Why Tiger Might Play Barclays

By Brian HewittJanuary 30, 2008, 5:00 pm
The wooing of Tiger Woods has officially begun. Now that New Jerseys prestigious Ridgewood Country Club has acquired the rights to host The Barclays, which will also serves as the FedExCup playoff opener in late August, the drive is on to get the worlds No. 1 into the fold.
By all accounts, Ridgewood Country Club, a classic 27-hole A.W. Tillinghast design complex in Paramus, N. J., is golf in its purest form. There is an East nine, a West nine and a Center nine. The tournament course will be a composite of seven holes from the East, five holes from the Center and six holes from the West. That configuration will play 7,304 yards to a par of 71.
It will flow very well, said David Reasoner, Ridgewoods head pro. And that particular composite course will allow us to handle the infrastructure concerns.
One high-ranking USGA official told GOLF CHANNEL that room for corporate tents and other on-site support trailers and equipment could be a problem at Ridgewood. But that same official said it wouldnt matter what 18 holes the TOUR selected for The Barclays. Theyre all great, the official said.
The USGAs headquarters are also in New Jersey. So are other Tillinghast designs at Baltusrol and Somerset Hills. Tillinghast also designed Winged Foot across the state line in Westchester County.
The sixth hole for the Barclays (normally the third hole on the Center nine) is a drivable 294-yard, par-4 and Ridgewoods signature hole. In the old days the members called it the five and dime because most played it 5-iron off the tee and a 10-iron (now a wedge) into the green. Woods, who recently began designing courses himself, is on record as saying golf courses should have a drivable par-4.
Woods tied for fourth at the 2005 PGA Championship at Baltusrol and missed the cut by three strokes, not long after the death of his father, in 2006 at Winged Foot. But Woods has often spoken fondly of his rounds at the San Francisco Golf Club when he was a member of the Stanford Golf team in the mid-90s. San Francisco Golf is also a Tillinghast design.
I believe Tiger would love Ridgewood, Reasoner said. Its an old, traditional, tree-lined course and you have to be able to work the ball both ways.
It was no secret that Woods didnt like the layout at Westchester Country Club which preceded Ridgewood as The Barclays venue. And to be sure, if he decides to skip The Barclays this year it might be purely a matter of scheduling and have nothing to do with Ridgewoods relative merits.
But if he stays away, most course critics will tell you, he will be missing something special. Ridgewood is not overly tight, Reasoner says. But it has incredible green complexes.
It will be months before Woods commits himself, one way or the other, on Ridgewood and this years Barclays. Meanwhile Reasoner will be excused if he takes Sunday off to watch the Super Bowl.
Hes a Giants fan. And he gives the occasional golf lesson to New Yorks coach, Tom Coughlin. As you might imagine, Coughlin doesnt find the time to play a lot of golf. But every once in a while, Reasoner says, Ill get a call from him and hell say something like, Ive got to play in this outing coming up. Can you help me get the ball airborne?
The problem for Reasoner Sunday is the opponent. I come from New England, he says. And most of my family will be rooting for the Patriots.
On another football/golf front, officials of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am will have their cell phones set on the loudest ring tone Sunday night.
They are still waiting to hear from New England quarterback Tom Brady and his coach, Bill Belichick. Both have been invited to play in their event which begins with practice rounds the day after the Patriots-Giants game.
We can wait until Sunday night if we have to, said tournament official Steve Worthy. Obviously wed like to know before then.
Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, Worthy said, has already committed to play in the Pro Bowl, which is the same Sunday (February 10) as the final round at Pebble Beach. Brady, if he gets league clearance due to injury, could skip the Pro Bowl and play in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Brady indicated at Tuesdays Super Bowl media day that he probably will not make it to the Monterey Peninsula next week.
If Brady and Belichick dont make it, the tournament will go to the top of a very long waiting list and pick two local amateurs as invited guests. The tournament doesnt release the going rate. But the downstroke for an amateur to play in the event is believed to be somewhere between 10 and 15 thousand dollars.
One of the last calls Tiger Woods made after destroying the field at Torrey Pines and before getting on the plane to Dubai was to instructor Hank Haney, who had left California a day earlier.
All he wanted to talk about, Haney informed me, was what he could improve on for next week.
Meanwhile, Haney remains sensitive to criticism of Tigers accuracy off the tee. And it speaks, among other things, to how fiercely loyal he is to Woods.
Tiger finished 59th in driving accuracy at the Buick Invitational but he tied for second in greens in regulation. Haney repeated that when Woods hits a drive, say, three degrees off line its more likely to end up on the first cut of the rough than a player who carries the ball 30 yards less off the tee and stays in the fairway.
Geometry, Haney said emphatically.
Tiger has been working hard on his short game, Haney added. And he had two chip-ins at Torrey and a great bunker shot on the last hole on Friday. It is always nice to see hard work pay off.
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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.”

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    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.”