Woods in 2000 Is Standard of Greatness

By Associated PressSeptember 28, 2004, 4:00 pm
Vijay Singh has one month to put the final touches on what already is a masterpiece.
 
He won for the eighth time this year at the 84 Lumber Classic, setting the single-season earnings record with more than $9.4 million. Singh has at least three tournaments left, so the 10-10 mark - 10 victories, $10 million - is in range. And as a sign that the 41-year-old Fijian is only getting stronger, he has won five of his last six starts.
 
Clearly, comparisons with Tiger Woods are inevitable.
 
As long as the year is 1999 - not 2000.
 
Five years ago, Woods launched a spectacular finish to the season by winning the PGA Championship at Medinah. He became No. 1 in the world, shattered the single-season money record and wound up with eight tour victories, winning five of his last six starts.
 
Singh is every bit as good as that.
 
But no one stacks up against Woods in 2000, the modern standard of greatness.
 
'Tiger won three majors in 2000,' Singh said. 'You can't beat three majors. It's so much more difficult to win major events than normal tournaments. I'm just going to try to enjoy my own good season.'
 
Indeed, Singh should take a bow.
 
He joins Woods (1999, 2000), Johnny Miller (1974) and Arnold Palmer (1960, 1962) as the only players since 1960 to have won at least eight PGA Tour events in one year. If he were to run the table and finish with 11 victories, that would tie for third all-time behind Byron Nelson (18 in 1945) and Ben Hogan (13 in 1946). Sam Snead also won 11 in 1950.
 
Still, Singh's phenomenal season only illustrates how dominant Woods was in 2000, when he won nine times, captured the final three majors and set or tied 27 records.
 
'To me, that's still the best year anybody ever had,' Stewart Cink said. 'Unfortunately for Vijay, he doesn't have any more major tournaments this year.'
 
Everyone remembers the majors, but that was only a part of what made Woods' 2000 the Mona Lisa of golf. And that's why trying to match Singh in 2004 against Woods in 2000 is like putting the Americans against Europe in the Ryder Cup.
 
It's no contest.
 
Majors
Singh won his only major, the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, when Justin Leonard bogeyed the last two holes in regulation and Singh won the three-hole playoff by making his only birdie of the day.
 
Woods won the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach by a record 15 shots. He completed the career Grand Slam at St. Andrews by winning the British Open by eight shots. He won the PGA Championship in a playoff over Bob May after both shot a bogey-free 31 on the back nine at Valhalla.
 
Victories
Woods doesn't play as often as Singh, but he usually plays only the tournaments that attract the strongest fields. All but one of his victories in 2000 included at least seven of the top 10 players on the PGA Tour money list that season, the exception coming at the Canadian Open. He won nine of the 20 tournaments he played.
 
Unless he changes his schedule, Singh will have played 29 times in 2004. He beat Woods head-to-head in Boston to replace him at No. 1 in the world, and he also held off Woods at the Buick Open.
 
But three of Singh's victories - 84 Lumber, Houston Open, New Orleans - included only one other player from the top five in the world ranking.
 
Margin of victory
Singh's most dominant victory this year came at Pebble Beach, where he started the final round tied with Arron Oberholser and won by three shots. Woods won five tournaments in 2000 by at least four shots, two of those by double digits (15 shots at the U.S. Open, 11 shots at the NEC Invitational).
 
Both players won twice in a playoff.
 
Woods won his nine tournaments by a combined 46 shots. Singh has won eight times by a combined 11 shots.
 
Money
Although the seasons are only four years apart, the money is substantially higher in 2004 than it was when Woods set the record of $9.1 million in 2000.
 
Singh has played in 18 tournaments with at least a $5 million purse; Woods played in only six of those in 2000. Singh has played 26 tournaments with a total purse of $139.6 million; Woods played 20 tournaments with a total purse of $77.3 million. Comparatively, Woods won 11.8 percent of the purse he played for in 2000; Singh has won 6.8 percent of the purse he has played for this year.
 
In other words, if prize money in 2000 were equal to 2004, Woods would have earned $13,336,532.
 
Scoring
Singh leads the PGA Tour with a 68.92 adjusted scoring average, giving him a .02 lead over Phil Mickelson. Woods set the record in 2000 at 67.79, which was nearly 1 1/2 strokes better than Mickelson.
 
Woods was under par in every tournament and played his final 47 rounds (including three majors) at par or better. Singh has finished four tournaments over par, and he missed the cut at Torrey Pines.
 
Top 10s
Singh is 15-of-26 in top 10s, and he has been outside the top 25 five times. Woods was 17-of-20 in top 10s, and his worst finish was a tie for 23rd.
 
Singh's season is worth celebrating.
 
But for there to be any comparisons with Woods, he will have to come up with something truly special next year.
 
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.”