Time for Younger Haas to Pay His Dues

By Associated PressDecember 7, 2004, 5:00 pm
PGA TourLA QUINTA, Calif. -- Bill Haas never imagined playing anywhere but the PGA Tour, and he couldn't hide his frustration after coming up two shots short of a tour card at Q-school.
 
Moments after signing his scorecard, he was angry with himself and bitter about his immediate future.
 
He ridiculed his performance, a tie for 43rd among 169 players.
 
'If I was good enough, I wouldn't have been on the bubble,' he said. 'I'm obviously not ready.'

And he cringed at the thought of having to play on the Nationwide Tour next year.
 
'There's some really good players on the Nationwide Tour, but it's just not where I want to be,' Haas said. 'I don't want to be on the Nationwide Tour, and I think if I have to play there more than four or five years, I'll quit golf.'
 
After loading his clubs into the car in the parking lot at PGA West, the 22-year-old son of Jay Haas stared at the pavement as his mother put her arm around his shoulder and whispered encouragement.
 
What Haas could have used was a heart-to-heart with David Duval.
 
'I'm sure with how Bill Haas played this summer, and how he is regarded as a player, he feels he should be playing on the PGA Tour,' Duval said Tuesday morning from his home in Denver. 'I felt like that's where I should play. But the path to get there sometimes makes a few turns.'
 
Eleven years ago, Duval took one of those unexpected turns.
 
Duval was a can't-miss kid who had the 54-hole lead at the BellSouth Classic as an amateur, an All-American all four years at Georgia Tech who saw Q-school as merely a stop sign on the road to stardom.
 
Duval was so good that he almost got his card by playing a limited schedule on the Nike Tour - two victories and a third place in just nine starts to miss his card by $2,875.
 
Then came Q-school in the California desert.
 
That was when there was a cut after four rounds, and Duval didn't even get past that.
 
'I played the last 10 holes in 5 under and that was going to be the number,' Duval said. 'I got in front of the computer with everyone else and watched that arrow move. I was at 1 under, and then it moved to 2 under. And I was like, 'I'm out of here.'
 
'The feeling of not making it ... it's a disaster.'
 
Haas has received even more attention during his college career, in no small part because his father has done amazing things on the PGA Tour as a 50-year-old - making the Ryder Cup team and Tour Championship - and because the son has impeccable credentials himself.
 
Bill Haas was an All-American at Wake Forest this year, won the Jack Nicklaus Award and Ben Hogan Award as the top college player and set an NCAA record for lowest stroke average.
 
He turned pro and tried to get his card by making enough money through sponsor's exemptions.
 
Haas missed only one cut and didn't do anything spectacular, although Haas showed plenty of grit. When his seven exemptions ran out, he qualified for the Deutsche Bank Championship and was in contention, paired with Tiger Woods in the second-to-last group in the third round, before tying for ninth.
 
His hopes ended at the Canadian Open, where he finished three shots out of the top 10 and had nowhere else to play. That sent him to the second stage of Q-school, which he passed at tough Black Horse on the Monterey Peninsula. And he battled back after an opening 75 in the final stage at PGA West.
 
But all that mattered at the end of six rounds was that he did not finish among the top 30 and ties. He will not have membership on the PGA Tour next year, an even bigger blow considering he wanted to play with his father, and the window for that opportunity is closing.
 
Haas at least has full status on the Nationwide Tour, and he'll figure out soon enough that it's not all bad. But in the moments after Q-school, he already was cooking up plans to reach the big leagues.
 
'If I can get seven starts (sponsor's exemptions), I'll play on tour,' he said. 'I don't like the Nationwide Tour. I'd much rather play on the PGA Tour.'
 
Who wouldn't?
 
Haas played three times on the Nationwide Tour, twice missing the cut. He knows how tough it is out there.
 
'A lot of players have taken at least a year out there,' Haas said. 'Apparently, that's what I need to do. I've got to pay my dues, which is fine.'
 
Duval only hopes he makes a full deposit.
 
After his Q-school flop, Duval focused almost entirely on the Nike Tour and finished eighth on the money list to get his PGA Tour card. The year in the minor leagues served him well. Duval was 11th on the money list as a rookie and was never lower than 10th the next six years as he ascended to No. 1 in the world.
 
'If I was him, I wouldn't mess around on the PGA Tour,' Duval said. 'Serve your time, if you want to call it that. If he wants to play an event or two when there's not any Nationwide stuff, that's fine. But as good as he is, he might win three times by June if he focuses on that. Or he could finish in the top three on the money list and make $400,000 or $500,000. As a 22-year-old, that's not bad.'
 
And that might be the most important message of all.
 
Haas is only 22. His future is no less bright just because he failed his first try at Q-school.
 
Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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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.”