Tiger Woods Quest for No 3

By Golf Channel NewsroomApril 9, 2003, 4:00 pm
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) -- Some things about the Masters never change.
 
As usual, Tiger Woods was first off the tee Tuesday morning when the rain relented at Augusta National, the first time he has played the course since he walked away last April wearing his green jacket.
 
And just like always, the question is not so much whether he can win another Masters, but whether anyone can stop him.
 
``I guess I'm still the favorite,'' Woods said with a wide smile.
 
The odds are even better, considering the circumstances.
 
Heavy rains have pounded Augusta National since Sunday, conditions similar to last year when Woods walked through muddy fairways and walked over his competition to win by three shots.
 
Woods also is faced with the kind of challenge on which he thrives: making history.
 
No one has ever won the Masters three years in a row, and only two other players -- Jack Nicklaus (1965-66) and Nick Faldo (1989-90) -- even had a chance.
 
``I think it would be huge to win three Masters,'' Woods said. ``No one has ever done it before. And I've been able to do certain things in golf that no one has ever done before. If you're ever in that position, you want to take advantage of it, because it doesn't happen all the time.''
 
It seems to happen to Woods quite often.
 
The last time he was in this position was two years ago at the Masters, when Woods was trying to become the first player in history to hold the four professional majors at the same time. He turned back his top two rivals and won two.
 
He had a chance to become the youngest player to complete the career Grand Slam at age 24 in the 2000 British Open. He won by eight.
 
Trying to become the only man to win three straight U.S. Amateur titles, Woods rallied from five down after the morning round to win on the 38th hole.
 
``He's attempting to do something that's never been done, but that's never stopped him before,'' Phil Mickelson said. ``In fact, it's been a motivating factor, to do things that have never been done. So, I would be surprised if he played less than his best.''
 
Mickelson is trying to do something he has never done before -- win a major.
 
Some wonder whether this might be as good a chance as any because the attention has shifted elsewhere -- to Woods and his pursuit of history, to Ernie Els and his hot start to the year, to Davis Love III and his overwhelming victory at The Players Championship.
 
``The winner the last two years didn't slip in under the radar by any means,'' Mickelson said. ``He played pretty well.''
 
The focus also shifted off the course -- specifically, to a 5.1-acre lot about a half-mile away where Martha Burk's National Council of Women's Organizations plans to protest Saturday against the all-male membership at Augusta National.
 
Woods joked in the weeks leading up to the Masters that he would need a parachute to get to Augusta National to avoid the controversy.
 
It followed him into the course Tuesday, although Woods wanted nothing to do with it.
 
He was asked about a commercial he did for Nike in 1997, when he said there were some golf courses he still could not play. Asked if he was as passionate about the issue, Woods stared back and said, ``I am.''
 
Told that didn't appear to be the case, Woods replied, ``That's just your opinion.''
 
The exchange was cool, and Woods steered clear of the dialogue until he was asked whether he would categorize women not being allowed to join a golf club as prejudice against minorities.
 
``Every one here knows my opinion,'' he said. ``Should they be members? Yes. But I don't really have a vote in how they run this golf course, and this club. Even Jack and Arnie (Palmer), being members, I don't think they have as much say around here as people think.''
 
Meanwhile, Burk criticized a judge whose ruling kept her group from protesting at the front gate of Augusta National, saying ``party revelers are taking precedence over legitimate protesters.''
 
``I didn't think they would be so blatant acting in the club's interest and not the public interest,'' Burk said.
 
Inside the gates, the interest was strictly on the Masters -- and the weather.
 
It already has been a strange start to the week. More overnight rain and intermittent showers Tuesday limited practice for some players to only nine holes, and still more rain in the forecast for Wednesday.
 
Crews were spreading pebbles and sand along slopes to keep fans from falling, and players were bracing for a course that will seem even longer.
 
``This golf course is going to play 7,600 yards,'' Els said.
 
Sergio Garcia hit a driver and a 2-iron in the 18th, compared with an 8-iron when he played a practice round last Thursday.
 
``There's no doubt for the longer hitters it's going to be a little less difficult,'' Garcia said.
 
Woods falls into that category, although length isn't his only advantage. Woods also carries the experience of having won three green jackets, including the last two.
 
``You never know what's going to happen,'' Garcia said. ``If he plays well, of course, there's no doubt he's going to be up there.''
 
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.”