Look Who Peeked Around the Corner Why Its Davis

By George WhiteDecember 18, 2001, 5:00 pm
By now youve heard all about the youngsters, the Ty Tryons and Charles Howells and Sergio Garcias. Youve heard about ol Tiger and David Toms. Youve heard about the elders, rejuvenated Bernhard Langer and Scott Hoch.
About the only fella you havent heard much about is lets see now, Ive got his name somewhere here oh yes ' Davis Love III.
Yeah, Davis Love, who finished No. 2 in scoring this year right behind Woods. Davis Love, who is second in career money behind only Tiger. This man Davis, who was good enough to finish in the top 10 no less than 12 times in 20 tournaments; who finished in the top five in four of his last five tournaments.
Yes, as Frank Sinatra would say, it was a very good year. You didnt hear as much about Love because his record in the big tournaments wasnt too impressive ' he only missed three cuts this year and one of them was a major, the Masters, while another was at The Players Championship. He finished tied for 37th in the PGA, tied for 21st in the British Open and tied for 15th out of 29 players at the Tour Championship.
But look at the remaining 15 events. He won at Pebble Beach and finished second in a playoff at the Buick Invitational when his tee shot on a par-3 plugged into a bunker. He finished in the top 10 in 12 of those 15 events, in the top eight 10 times. It was a big improvement over last year, when Love played in 25 events and finished in the top 10 just nine times.
This year was set up by a win in December of 2000 at the Williams World Challenge, Love believes.
I finished the very end of last year with a few things I wanted to work on, he said. Going in, the (Williams) was really my last event of the year before the start of a brand new season. I was excited to try it out. I went in there and played real well and got my confidence back.
And what happened when he teed it up for 2001?
I went right out at the beginning of the year thinking I could play well, rather than wondering what state my game was in. And it carried over, said Love.
I came from real far behind at Pebble and had a lot of good tournaments this year. If it were not for a little putt missed here or a mistake there, I would have won a lot of golf tournaments in this past year. It definitely gave me confidence and got me back on the right foot to start 2001.
Tigers Tournament, as the Williams is known, was just a so-so event last week for Love. He finished tied for 15th, but it was his first activity in a month. He rarely touched a club while he was idle. But now, if he just keeps his balky back from acting up
I think you are going to see more and more guys whose careers do not last as long, Love firmly believes. The reason is the all-consuming fervor to hit it far. Love is one of the longest, ranking third in the rankings this year was an average pop of more than 297.
The days of playing from 20 to 50 and then going to the Senior Tour are going to go away. The guys are just not going to last as long, because they are pushing themselves to do things their bodies were not meant to do, he said.
We have always said golfing is not good for your back. Well, if you think hitting it 280 is not good for your back, try hitting it 320. That is really bad for your back.
Love should know, of course. His back has been problematic for 10 years or so. But its the sudden influx of brilliant youngsters that has forced him to swing a little bigger, search for five or 10 more yards and jeopardize his 37-year-old bones just a little more.
You just cannot get to Augusta and say, I am just going to try and hit it the same as I did five years ago, he said. It will not work. We have created a vicious cycle. The ball goes further so build the courses longer. But the ball is not going to make up for everything they build into a golf course
So, I have to figure out how to get the most out of my swing and my body. If this cycle keeps up, it will put a premium on distance and not on the total game. I think we need to look at shortening (courses). Make the courses shorter where the guy who hits it straight and has a better short game has just as much a chance.
If you want more guys to have a chance to win, you might think about getting Davis Love out of the lineup, too. He is hitting it as well as he ever has, bad back and all. You just never hear of him as much anymore.
Getty Images

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.



Getty Images

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.”

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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.”