Webb Highlights Hall of Fame Class
It seems like a big jump from that memory to be standing before you tonight, Webb said Monday, when she became the youngest player inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
If it seemed like warp speed, thats how her career has gone.
The first LPGA Tour event she watched was the 95 Titleholders in Daytona Beach. A year later as a 21-year-old rookie, she won the Titleholders, part of a stunning season in which she became the first woman to surpass $1 million.
She won the career Grand Slam in a span of seven majors, the quickest of any player.
And she was among five inducted at the World Golf Village, a 30-year-old who could not believe how far golf had taken her in such a short time.
In a ceremony that highlighted women, she was joined in the Hall of Fame by Ayako Okamoto of Japan. Inducted posthumously were Willie Park Sr., the first British Open champion; writer Bernard Darwin; and golf course architect Alister MacKenzie, whose designs include Augusta National, Cypress Point and Royal Melbourne.
Okamoto was overwhelmed to take her place in the Hall of Fame, comparing herself with the tortoise from Aesops Fables, a slow journey in which she was willing to leave the comfort of Japan to take on the best in the world. Okamoto won 17 times on the LPGA Tour, and won the money title and player of the year in 1987.
She was humbled upon seeing the names of the others enshrined.
They practically made the history of golf in this world, Okamoto said. And to be a part of it is such an honor.
The induction brings membership in the Hall of Fame to 109. Vijay Singh was elected on the PGA Tour ballot, but deferred his induction.
For Webb, it couldnt get here soon enough.
Webb took the LPGA Tour by such force that she needed only five years to reach the required 27 points'one point for a victory and major award, two points for majors'then had to put in her 10 years on tour to be eligible.
Its something I never dreamed I would achieve, she said.
She was the most dominant newcomer to the LPGA Tour since Nancy Lopez, winning twice, finishing in the top 10 in her first six tournaments and winning four times. No other rookie, male or female, had ever won over $1 million.
But she really made her mark in the majors.
Webb won her first one in 1999 at the du Maurier Classic outside Calgary with four birdies on the last five holes. The rest of her majors came easily. She won by 10 shots at the 2000 Kraft Nabisco, then won the U.S. Womens Open by five shots at the Merit Club.
But the final piece of the career Grand Slam was the toughest.
She had a three-shot lead going into the final round of the 01 LPGA Championship, but learned that morning her grandfather, Mick Collinson, suffered a stroke in Australia and was dying. Webb wanted to withdraw, but her parents persuaded her to play, and she fought through tears to win by three.
Her grandfather died a few hours before she made it home.
Greg Norman was a huge influence, too. Webb watched the Shark win the 86 Queensland Open, then came home and told her parents she wanted to be a professional golfer. She won a junior event at 16, and the prize was spending a week with the Shark at his Florida home.
Webb never imagined she would join him in the Hall of Fame.
Webb won the U.S. Womens Open twice'by four and eight shots.
And when she captured the Womens British Open at Turnberry in 2002, she became the only woman to win the Super Slam'all five LPGA majors available, with the British Open having replaced the du Maurier in 2001.
When I look at that time in my career, I couldnt do anything wrong, she said. Even if I didnt feel great about my game, I somehow found a way to get it in the hole. Every major I entered, I knew I had a very, very good chance of winning on Sunday.
Her only regret was that Kelvin Haller, her longtime coach in Ayr, couldnt be at the World Golf Village. Haller was paralyzed in an accident when Webb was 16, although their bond was so strong that they worked on her swing through simple conversation or by video.
Webb never embraced stardom, and her wraparound shades made her an enigma to some early in her career. But behind those glasses were high expectations and emotions that she bared on a warm night in northern Florida.
Ive never wanted to draw attention to myself, she said.
But my golf game has done that for me.
Attention followed Okamoto, and it was a burden.
The Japanese womens tour was thriving, and she was under pressure to play her home tour to appease sponsors. But she knew the stiffest challenge was in the United States, and she spent 10 years on the LPGA Tour, impressing her peers with her personality and her game.
She was and is a symbol of pride for her country, said Beth Daniel, who introduced her.
Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off
NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.
Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.
The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.
Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.
Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.
Third-round tee times for the 147th Open
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.
Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.
Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.
Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.
Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.
4:15AM ET: Gavin Green
4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed
4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose
4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton
4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley
5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner
5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson
5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)
5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood
5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello
6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford
6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma
6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele
6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood
6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na
6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin
7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim
7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira
7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters
7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li
7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker
7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink
8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook
8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris
8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim
8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari
8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson
8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell
9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka
9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott
9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren
9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone
9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett
10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler
10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell
10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau
10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen
10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele
10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood
11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson
Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.
He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.
“There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.
At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.
Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.
“I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”
Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?
Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.
Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.
“I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”
Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.
Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.
“It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.
More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.
“I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”