What does Finchems appearance in China mean

By Associated PressNovember 10, 2009, 9:53 pm

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP)—Six months after the PGA Tour officially gotinvolved in the HSBC Champions, commissioner Tim Finchem was front and center ata news conference and later at the TV trophy presentation to Phil Mickelson .

Small wonder some referred to it as the start of the PGA Tour’s “Asianinvasion.”

Finchem said his 18-day trip to Asia—part of it a vacation with his wife,Holly—was to meet sponsors and clients he had not visited in some time, and tomeet potential customers. Even so, his comments at a Sunday news conference ledto one question.

Where will all this lead?

This was the first World Golf Championship in China, even though the PGATour does not yet recognize it as official and might not for a few years.Finchem said it “may evolve in the next two or three years.” How that willmake a difference remains a mystery unless he’s waiting for more PGATour-sanctioned events in Asia.

Finchem said he has been speaking with Zhang Xiaonang, executive vicepresident of the China Golf Association, about three ways to grow the game—through a First Tee facility in China, by getting the tour involved in buildingTPC golf courses and helping stage tournaments.

Finchem said Zhang has asked whether the PGA Tour could sanction an event,and that the tour has agreed to work with “other members” of the InternationalFederation of PGA Tours.

That includes European tour chief executive George O’Grady, who already hasestablished a presence in China and elsewhere in Asia, and the Asian tour, whichis battling with OneAsia for support from the China Golf Association.

One thing appeared certain: While the world of golf is larger than ever, itcan appear to be shrinking. Three tours (Europe, Asian, United States) indeedcan make for a crowd.

APPLEBY’S YEAR: Stuart Appleby , who lives in Orlando, Fla., is No. 134 onthe money list and could have kept his card by finishing at least 15th at Disneythis week in the final PGA Tour event of the year.

Appleby also is from Australia, and he decided against Disney to play atKingston Heath in the Australian Masters this year.

He said Tuesday it was an easy choice.

“I already had plans for my junior foundation, and Tiger has committed tospend an hour with the kids, which is awesome,” Appleby said. “Plus, I thinkthis is one of the top two courses in the world. I really had more to gain thanlose.”

Appleby has not decided whether to use one of his exemptions from the careermoney list, preferring to save them for later. He said he would let the tourknow in two weeks. Appleby might spend 2010 asking for sponsor exemptions, whichshouldn’t be too hard to find for an eight-time winner who has not finishedlower than 55th on the money list since his rookie season.

As to what happened this year, he isn’t quite sure.

“I think I just fell into some bad habits,” Appleby said. “I forgot aboutthe innocence of playing golf. I spent too much time trying to fix something. Itwas like a year of the dog chasing his tail.”

CADDIE OF THE YEAR: In one of the best evenings in golf, Billy Foster wasawarded the “Caddie of the Year” on the European tour for his work with LeeWestwood on and off the golf course.

It was a festive occasion for the caddies, with lesser awards handed out forsuch things as best club selection and best excuse. Westwood helped host theevening with Sky Sports commentator Richard Boxall, but perhaps even moreimpressive was a dozen tour players who stayed well into the evening, such asPadraig Harrington , Paul Casey , and even Americans Nick Watney and Brian Gay .

Foster, who also has caddied for Seve Ballesteros , Darren Clarke and even ata Presidents Cup for Tiger Woods , has been on the bag as Westwood leads the Raceto Dubai with two tournaments left. In July, he raised about $130,000 forcharity by walking from Loch Lomond to Turnberry with Westwood’s golf bag on hisback.

OGILVY’S CLUBS: Geoff Ogilvy will be switching over to Titleist for the 2010season.

Ogilvy’s deal with Cobra expires this year, and parent company Acushnet ismoving away from a Cobra presence on tour. Ogilvy, who has won three World GolfChampionships and a U.S. Open in the last four years, said it was a sensiblemove.

“It’s in the family,” he said, noting Titleist also is under the Acushnetumbrella and he would continue playing the ball. “If you’re going to be makinga change from one manufacturer to another, that’s the least stressful.”

He said he has been practicing with a new blade from Titleist, and that theonly significant change would be the driver.

MIA DOWN UNDER: Robert Allenby made history Down Under in 2005 as the onlyplayer to win the Australian Triple Crown—victories in the Masters, PGA andAustralian Open.

He won’t be able to repeat that this year. The Melbourne native is notplaying any of them.

Allenby has played the last three weeks on the European tour—Spain,Singapore and Shanghai—and needed a week off before the Dubai WorldChampionship. He also decided to play in the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa,opposite the Australian Open.

As for the Australian PGA the following week? Allenby said he needed tospend time with his ailing mother-in-law, although he had problems last yearwith how the tournament was run.

DIVOTS: Steve Marino finished his week in China and headed home to restbefore venturing out again. He is playing consecutive weeks in December at theAustralian Open and the Australian PGA. “I think it will be cool,” Marinosaid. “You’ve got to do this while you’re young.” … The Australian Masterswas added to the European tour schedule last month, giving Rod Pampling (No. 71)one last chance to crack into the top 60 and qualify for the Dubai WorldChampionship.

STAT OF THE WEEK: Tiger Woods has never finished out of the top 10 in strokeplay at the World Golf Championships.

FINAL WORD: “Getting away from golf is good for you. It gets the grumps outof you.”—Geoff Ogilvy.

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.