Burk Appealing Ruling

By Golf Channel NewsroomApril 8, 2003, 4:00 pm
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) -- Martha Burk criticized a judge who barred her group from protesting at the front gate of Augusta National, saying Tuesday that 'party revelers are taking precedence over legitimate protesters.'
 
Burk, who wants Augusta National Golf Club to admit its first female member, plans to appeal two separate rulings by U.S. District Judge Dudley H. Bowen Jr.
 
'I think it's clear they acted in the best interests of the city and the club rather than the best interests of the First Amendment,' Burk said in a telephone interview.
 
Burk, working with the Georgia chapter of the ACLU, will ask a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn Bowen's rulings before her scheduled Masters protest.
 
Time is drawing short. The tournament begins Thursday, and Burk's group is planning to protest during the third round Saturday.
 
'I'm a little surprised,' Burk said. 'I didn't think they would be so blatant acting in the club's interest and not the public interest.'
 
Burk wants to protest outside the main entrance of the club, believing that would give her cause maximum exposure. But the sheriff, citing safety concerns, said her group will be restricted to a site about a half-mile away.
 
City attorney Jim Wall praised the rulings.
 
'Certainly we are pleased the court upheld the validity of the ordinance and the validity of decisions the sheriff made as far as public safety issues,' Wall said.
 
Meanwhile, heavy thunderstorms kept golfers from getting on the course Monday. The gates never opened to fans, either - the first time that's happened during Masters week since 1983.
 
While the skies were still dark and threatening, the rain held off Tuesday morning. Fans were allowed inside and the course opened for practice rounds.
 
Burk, who heads the National Council of Women's Organizations, wanted to post 24 demonstrators outside the front gate of Augusta National and 200 more across the street.
 
Sheriff Ronald Strength, who has broad authority over public protests, said there's too much traffic in front of the club during the tournament to ensure safe protests.
 
Strength told Burk and other groups they must gather at a 5.1-acre site nearly a half-mile from the gate.
 
A group headed by the Rev. Jesse Jackson also has been approved for a second site even further away from the club's main entrance.
 
ACLU lawyers challenged the ordinance, saying it gives the sheriff too much power to approve or deny protests and dictate their location.
 
Bowen sided with the city in two separate rulings Monday.
 
'The ordinance does not discriminate against a particular viewpoint or limit speech to certain subject matters,' he wrote in a 17-page decision.
 
In a second ruling, Bowen said the sheriff acted properly to enforce the ordinance.
 
The judge called the area outside Augusta National 'profoundly congested' during the Masters and said allowing protesters to congregate outside the gate presents 'a realistic, plausible, even probable potential for some accidental injury.'
 
Augusta National maintained that it had no interest in the court case.
 
'As we have said all along, any demonstrations that take place outside our grounds are a matter solely for local authorities,' club spokesman Glenn Greenspan said.
 
The sheriff's office has approved protest permits for eight groups.
 
Burk and Jackson plan to demonstrate against the all-male membership. Two groups have received permits to protest against Burk. Another group plans to protest against Jackson. A one-man faction of the Ku Klux Klan, who lists Tiger Woods as his favorite golfer, will support Augusta National's rights to private membership.
 
Another man wants to demonstrate in support of President Bush's war policy.
 
Then there's Deke Wiggins and his 'People Against Ridiculous Protests.' Their permit has been approved, too.
 
Scott Hoch, comfortably dry in the locker room as rain soaked the course Monday, wasn't concerned about what's going on outside.
 
'We're concerned with how we're going to play here,' he said.
 
The few players who hung around the clubhouse chatted about the rain, the course and the war in Iraq. On the big screen in the grill room, CNN was showing images of the war.
 
'We're thinking and worrying about our people in Iraq,' Hoch said. 'Even the golf tournament is minuscule compared to that.'
 
The sight of American troops under fire in Iraq has cast a somber tone on the tournament, Hoch said.
 
'This is just a game,' he said. 'Over there, they're playing for their lives.'
 
Woods, who will try to become the first player to win three straight Masters, did not show up Monday. Still, it was a good day for him because of all the rain.
 
The damp grass will make the course play even longer than its 7,290 yards, a big advantage for Woods and other big hitters.
 
Some fans milled outside the gates for hours before being told they would not be allowed inside. Masters officials said fans will be sent refunds in May and given preference to buy practice tickets for next year.
 
'We are disappointed that our patrons could not enjoy today's practice round,' Augusta National chairman Hootie Johnson said. 'However, our first concern must be safety.'

 
Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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.”