Adams Captures Futures Tour Opener

By Futures Tour MediaMarch 14, 2004, 5:00 pm
Futures TourLAKELAND, Fla. -- The script couldnt have been written better in Hollywood. Todays final round of the $65,000 Lakeland FUTURES Golf Classic featured competitive drama, an international cast of players and a setting in Central Florida with a backdrop of golf-loving Canadians visiting for the winter.
But by days end, the main character was Canadian Kim Adams of Tide Head, New Brunswick ' a second-year member of the FUTURES Tour still looking for her first Tour win. Like many members of the Tour, Adams spent most of last year and the off-season trying to understand the premature death of her childhood friend and fellow FUTURES Tour player from New Brunswick, Heather Wilbur, who lost her battle with leukemia last October at age 27. Wilburs death stirred something in Adams.
And it stirred something in her play today at Cleveland Heights Golf Club, where the Tour was playing its first tournament of the season and 400th in its 24-year history. Adams steadily moved up the leader board after a one-under-par 71 on Friday, which tied her for fifth place. A 67 in Saturdays second round gave her a share of second place at 138. But with Wilburs mother in town and walking in Adams gallery for the final round, Adams tapped into something that set her apart from the rest of the field.
Call it coincidental. Call it divine intervention. Or call it rock-solid determination and focus on behalf of Adams to lock herself in the moment -- however emotional it was -- and not even realize the extent of her lead as she walked to the 18th green, maple-leaf flags waving in the gallery. Of course, now, call Adams a champion. Her final-round 67, the round's low score on a day when wind made guesswork of club selection, rewarded Adams in a way she never imagined.
This win was definitely for my friend Wilbur and the whole province of New Brunswick, said Adams, who earned a winners check of $9,100 for her 11-under-par total of 205. There were a few times today when I thought, Wilbur, help me out buddy. That went through my head a lot over putts.
Adams may have shed some tears when she finished, but she was tough as the Border Patrol when she used 27 putts and played a bogey-free round that included a birdie at the fifth hole from two inches, a chip-in eagle-3 on No. 8 from 50 yards, a birdie on the 15th from two inches, and a 10-foot birdie on the 17th that made her walk up the 18th fairway perfunctory. Wilbur may have been watching, but Adams was hitting the shots and draining her putts when they mattered most.
Talented teen Seon-Hwa Lee of Chonan, Korea appeared to be the player with momentum halfway through the final round and briefly grabbed the tournament lead, but Adams regained the lead on the ninth green when Lee bogeyed. The Canadian was never challenged by second-round leaders Nicole Perrot of Vina del Mar, Chile, Carri Wood of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., and Cortney Reno of Gross Ile, Mich., who all backed up in the final round on the 6,230-yard municipal course with speedy greens.
Lee posted a final-round, two-under-par 70 to finish second at 209, while Perrot carded a plus-one 73 for third at 210. Renos final-round 76 tumbled her into eighth, while Woods 75 tied her for fifth, thanks to a double-bogey on the 13th hole. Jimin Kang of Seoul, Korea made a final-round charge, finishing solo fourth at 211.
But today was Adams day. Her goal for the week was three-pronged, which according to Adams, included her mission to: stay target-oriented; remain 100 percent committed to her decisions over shots; and to have fun and enjoy the moment. By all accounts, she was right on target.
Adams was trailed and saluted by the visiting snowbirds and toasted by the Tour for making Doris Wilburs trip south memorable. The Tour established the Heather Wilbur Spirit Award last fall for the FUTURES Tour player who best exemplifies dedication, courage, perseverance, love of the game and spirit toward achieving goals as a professional golfer. Wilbur was told she was the awards first recipient prior to her death on October 21, 2003. Her mother, Doris, was in Lakeland this weekend to receive the carved-art sculpture during the final-round awards ceremony. It was a bittersweet affair with a large gathering of red-eyed Tour members still missing their friend and believing that Wilbur the player, was there with them, after all.
You could just tell last year, when Heather was sick, the atmosphere was different out here, said Adams, 24. Heather was a really good friend of mine. We grew up playing junior golf together. To come out and win the first event of the season with her mother here watching is just unbelievable.
Too true for Hollywood, maybe. But entirely fitting for the seasons first champion amid the maple leaves of Lakeland.
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.