Stress-Free Scott Shares Lead

By Sports NetworkNovember 3, 2006, 5:00 pm
2006 The TOUR Championship presented by Coca-ColaATLANTA -- Joe Durant played his way into The TOUR Championship with a six-week run of spectacular golf.
 
He needs it to last two more days.
 
'I'm just trying to stay out of my own way right now and not wake up for a little while longer,' Durant said Friday after shooting another 2-under 68 to remain tied for the lead at East Lake Golf Club.
 
Retief Goosen
Overnight co-leader Retief Goosen shot 1-over 71 Friday to fall three back.
Durant saved par from a bunker at the tough, par-3 18th for the second day in a row and ended atop the leaderboard alongside Australian Adam Scott at 4-under-par 136.
 
With a win and three other top-5 finishes in his last four starts, Durant made it to 23rd on the PGA TOUR money list to earn his berth in the PGA TOUR's final event.
 
'Two more days and I can have a nice offseason,' said Durant, whose title at the Funai Classic two weeks ago was his first in five years.
 
Scott fired a 3-under 67, just missing a long putt at 18 that would have given him the outright lead. He and Durant are three shots ahead of Retief Goosen, Stuart Appleby, Trevor Immelman and Brett Quigley.
 
Durant shared the first-round lead with Goosen after a cold, blustery Thursday that saw scores skyrocket among some of golf's biggest names. Playing in the final pairing with the two-time U.S. Open winner on Friday, Durant more than held his own.
 
After making a bogey at the par-3 second, Durant posted birdies at Nos. 4, 7 and 9 to make the turn tied with Scott at 4 under.
 
'I was kind of tentative starting out,' Durant said. 'I don't know why I felt nervous today, but I kind of did starting out. After I birdied No. 4 I kind of settled down and got into a rhythm.'
 
Durant drained a 17-foot birdie putt at the 12th to take a brief one-shot lead on Scott, then fell back into a tie when he made bogey from a fairway bunker at the 13th.
 
The key to his round was a series of saved pars on the final five holes, including one from the rough at the par-5 15th, and a pair of two-putts from 30 feet at the 16th and 17th holes.
 
Then, at the 18th, Durant found the same bunker he had on Thursday. From 35 yards away, he chipped within 9 feet and made the par putt to remain tied with Scott, who was already in the clubhouse.
 
'That's a very difficult hole for me,' Durant said, 'because I'm right in between clubs -- a 5-wood's too much and a 3-iron is just not enough. I am lucky to have made two pars from that bunker.'
 
Scott, who hasn't won since 2004, had four birdies on the front nine. He made a 6-foot birdie putt at the ninth that put him at 5 under and in sole possession of the lead, but gave that shot back when he made bogey from a bunker at the 10th.
 
A series of frustrating putts -- a 12-footer at the 17th lipped out, an impressive 33-foot try at the 18th just missed -- left Scott with disappointing pars, but in good position heading to the weekend.
 
'I hit good putts,' he said, 'but they were obviously just slight misreads.'
 
One thing is sure this week: East Lake, home of Bobby Jones, is playing like a U.S. Open course. Grinding it out for pars just might get the job done.
 
'When you don't drop shots, it makes life a lot easier out there,' said Scott, who ranks fourth in driving accuracy and third in greens in regulation. 'I think the key to that around here is getting in the fairway off the tee.'
 
For Durant, who is tops in putting, the key has been to find a way to make the intermediate putts.
 
'That's really been the difference,' he said, 'the 4-to-10-foot range putt that I've been making.'
 
Among the remaining pack, several players took their shots at the lead Friday.
 
Goosen, the 2004 champion, led by one after an eight-foot birdie at No. 3. But he was done in by a pair of bogeys, including a three-putt disaster at the par-5 15th. He shot a 1-over 71 to end alongside Appleby, fellow South African Immelman and Quigley at 1-under 139.
 
The highlight of Appleby's round was a chip-in birdie from 60 feet at the 15th. The Australian had five birdies, three bogeys and a double-bogey in a round of 70.
 
Immelman shot a 4-under 66 and earned his share of third place with three birdies on his final five holes, including one from 22 feet at the tough 18th.
 
Quigley's round was less up-and-down than the others, a steady 2-under 68 that featured two birdies and 16 pars.
 
World No. 2 Jim Furyk -- the only top-three golfer in the field after Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson opted out -- shot a 1-over 71 to fall from a tie for third into a tie for seventh place.
 
He was joined at even-par 140 by Luke Donald (67) and Zack Johnson (69).
 
Vijay Singh, the 2002 winner, had a 2-over 72 and shares 10th place with Arron Oberholser (70) and Tom Pernice, Jr. (72) at 141.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - TOUR Championship
  • Full Coverage - TOUR Championship
  • Getty Images

    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.

     

     

    Getty Images

    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.”

    Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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.”


    Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    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.”