Spotlight on Stacy P this Week in Tulsa

By Associated PressMay 3, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 SemGroup ChampionshipBROKEN ARROW, Okla. -- After topping the world rankings, Lorena Ochoa got a chance to celebrate in front of friends and family in her home country. This week, it's Stacy Prammanasudh's turn to showcase her game at home.
 
Off to the best start of her professional career, Prammanasudh returned to the Tulsa area this week for the SemGroup Championship at Cedar Ridge Country Club.
 
The former University of Tulsa star won her second career LPGA Tour title earlier this season and ranks only behind Ochoa in top-10 finishes (five), birdies (94) and the highest percentage of her rounds under par (64) this year. She's in the top five in the player of the year, money and ADT points standings.
 
'It definitely has been a good start,' Prammanasudh said Thursday. 'I cannot complain about my previous performances. But it is a long season and I'm not trying to get ahead of myself. You've just got to try to continue what you've been doing well and work on what you haven't been doing well in the past.'
 
Originally from Enid in northwestern Oklahoma, Prammanasudh had only six top-10 finishes in the first three years of her career before matching that total in 2006. She needs only one more to equal that total again this season.
 
'Obviously, I go into every event trying to win, and so does everybody else,' Prammanasudh said. 'But it's a very difficult thing to do is keep winning. You've just got to work hard and stay patient.'
 
Playing at what's essentially her home course, Prammanasudh expects 'a few extracurricular things' this week that she doesn't get at other tour stops. She said she doesn't play Cedar Ridge that often, but regularly visits the course to practice chipping and putting.
 
Prammanasudh expects a few extra autograph seekers and perhaps more 'Stacy P' followers than usual -- something Ochoa experienced with her fans last week when she made her debut at No. 1 and contended for the title at the Corona Morelia Championship in Mexico.
 
'I think there's a lot of pressure involved and you do want to make sure you play good, and it's like a very special and important week for you,' Ochoa said. 'But at the same time you just have to learn to enjoy it and not take it too seriously. Just be relaxed and play like it's any other week. They love you either way.'
 
The field lacks a clear-cut favorite. Cristie Kerr, who set a course record with a 61 in the first round last year, returns to defend her title, but three-time winner Annika Sorenstam and 2003 winner Karrie Webb won't be present.
 
That leaves Prammanasudh as a contender, at least in Ochoa's eyes.
 
'She can win any week,' Ochoa said. 'I think certain golf courses suit different players, and she's a phenomenal player. She hits the ball very consistent and a tight golf course like this one is always good.'
 
Despite the hometown connection, Prammanasudh has never cracked the top 20 in the tournament, which relocated from the Tulsa Country Club in 2004 and moved from September to May this year to separate it from the PGA Championship to be played across town in August.
 
But Prammanasudh's other appearances came before a turnaround earlier this season that followed her first formal golf lessons, a change in putters, and her husband, Pete Upton, replacing her father, Lou, as her caddie.
 
That's allowed the couple to take in movies and an ATV tour in Hawaii earlier this year when she won the Fields Open for her first victory since the 2005 Franklin American Mortgage Championship.
 
'Traveling is a lot more enjoyable because there's someone to share different experiences with, so we're having a great time,' Prammanasudh said.
 
But on the course, it's all business. Upton, who prompted the change by mentioning he'd like to try his hand as his wife's caddie, took some pointers from Prammanasudh's father before taking over on the bag.
 
'I'm out there to do my thing,' Prammanasudh said. 'So I don't really speak to Pete much, and he knows that. He's played and watched me play competitive golf and so he knew that going in.'
 
The success so far this season has made the transition a smooth one.
 
'When you're playing well, things are going great, it's easy out there,' Prammanasudh said. 'When you're having an off week, it's a little difficult but you've just got to know going into it that you've got to leave the golf and work at the golf course.'
 
Related Links:
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  • American Junior Golf Association

    Junior golfer's amazing run: ace, albatross, birdie

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 11:03 pm

    While most of the golf world had its attention focused on Scotland and The Open Championship at Carnoustie on Thursday, the REALLY remarkable performance of the day was taking place in Halifax, Mass.

    There, in an American Junior Golf Association tournament, a 16-year-old Thai player made a hole-in-one and an albatross on consecutive holes.

    According to the AJGA, Conor Kelly holed a 5-iron shot on the 198-yard, par-3 eighth hole. It was his first hole-in-one. He then holed a 4-iron second shot from 220 yards on the 480-yard ninth holer for the albatross. (We're gonna go out on a limb and say it was his first albatross.)

    Certainly a nice way to make the turn - but Kelly wasn't finished. He birdied the par-4 10th for a 1-2-3 sequence on his scorecard. For the day, he shot a 5-under 67 in the AJGA Junior Golf Hub Championship at the Country Club of Halifax.

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    McIlroy, Rahm betting co-favorites after Open Round 1

    By Will GrayJuly 19, 2018, 10:10 pm

    They're both three shots off the lead, but after starting The Open with rounds in the 60s Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm are now betting co-favorites to lift the claret jug at Carnoustie.

    McIlroy is four years removed from his Open triumph at Royal Liverpool, while Rahm remains in search of his first major title. Both carded rounds of 2-under 69 in Scotland to sit three shots off the lead of Kevin Kisner. While McIlroy started the tournament at 16/1 and Rahm at 20/1, they're now dead even at 10/1 in updated odds at the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook.

    Kisner started the week at 200/1, but after an opening-round 66 he's quickly been trimmed to 25/1. Tony Finau sits one shot behind Kisner and is now listed behind only McIlroy and Rahm at 12/1 after starting the tournament at 60/1.

