Sideshow Breaks Out

By Golf Channel NewsroomApril 13, 2003, 4:00 pm
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) -- Instead of a robe, the Klansman wore a shirt and jeans. He proudly showed people pictures of his poodles, Q-Tip, Biscuit and Tinker Bell. 'So,' a reporter asked, 'are you going to suit up?' 'Never mind the messenger,' replied J.J. Harper, the Imperial Wizard and only member of the KKK's American White Knights chapter. 'Listen to the message.'
 
That was never more difficult than during the full-bore freak show that broke out Saturday a couple of par-5s down the road from the Masters.
 
Martha Burk, the chair of the National Council of Women's Organizations, spent nine months vowing to bring enormous pressure to bear on the all-male bastion of the Augusta National Golf Club. She spent much of the morning struggling to explain why the protest fizzled.
 
Even by the most generous counts, she totaled 50 supporters. On the other hand, what Burk's protest lacked in numbers, it more than made up for with absurdities.
 
She trotted out a large, inflatable pig and slapped the logos of some of the corporations whose chieftains are members on its side. In a skit best described as surreal, a life-sized cutout of a Klansman appeared on the NCWO stage alongside a similarly sized cutout of a woman in a military uniform.

They swayed to techno-music. A Burk supporter inexplicably shouted out, 'Never again,' to which the rest of us can only say, 'Amen Corner.'
 
Then, Burk proposed redrawing the map of the United States. It included the 48 contiguous states, Alaska, Hawaii and the 'police state of Augusta.'
 
Say this much for Burk: It certainly looked that way on the weedy, two block-long patch of grass set aside by local authorities for the nine different groups that requested permits to demonstrate.
 
'Don't you find it a little ironic that we can stand on the front steps of the Supreme Court and can march in groups larger than four in front of the White House, but we can't get to the front gates of Augusta National Inc.?' Burk said. 'What do you think these boys are afraid of?'
 
What indeed, since the city, county and state police detail outnumbered protesters by at least 3-to-1. Fortunately, the only time they were needed was to move a man carrying signs that read, 'Iron My Shirts' and 'Make My Dinner' from in front of the NCWO stage.
 
Order was restored with even less effort inside the gates of Augusta National. The day began with Mike Weir - a left-handed Canadian - threatening to run away with the tournament. Tiger Woods, meanwhile, had to rally furiously just to make the cut.
 
It ended with Weir deposed by the equally unintimidating Jeff Maggert and Woods, after a breathtaking climb up the leaderboard, within four strokes of the lead.
 
'I played the golf course for what it would give me,' Woods said afterward with typical understatement. 'And that was it. Some of the shots I even played more conservatively than I should have.'
 
But the galleries were more than liberal with their applause. It was the kind of response Burk would have killed for, but likely will never get in this town.
 
'None of these people really care about what's going on outside the gates of this club,' said Jack Nicklaus, a six-time Masters champion and member of Augusta National. 'Come on, it's a golf tournament.'
 
Burk refused to believe that either the message or the messenger was responsible for the apathy. In a weaker moment, she repeated an earlier assertion that the ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation had engaged in a campaign of dirty tricks to dampen attendance at the rally.
 
Foundation spokesman Chris Kennedy said he was hardly surprised to hear Burk again blame 'a vast right-wing conspiracy.'
 
'I understand Mrs. Burk had a bad day,' he said. 'Sadly, I cannot say we had anything to do with the problems she had.'
 
If anything, the day confirmed the wisdom of the old adage, 'If you can't say anything nice about somebody, better not to say anything at all.' The most effective protests were conducted by two groups whose silence proved eloquent.
 
One was a lone man who wore a tuxedo and carried a sign that said only, 'Formal Protest.' The other was organized by a former University of Georgia student named Deke Wiggins and a few of his friends. They brought out a hand-lettered sign that read, 'People Against Ridiculous Protests,' stuck it the ground and went home.
 
Related Links:
  • 2003 Masters Tournament Mini-Site
  • Tournament Coverage
  • Photo Gallery
  • Augusta National Course Tour
  • 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.”