, 71, 70 and 70 – to tie for 13th and a 6-under 278 total.

DIVOTS: Browne became just the second player in tournament history to go wire-to-wire, joining Dale Douglass (1986 at Scioto Country Club). … Browne had finished tied for third (last year at Sahalee CC) and tied for 10th (2009 at Crooked Stick) in his two previous Senior Open appearances. … Browne’s victory made it 21 times in the 32 U.S. Senior Opens that the third-round leader has gone on to win. … The lowest score over the final 36 holes was by 66-year-old Hale Irwin (66-68). … Irwin finished in a tie for fourth, marking the record 204th time he has done so in his Champions Tour career. He broke a tie at 203 with Bob Charles. … Irwin also has 32 top-10 finishes in majors, two more than Jack Nicklaus had in his career.

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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.”

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.”