Burk Eyes Protest Loophole After Defeat

By Golf Channel NewsroomApril 10, 2003, 4:00 pm
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) -- Martha Burk lost any hope of a court-sanctioned protest outside Augusta National's main gate. Now she has to decide whether to picket a half-mile away or risk arrest.
 
'This was our last shot,' Burk said Wednesday.
 
A federal appeals court refused to overrule the Augusta sheriff's authority to deny Burk a permit to protest in the thick of golfers, club members and thousands of fans entering the course Saturday for the third round of the Masters.
 
Martha BurkThe ruling by the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals came hours before the Masters began Thursday morning.
 
Burk, chair of the National Council of Women's Organizations, wanted to place 24 protesters just outside the wrought-iron main gate of Augusta National, with an additional 200 across the street.
 
She says that's the only way to ensure her protest will be seen by the roughly 300 club members she's pushing to overturn Augusta National's male-only membership policy.
 
But Sheriff Ronald Strength rejected Burk's request, saying bustling Washington Road is so packed with cars and pedestrians in front of the club that a single protester would be a dangerous distraction.
 
U.S. District Court Judge Dudley H. Bowen Jr. sided with the sheriff in a decision upheld by the appeals court.
 
'I'm disappointed that the wall of discrimination is so high down there that local authorities, and even the judges, are willing to conspire with the club, the mayor and the city commission to deny us our free speech rights,' Burk said.
 
Having exhausted her last chance for an appeal before the Saturday protest, Burk is expected to submit to having protesters on a 5.1-acre lot hand-picked by the sheriff and owned by Augusta National.
 
Pocked with weeds and a few large anthills, the site is about a half-mile from the Augusta National gate, hidden from view by a bend in the road.
 
But Burk said she and her attorneys from the American Civil Liberties Union were also studying a loophole in Augusta's protest ordinance. The law says only groups of five or more need apply for a permit.
 
So what if she sent four or fewer protesters to the gate?
 
Strength insisted the numbers don't matter. He reiterated, as he testified in court a week ago, that one protester in the middle of the Masters crowds could pose a safety hazard.
 
'That is not an option and that strategy is circumventing the law,' Strength said. 'It's very dangerous and we're not going to allow that.'
 
Asked if he would arrest Burk's protesters if they braved the gate, Strength said, 'anybody breaking the law is subject to arrest. ... If we ask folks to move on and they refuse, they are breaking the law.'
 
Burk said her group didn't plan to do anything illegal.
 
'That said, the sheriff can define anything he wants to define as illegal: someone carrying a sign or someone crossing against the light,' she said. 'That's why we challenged the ordinance.'
 
Burk and her allies in the Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH Coalition were the only ones to challenge the sheriff's decision to place all eight groups seeking to protest at the vacant lot away from the course. He also approved a second site farther away for Jackson's group.
 
They're scheduled to share the vacant lot with opponents of Burk, opponents of Jackson, a group supporting the war in Iraq and a splinter group of the Ku Klux Klan that favors Augusta National's all-male stance.
 
Stretching some 350 yards along Washington Road - the same length as Augusta National's par-4 third hole - the lot has plenty of elbow room even with up to 900 protesters permitted and 100 deputies expected for security.
 
Sheriff's officials say it's the closest open space available for so many protesters. But Burk, derisively referring to the lot as 'that pit,' says the site was picked to ensure she gets low exposure.
 
Few pedestrians trudged through the lot Wednesday during the final practice round. Cars cruised by at the posted speed limit of 45 mph.
 
The lot faces 13 small homes with blooming dogwoods, and the only nearby businesses are a title pawn shop, barber shop and tiny convenience store clustered on the corner furthest from Augusta National.
 
Most fans driving to the Masters pass the protest ground by at least a block before parking in one of the strip mall lots across the street from the club's perimeter fence, shrouded by a bamboo thicket.
 
With the other groups not expected until Saturday, the only protester to show so far has been Todd Manzi, a Floridian and self-appointed Burk nemesis.
 
Manzi's also leased a parking lot next to the protest grounds to sell T-shirts, buttons, hats and golf balls printed with Burk-bashing slogans. But like the few ticket scalpers on that corner Wednesday, he's struggled to make sales.
 
'We rented the parking lot and were set and good to go. But there was absolutely no one there,' Manzi said.
 
He still believes it's a fine spot for Burk's protest, but admits 'it's a terrible location for selling stuff.'
 
Related Links:
  • 2003 Masters Tournament Mini-Site
  • Tournament Coverage
  • The Augusta National Membership Debate: A Chronology
     

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