South Africa Takes World Cup Lead

By Sports NetworkNovember 14, 2003, 5:00 pm
KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. -- Rory Sabbatini and Trevor Immelman paired to shoot a 3-under 69 on Friday to give South Africa the lead after two rounds of the World Golf Championships-World Cup. The South African team is at 5-under-par 139 and own a two-shot lead over the United States and France.
The American tandem of U.S. Open winner Jim Furyk and Justin Leonard shot a 2-under 70 in Friday's foursomes, or alternate-shot, format. The French team of Raphael Jacquelin and Thomas Levet notched an even-par round of 72 at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Resort.
Saturday's action will be four-balls, or best-ball, but the format returns to alternate shot for Sunday's final round.
The German team of Alex Cejka and Marcel Siem, who led after the first round, struggled badly in Friday's second round. They teamed for a 5-over 77 and are tied for sixth at even-par 144.
Sabbatini and Immelman combined for two birdies on the front nine on another day when the Ocean Course showed its teeth. The wind that wreaked havoc on play on Thursday was not up on Friday but the course was still was demanding.
Sabbatini drove to the right side of the fairway at the 12th and Immelman knocked a shot from 194 yards out to 10 feet. Sabbatini drained the putt to take a one-shot lead at 5 under par but trouble loomed for the South Africans.
At the 13th, Sabbatini miscalculated the wind and hit a 4-iron into the reeds. Immelman did the best he could but the team managed a bogey and fell into a tie for the lead.
The South Africans took sole possession of first place on the leaderboard thanks to some serious bunker problems by the German team. It took Cejka and Siem three chances to get out of a fairway bunker at the 13th and they left with a double bogey, which included a 12-footer for the save by Siem.
Germany went two-over the rest of the way to plummet down the leaderboard.
The South African duo stayed steady. At the par-3 17th, Immelman hit a solid tee ball that landed 40 feet from the hole. Sabbatini got a good read on the putt and sank the long birdie try to reach 5 under par.
'That was kind of an unexpected one,' admitted Sabbatini, who won this year's FBR Capital Open on the PGA Tour. 'That's a hole that you are quite happy to make a three on, let alone in alternate shots. We picked one up on the field there for sure.'
They parred No. 18 to take a two-shot lead into Saturday.
'All in all, that was probably one of the best rounds I've played all year,' said Immelman, playing in his first World Cup. 'We played real solid all day and putted well too.'
The Americans birdied the par-5s on the front nine, two and seven, but Leonard, who finished second on the PGA Tour in putting, lipped out a two-footer for a bogey at the eighth.
The U.S. team had birdie putts inside 10 feet at 10 and 11 but failed to convert on either. They made their final birdie of the round at the par-5 16th when Furyk cashed in a five-footer.
'Overall, the second best round of the day, so I'm pleased with the way we played,' said Furyk. 'We want to go out there and keep it up, keep the momentum going and have a good weekend.'
The French pair had problems early with a double bogey, two bogeys and two birdies over their first 10 holes. They combined to birdie two of their final four holes to join the Americans in second.
'Both Thomas and I had a good feeling on the greens and we know that playing well in the foursomes is the key to the week,' said Jacquelin. 'After the first two days we are quite confident.'
Wales, in second after day one, are still in the hunt. Ian Woosnam, a last- minute replacement for Phillip Price, and Bradley Dredge shot a 2-over 74 but are alone in fourth at 2-under-par 142.
Argentina's Eduardo Romero and Angel Cabrera posted a 1-over 73 and are in fifth place at minus-1.
Germany was joined in sixth place by Sweden's Niclas Fasth and Fredrik Jacobson (72) and 1999 British Open winner Paul Lawrie and Alastair Forsyth of Scotland.
Japan, the defending champion, recovered from Thursday's 74 with a 1-under 71 on Friday. Shigeki Maruyama and Hidemichi Tanaka share ninth place with Michael Campbell and David Smail of New Zealand and Paraguay's Carlos Franco and Marco Ruiz at plus-1.
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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.”