Wright Wins on Futures Tour

By Futures Tour MediaMay 9, 2004, 4:00 pm
Futures TourALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The week of the $75,000 Isleta Casino & Resort Gold Classic kicked off with an Australian leading in the first round and another Aussie winning in the final. And they both arrived at the tournament in the same car.
 
Just the wrong Aussie won, said Kylie Pratt of Mackay, Australia with a big grin. Pratt, of course, was the first-round leader and finished tied for ninth at 212. Her traveling compatriot, Lindsey Wright of Albury, Australia, was the winning Aussie. Wright took the gold in the tournaments title with the $10,500 champions check.
 
And the former Pepperdine University player did it with three rounds in the 60s, blistering the par-72, 6,621-yard Isleta Eagle Golf Course with a final-round 66 to win at 13-under-par 203.
 
Ive done a lot of hard work since I left college and this is so encouraging to come out and win this week, said Wright, a non-exempt member of the LPGA Tour who is playing her first full season on the Futures Golf Tour.
 
Wright started todays final round two shots behind rookie Aram Cho of Seoul, Korea. She put the pressure on Cho on the front nine with a 4-under-par performance of 32 that included three consecutive birdies on holes three, four and five, a bogey on the seventh, then a chip-in eagle-3 on the par-5 eighth hole from 40 yards. When the two made the turn to the back nine, Wright had drawn even with Cho.
 
The difference was that Cho recorded one bogey and one birdie on the back nine, while Wright rattled in two birdies, including another chip-in for birdie on the 14th from 20 feet. Cho was solid, but Wrights short game set her apart.
 
My short game has been great and I could really feel it today, said Wright, who won her first Futures Tour title last summer in Altamont, N.Y., during the partial season she played following her college graduation.
 
Cho had one last chance to apply pressure to the leader on the final green, but she came up short with her 35-foot birdie try. Wright was steady-handed and two-putted her 15-footer for par and the win. Cho secured second place with her 2-under finish of 70 at 205 (-11).
 
Lindsey says she was unbelievably nervous when she won last year, but thats also what she wants -- where she wants to be, said Leith Wastle, a teaching pro from Melbourne, Australia who is instructing Wright, Pratt and Yvonne Cox of Charleston, W.Va., who finished third at 8-under 208.
 
Lindsey is a tough little woman and shes got a heck of a lot of guts, added Wastle, who caddied for Pratt. Right now, shes just doing a lot of things right.
 
For starters, Wright hopes to gain her exempt LPGA Tour status for 2005 by finishing in the top five on the Futures Tour Money List at the end of this season. As a non-exempt LPGA Tour member, she has the option to Monday qualify. But Wright says her goals are more long-term than showing up for those grueling one-day events to earn one or two spots in the tournament field.
 
I see the Futures Tour as a big stepping stone, because there are so many players who can potentially win tournaments out here each week, said Wright, a former four-time All-American at Pepperdine. Im not interested in having one great week on the LPGA Tour and not being able to sustain it. I want to get better every week.
 
Wright, who played in eight tournaments in 2003, says she learned by watching the practice habits and tournament finishes of recent Futures Tour alums, such as Stacy Prammanasudh and Reilley Rankin. Both of those players earned their LPGA Tour cards by finishing in the Futures Tours top five.
 
I look at players from last year and see how well they are doing now on the LPGA Tour, said Wright. They worked really hard, but if they can do it, I can do it. Ive made that commitment to myself this year and Im learning something in every round I play.
 
As for going for the gold, Wrights finish at Isleta allowed her to charge up the Tours current Money List from No. 22 to No. 3. After three tournaments, she has won once and tied for fifth once. And its a safe bet as to whos buying dinner tonight when that carload of Aussies takes to the highway.
 
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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.”