Davis the Ace but Just Dont Forget No 1

By George WhiteApril 1, 2003, 5:00 pm
First of all, there is Tiger Woods. He is the best this year, he was the best last year, and he is going to be the best 10 years from now. No one else need apply.
Now, the question rages: who is second best? Weve gone through a roller-coaster of opinions this year already, and we havent even reached the first major.
Davis Love III is the flavor of the day now. He was terribly impressive Sunday in winning The Players Championship. Fred Couples said Love played either, A) the best round Freddie had ever seen, or B) the best round Freddie had seen Love play ' I couldnt tell which. But thats OK ' Love played magnificently all four rounds in winning a very difficult championship.
But before there was Davis, there was Ernie Els. You remember, dont you? He won the first two events, won a third in Australia, and lost a playoff in Malaysia in his next start. By the time he got back to America, though, his great early start was forgotten. Now hes hit a punching bag the wrong way at his London home and is out of commission.
Vijay Singh was next, but he pulled a rib muscle, missed six weeks, and he, too, seems forgotten.
Up stepped Mike Weir to win a couple of times and everybody started thinking ' Is he the one? But Weir faded to the back to be replaced by ' Tiger?
Scott Hoch and Justin Leonard filled in briefly while Tiger was taking vacations. They both were quite impressive. Hoch hurt his wrist, though, and stepped aside, who gave way to Leonard, who gave way again to Tiger. Suddenly everyone started thinking clearly again ' Tiger was the one who was gone for awhile while he rehabbed his knee, but sanity prevailed and everyone was able to see the big picture in a little clearer light.
So now its Davis ' again. Davis is a few days shy of his 39th birthday and has spent the last few years battling one ailment or another. He had a terrible back problem. And his neck gave him fits. But this year both cleared up, and what do you know ' this guy can really smoke it! He looks like he might be the genuine article.
So Love is the new No. 2 but wait a minute! What about Padraig Harrington! What about Jay Haas! What about the young guys ' Adam Scott, Aaron Baddeley, what about Chad Campbell? Dont forget Stewart Cink, Nick Price, David Toms or Robert Allenby!
Wait ' Sergio Garcia is changing his swing and will be back in a matter of a few months! Retief Goosen is just a little worn out and will recover that old magic as soon as he recuperates. And Phil Mickelson ' he had some family business to attend to, but hes back this week.
Hey, some of the fellas, guys like Fred Couples, Brad Faxon, Jim Furyk and Corey Pavin are beginning to stir a little. Have you forgotten them? And youngsters like Charles Howell III, Luke Donald and Matt Kuchar ' surely before the year is up, we will hear from those guys!
Er - Chris DiMarco, did I mention him yet? By the way, Jerry Kelly, Rocco Mediate, Frank Lickliter ' Frank Lickliter won at Tucson! Cant forget him.
Its difficult to believe that when last year ended, Rich Beem was the name on everyones lips. By the way, when was the last time Mark Brooks, John Daly, David Duval, Lee Janzen or Tom Lehman contended? Couldnt they just as easily pull a Davis Love and get right back in this thing? How about Greg Norman ' yeah, how about Norman, even with a trick back? And Jose Maria Olazabel, Bernhard Langer, Jesper Parnevik, maybe Hal Sutton? How about Nick Faldo and Mark OMeara?
Thats about 50 guys to consider. Its so easy to forget. So many great players, so little an imagination. Week by week, month by month, the present nom de jour is rushed over and another one is inserted in his place.
Sure, Davis Love was very impressive. Give all the praise accorded him. But just remember to keep these underlying truths in your mind at all times: Number 1, there are a lot of guys who are going to be the second-best player before the year is over; and No. 2, there isnt a hint of doubt who is No. 1 - Tiger Woods.
The mature gents are climbing back into the ring, reduxing past glories all over the place. Love is the latest ' wasnt he the one to beat some time ago? He was ' but times change, and situations change. Now its Davis. Forgotten is some guy who only a month or so ago looked unbeatable. Now ' hes beatable. Tiger must be smiling at us.
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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.”