    On the other side of the coin, consensus pre-tournament betting favorite Dustin Johnson fell from 12/1 to 100/1 following an opening 76 while Masters champ Patrick Reed shot a 4-over 75 to plummet from 30/1 to 200/1. Trailing by five shots following an opening-round 71, Tiger Woods' odds remained unchanged at 25/1 as he seeks a 15th career major title.

    Here's a look at the revised betting odds heading into the second round at Carnoustie:

    10/1: Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm

    12/1: Tony Finau

    14/1: Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler

    20/1: Francesco Molinari

    25/1: Tiger Woods, Alex Noren, Henrik Stenson, Kevin Kisner

    30/1: Jordan Spieth, Zach Johnson, Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka

    40/1: Ryan Moore, Jason Day

    50/1: Erik Van Rooyen, Brandon Stone, Matt Kuchar

    60/1: Danny Willett, Thomas Pieters, Marc Leishman, Thorbjorn Olesen, Russell Henley, Matthew Southgate

    80/1: Webb Simpson, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Brendan Steele, Kevin Na

    100/1: Dustin Johnson, Zander Lombard, Sung Kang, Paul Casey, Louis Oosthuizen, Xander Schauffele, Chris Wood, Pat Perez, Luke List, Charley Hoffman

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    Despite 78, Lincicome savors PGA Tour experience

    By Randall MellJuly 19, 2018, 9:41 pm

    Two bad holes derailed Brittany Lincicome in her historic start Thursday at the Barbasol Championship, but they couldn’t wipe the smile off her face afterward.

    It might have been the most fun she ever had shooting a 78.

    Lincicome joined Babe Zaharias, Shirley Spork, Annika Sorenstam, Suzy Whaley and Michelle Wie as the only women to tee it up in a PGA Tour event when she striped her opening tee shot down the middle Thursday at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Ky.

    A double bogey at her ninth hole and a triple at her 16th might have spoiled her chances at joining Zaharias as the only women to make a 36-hole cut in a PGA Tour event, but it didn’t spoil her experience.

    “I did what I wanted to do, with having fun,” Lincicome said. “I think I nailed that part pretty well.

    “I love playing with the guys. It's so much fun, being inside the ropes with them. Hopefully, I can get a good one tomorrow.”

    Lincicome, 32, held her own for 16 holes, playing them in 1 over par, but those two big numbers left her tied for last place when she signed her scorecard, though other players remained on the course.

    At 6 over, Lincicome is 13 shots behind the leader, probably seven or eight shots off the projected cut line, but she savored the experience. She arrived wanting to inspire young girls to dream big, and to bring some extra attention to a title sponsor who means so much to her. She represents Pure Silk, part of the Barbasol family.

    Sam Ryder, who joined Conrad Shindler playing alongside Lincicome, was impressed with the way Lincicome carried herself.

    “I would play with her every day if she wanted to,” said Ryder, who opened with a 68. “She's just a great person.

    “Even though I know she's probably a little disappointed with her final score, she had a smile on her face all day.”

    Lincicome, an eight-time LPGA winner, made her first birdie at her 12th hole, dropping a 30-foot putt, but she wasn’t happy with her putter much of the day. She missed three other good birdie chances, a 4-footer at her eighth hole, an 8-footer at her 10th and a 12-footer at the last.

    “Pretty happy with my game overall,” Lincicome said. “I had two bad holes, but I drove it well. I did all the things I said I needed to do, but my putter let me down today.”

    After piping her first drive, Lincicome opened with three consecutive pars.

    “I was actually calmer than I thought I was going to be,” she said. “I thought I was going to be a nervous wreck. After the first tee shot, I was pretty happy that I found the fairway.”

    Lincicome said Ryder and Shindler made her feel welcome. So did the crowds.

    “It was great,” she said. “I could feel the energy of the crowd support me. Every time I hit a good driver or good shot, they would cheer for me, which was great.

    “Conrad and Sam were so nice. I couldn't have asked for a better pairing. They were very welcoming, and we were interacting, they were asking me questions, and it was great.”

    On Tuesday, Lincicome said a key to her play would be hitting fairways. She did that, hitting 10 of 14, but she was taking in longer clubs than she does in LPGA events, with Keene Trace set up at 7,168 yards. That’s 600 yards longer than she played last week at the LPGA’s Marathon Classic, where she finished second. She hit just 8 greens in regulation in this PGA Tour start.

    Lincicome is nicknamed “Bam Bam.” She is one of the LPGA’s longest drivers, but she was typically 30 to 40 yards behind Ryder and Shindler after hitting her driver. She averaged 259 yards per drive, Ryder 289 yards.

    “She had a couple birdie putts that she could have made,” Ryder said. “If she made a couple of those, might've been a little bit different, just to get a little bit of momentum. Who knows?”

    Lincicome’s biggest challenges were the par 3s.

    At the 18th, playing 195 yards, she mis-hit her tee shot, knocking it in the water, short of the green. She took a penalty, moved up to a forward tee, dropped and hit into a right greenside bunker. She got up and down from there for a 5.

    At the seventh, playing 198 yards, she missed wild right and deep. From a tough spot in the rough, she left her pitch short of the green. She chipped her third past the hole and to the fringe, where she took three putts from 20 feet.

    Afterward, Lincicome wasn’t dwelling on the bad shots. She was focused on going to sign autographs for all the fans waiting for her, including all the little girls who came out to see her.

    “I need to go back over there and sign,” she said. “Any time I can influence a child, especially a girl, obviously I want to get them involved with the LPGA, as much as possible.”

    Her overall assessment of her day?

    “It was a great experience,” she said.

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    Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 8:55 pm

    NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

    Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)

    Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

    1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.