Ogilvy Shines Under Spotlight

By Mercer BaggsAugust 18, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 PGA ChampionshipMEDINAH, Ill. -- Youve got to hand it to Geoff Ogilvy. The man was supposed to just make sure he stayed out of Tigers and Phils way over the first two rounds of the 88th PGA Championship. Dont step in any lines, dont make any funny noises. Get them a sandwich at the turn.
 
Instead, he showed that he belongs among the elite players in golf.
 
Geoff Ogilvy
Geoff Ogilvy handled himself well over two days with Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.
The U.S. Open champion shot 4-under 68 Friday to match British Open winner Tiger Woods over the course of two days and better Masters winner Phil Mickelson by three.
 
Oh, and, at 7 under par, hes just one off the overall lead.
 
I played very well, said Ogilvy, who, like Woods and Mickelson, shot 3-under 69 in the first round. All in all, it was good fun and Im happy with how I played and with my position.
 
Ogilvy appeared to be the third wheel in this marquee threesome, the little brother that Mom says you have to take with you to the mall.
 
But he earned his spot in this group by winning a major championship. And he may have earned as much respect and recognition these last two days as he did all week at Winged Foot.
 
Not only did Ogilvy match Woods and beat Mickelson on the scoreboard, he topped them in the statistical department. He was better than both in driving accuracy, greens hit in regulation, and putting. On the measured holes, at 318 yards, he was nine yards longer than Mickelson off the tee and eight yards shorter than Woods.
 
Not that hes battling a series case of pride right now.
 
I think Tiger hit the ball at least as well as me or better the first two days. Im sure he did. We both hit the ball better than Phil did. Phil showed his magic around the greens quite a lot, Ogilvy said.
 
Ive got a fair way to go until Im as good as these guys.
 
Its not as if Woods and Mickelson werent familiar with Ogilvys prowess. He won the Match Play Championship earlier this year, and then captured the U.S. Open trophy when Lefty let it slip through his grasp.
 
But not everyone was overly familiar with the 29-year-old Aussie until this week.
 
Before teeing off on thier first hole Thursday, a middle-aged woman, who was obivously there to see Tiger and Phil, looked to her husband and asked, Whos the guy in the green?
 
Well, he's no average Joe. In fact, he's no Joe at all; though, some people seem to think he is.
 
Ogilvy said he heard at least one person yell Go Joe! during his opening round, thinking that he was fellow touring pro Joe Ogilvie.
 
I felt right at home, he said over the case of mistaken identity, which happens quite often.
 
Things like lack of public recognition matter little, though, when youre a major winner, a millionaire, and well respected and liked by your peers.
 
Theres a reason hes the U.S. Open champion, Woods said. Him playing the way he did the first two days, thats not a surprise at all. Geoff is an extremely talented player, understands how to play major championship golf, and hes getting the job done.
 
Remember, Ogilvy is in just his sixth season on TOUR, and he didnt win until 2005 at the Tucson Open, which was contested opposite the Match Play. Hes still in a learning process, developing as a player. Hes still experiencing things for the first time.
 
Like the environment surrounding his group these first two days.
 
I never played in a situation like that, Ogilvy said Thursday. I mean, the last round of the U.S. Open, theres more tension and stuff involved, but the atmosphere this morning was pretty incredible.
 
Nobody was really paying attention to Ogilvy Sunday at Winged Foot until the final few holes, and then the next thing you knew he was wearing the crown.
 
This time around, however, he was under the microscope, in the crosshairs, dead in the spotlight, right from the get-go.
 
With thousands of people watching his every swing from the gallery, and almost 100 people inside the ropes to document it all, it would have been understandable if his knees had buckled.
 
But they never did, not even after a double bogey on his front nine in round 1, and not even after another double bogey on his back nine.
 
And not after back-to-back, momentum-killing bogeys in the middle of round 2.
 
Ogilvys second trip around Medinah was a little easier than the first. For one, he had already proved that he could handle the intense situation. For another, while the crowds were slightly larger than their predecessor, there wasnt nearly as much chaos inside the ropes. And, according to Ogilvy, the patrons added to the excitement instead of detracting from it.
 
The crowd was a bit louder, having a bit more fun today, said Ogilvy, who had an afternoon tee time Friday. But they were well behaved and respectful. It was a lot of fun.
 
By the numbers, Ogilvy is in a similar situation to where he was after two rounds of the U.S. Open. He's actually in better shape. There, he was two off the 36-hole lead; here, just one.
 
But this time he wont be sneaking up on anyone. No surprises this time.
 
And this time, hell have to deal with both Mickelson and Woods, who missed the cut at the U.S. Open.
 
Ogilvy, however, showed over these first two rounds that he wont wilt under a glaring spotlight. And he wont succumb easily to either man ' or anybody else in the field, for that matter.
 
This time, hell be among the favorites to win the Wanamaker trophy. Even if he doesnt necessarily see it that way.
 
I can promise you no one is scared that Im on the leaderboard, he said. I dont think theyre going to take a whole lot of notice of my name ' I dont think.
 
Think again, because they already have.
 
Email your thoughts to Mercer Baggs
 
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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.”