Sudden Death Fight to the Finish

By November 19, 2003, 5:00 pm
The Big BreakEditor's Note: The Golf Channel aired the seventh episode of its original series, The Big Break, Tuesday in which a group of scratch golfers vie in a weekly showdown of golf skills challenges. Each week one contestant will be eliminated until there is just one man left standing on the tee box. That lucky winner will get the Big Break of his golfing career - exemptions into four Canadian Tour events airing on The Golf Channel in 2004.
 
With the group of contestants now cut in half, the players began to realize that they had to start depending on good golf shots, and not so much on luck, in order to survive. But what they didnt know was what type of challenges the day had in store. And that for two players, sudden death was knocking on the door to elimination.
 
I feel like Ive got a pretty well-rounded game. My strength is my mind, but were in survival mode; youre just trying to survive, noted Justin Peters. Youve got to be patient though, but I know if I hit the shots Im capable of then Im going to be hard to beat.
 
In the skills challenge, Golf Channel Troubleshooter Rick Smith informed the players what theyve been waiting to hear all along ' that the mulligan they would be playing for was to be won by playing actual golf. Each player would play a par-5, tee to green, with the lowest score winning the mulligan and an Golden Tee video game.
 
Randy Block swingThe tee shots were mixed, with one (Mark Farnham) finding trees on the left, one (Randy Block) finding a fairway bunker, another (Craig Pawling) landing in the left rough and two (Justin Peters and Anthony Sorentino) landing safely in the fairway. Eagle was possible, but as the players reached the green birdie looked to be the score to beat. Farnham, Pawling and Sorentino were out after their up and down attempts failed to produce nothing below par. So it was down to Block and Peters, with Block having a 15-footer for birdie and Peters, whose chip nestled up to within five feet, also putting for birdie.
 
Block drained his long putt and then watched as Peters slide his by the hole, giving Block the mulligan and the video game.
 
Randy dropped a solid putt right in the center and I got up there and missed, said Peters about failing to win the prize. Its just the game of golf. Sometimes you think youre in the drivers seat and things just turn real quick.
 
With the fun skills challenge over and the elimination challenge now at hand, we were soon to discover how the players would perform by scrambling from tough situations -- combining both good decision making and good golf shots.
 
Each golfer was to play out a hole from two different trouble positions -- each around 75 yards from the pin. The player with the highest cumulative score from both holes was going home.
 
The first shot required the player to either go over a large tree or use a punch shot that flew below the branches. The second shot made the player choose which way to go around a tree to a pin tucked just over a bunker fronting the green.
 
On the first hole, Pawling, who elected to use the punch shot, failed in judging the distance as his ball missed the branches but wound up short and in the rough. His effort to get up and down also failed and he took a 4 on the hole.
 
Blocks wedge over the tree resulted in a short putt for a 2, and the lead, going into the second and last hole.
 
This time it was Farnham who found trouble as he scrambled to make a 4, just as Pawling nailed a putt for a 3 that would pit the two in a sudden death playoff.
 
Peters, Block and Sorentino were all safely onto the next show.
 
All you could do was watch, but your rooting for both of them as you know one of them is going home, said Peters about the sudden-death scenario. You just hope it ends the way it should end ' with a good golf shot.
 
On the first playoff hole, Farnham came through with a clutch up-and-down to equal Pawlings score of 3 and force a second playoff hole.
 
Mark Farnham putts to avoid eliminationBoth players were still off the green after their first shot, though, Pawling was in a much better position than Farnham. Farnham, however, hit a beautiful flop shot from a tight, downhill lie that stopped about eight feet from the hole. Pawlings ensuing chip rolled up to two-and-a-half feet and put the pressure squarely back on Farnham.
 
Farnhams putt slid agonizingly close by the cup and Pawling drained his knee-knocker to finally oust Farnham and move on the next episode.
 
I am so pleased. Craig had to make a shot to beat me, said the departing Farnham, who was the shows resident clown. I hung in around with 10 of the best, undiscovered golfers in the country for seven shows. I am really pleased that I gave it my absolute best shot!
 
Tune in next Tuesday at 9:00PM (ET) as its finally down to the final four. The elimination challenge will get emotions running high as it will pit strength against strength.
 
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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

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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.”