Harrington Captures Hong Kong Open

By Sports NetworkDecember 7, 2003, 5:00 pm
European TourHONG KONG, China -- Padraig Harrington birdied the final two holes to close out a round of 4-under 66 and a one-stroke win at the Omega Hong Kong Open. Harrington finished the event at 11-under-par 269, one shot clear of Hennie Otto.
'I was expecting to do well,' said Harrington. 'I knew that a lot of people would have to shoot well to keep up with me.'
Otto closed with a 5-under 65 to take second place. Thomas Bjorn, Darren Clarke, Chris Gane and last year's champion Fredrik Jacobson shared third place at 7-under-par 273.
Harrington started the day one shot behind overnight leader Christopher Hanell. Harrington took control in the middle of the round, but needed a late rally to secure the title.
The Irishman birdied the second, while Hanell bogeyed the hole to give Harrington the lead at minus 9. Harrington maintained his one-stroke lead with four straight pars.
Harrington, the 10th ranked player in the world, birdied the seventh to grab a two-shot cushion. Hanell climbed back within one shot with a birdie at No. 8.
'I went out the first nine holes real focused and hit the ball real well,' said Harrington, who earned his eighth European Tour victory. 'I hit all the fairways and all the greens. It was as easy a 3-under par as I have ever shot.'
The 2003 Deutsche Bank - SAP Open winner fell back into a tie for the lead with Hanell as he bogeyed the 10th when he was unable to get up-and-down for par.
Harrington regained the lead by himself when Hanell dropped a shot at the 11th. The Irishman drained a five-footer for birdie at No. 12 to extend his lead to two shots.
He later missed a short par-saving putt at the 14th to drop to minus 9. Harrington was joined there by Otto, who birdied the 16th to get to 9 under.
Otto rolled home a birdie at the 17th from within 10 feet to climb to 10-under and take the lead. Harrington, standing on the 16th tee, saw that he had been caught.
'I didn't particularly like the tee shot on 10,' Harrington said. 'Then I was just trying to stay ahead of Christopher (Hanell) for the next couple of holes. It was when I got to the 16th tee that I realized Hennie had overtaken me. My mind set changed totally and I just started to play aggressively from there in. '
Otto's birdie try at the last slid by the right edge and he closed at minus 10. Harrington then flew his second shot over the green on 16, but nearly holed to chip as he managed to save par.
Harrington dropped his second within 15 feet of the cup at the 17th. He rolled home that birdie try to tie Otto for the lead. The Irishman found the fairway off the tee at the last.
His second came to rest about 20 feet right of the hole. He calmly rolled in that putt for birdie and the win.
'I got back into my focus the last few holes, which is nice,' said Harrington. 'It's nice to be able to turn it around like that.'
Otto began his day at 5-under par, three shots off the lead. He birdied the first and sixth to move up the leaderboard. He got to 8 under with a birdie on No. 13.
A bogey at the next hole seemed likely to derail Otto, but he then ran off three consecutive birdies to forge into the lead. However, he could not birdie the last and finished second.
Hanell could only manage a 2-over 72 in the final round. He finished in a tie for seventh at 6-under-par 274. He was joined there by James Kingston (67) and Prayad Marksaeng (71).
Jose Maria Olazabal and Michael Campbell both posted rounds of 4-under 66 to climb to 5-under-par 275. They were joined in a tie for 10th by David Carter, Rob Rashell and Gary Rusnak.
Richard McEvoy, who held the lead after the first two rounds, finish at 4-under-par 276. Also finishing at minus 4 were Steven Jeppesen, Henrik Nystrom, Stephen Dodd, Nick Faldo, Marc Pendaries and Nobuhito Sato.
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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.”