Stenson Tops Els Woods for Dubai Title

By Sports NetworkFebruary 4, 2007, 5:00 pm
2006 Dubai Desert ClassicDUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Five different players held at least a share of the lead during Sunday's final round of the Dubai Desert Classic before Henrik Stenson broke through the crowd.
Stenson moved ahead of the pack with a birdie on the par-4 14th and clinched his fifth European Tour title with a birdie on the par-5 18th.
The Swede closed with a 4-under 68 to finish the tournament at 19-under-par 269. Third-round leader Ernie Els, a three-time winner here, managed a 1-under 71 to end alone in second at minus-18.
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods had another frustrating day on the greens and finished two back of the winner. (Wire Images)
World No. 1 and 2006 champion Tiger Woods birdied four of the final six holes to shoot 3-under 69 at Emirates Golf Club. He tied for third place with Niclas Fasth, who shot a final-round 68, at 17-under-par 271.
Ross Fisher, who held at least a share of the lead after the first two rounds, closed with a 71 to finish in fifth at minus-16.
Fisher joined Woods, Els, Fasth and Stenson as the five players who owned at least a share of the lead during the final round. However, Fisher was done in by back-to-back bogeys from the 16th.
Stenson, who now lives in Dubai, birdied the par-4 second for the fourth straight round and that gave him a share of the lead with Els, who bogeyed the same hole.
The 30-year-old Stenson remained at 16 under as he parred the next six holes. During that span, Els and Fisher pulled ahead before eventually falling behind.
After the last of his six straight pars, Stenson was one up on Woods, Els and Fisher. However, Stenson faltered to a bogey on nine to join those three atop the leaderboard at 15 under par.
Stenson birdied the 11th for the third day in a row, joining Fasth, Fisher and Els in the lead. Fisher, playing one group ahead of Stenson, birdied the 13th. Stenson also birdied 13, for the fourth straight day, to tie Fisher at 17 under.
From there, Stenson pulled one clear with a birdie on No. 14 and things stayed that way as he parred the next three holes. Stenson drained a 7-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th to best Els, who also birdied the last.
'It's unbelievable to win sort of your own tournament,' Stenson said. 'I came so close in Sweden two years ago when I lost in a playoff for the Scandinavian Masters. This is my second home, so to be able to win in front of family and friends is just unbelievable.
'It's always nice to beat Tiger, obviously. It's the first tournament I have won that he's been in. He is a great player, so of course that gives you extra satisfaction to beat him. To play four rounds with Ernie and to beat him by a shot coming down the stretch is the same satisfaction.'
Els led by three entering the round, but tumbled down the leaderboard with three bogeys in the first six holes. Birdies on seven and 10 got Els back into a tie for the top spot at 16 under with Fisher.
The South African moved to even-par for his round with a birdie on 14. Els birdied the last, but it was not enough to force a playoff.
'I knew after the start, I just wanted to give myself a chance coming down the stretch,' admitted Els. 'I really got out of sorts on the greens and had a couple of bad swings. I got myself under control after the start and then it was a real battle of who could make putts and who could hit the right shot in there. Henrik was great. One shot separated us for four days.'
Woods, who won his seventh straight PGA TOUR event last week, was 1-over through 11 holes with two birdies and three bogeys. He shared the lead after a birdie on the eighth, but bogeyed 10 and 11 to drop three back.
The 31-year-old Woods rallied on the closing nine with three consecutive birdies from the 13th to get within two at 16 under. However, Woods only managed a birdie at the last for the fourth straight day to share third.
'I hit it well enough to at least give myself a chance, but just did not putt well at all,' Woods said. 'I putted poorly all week, and it's frustrating because I come over here to the best greens we've seen in a long time and I miss a bunch.'
Fasth opened with birdies on one and two. He dropped a shot on the fourth, but climbed into the mix with a birdie on 10. Fasth moved into a tie for the lead with a birdie on 12, but managed just one more birdie the rest of the way.
Peter Hanson shot 1-under 71 Sunday to take sixth at 14-under-par 274. Simon Dyson, Prom Meesawat and Jyoti Randhawa were one stroke further back at minus-13.
Thomas Bjorn, the 2001 champion, shared 10th place at 12-under-par 276 with Robert Karlsson, Maarten Lafeber and two-time runner-up Miguel Angel Jimenez.
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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.”