Tiger Closes on Lead in Round Two

By Sports NetworkFebruary 14, 2003, 5:00 pm
SAN DIEGO -- Brad Faxon shot a 64 Friday and is tied with Marco Dawson atop the leaderboard at 10-under-par 134 at the Buick Invitational. Arron Oberholser, Dennis Paulson, Fred Funk, Jonathan Kaye and Briny Baird are one stroke back at 9-under.
 
Tiger Woods, who is tied for eighth, is lurking two shots behind the leaders at 8-under 136. Woods played 27 holes on Friday and showed no signs of problems with his surgically repaired left knee.
 
'You know what -- it really is a good test for the knee,' said Woods. 'And I actually feel better now than I did this morning. It's liable to feel a little tight later when it cools down, but it's warm right now and I feel fine.'
 
Fog and rain forced the suspension of the first round on Thursday causing the field to return to the course early Friday morning to complete the first round prior to the second starting. Due to the wet conditions, players were able to lift-clean-and-place their golf balls.
 
Woods finished his first round on the North Course by posting just one birdie in his final nine holes, to complete his first round at 2-under par. The top player in the world started his second round on the back nine of the South Course. He carded birdies at Nos. 11, 14 and 16 to climb to 5-under.
 
As Woods began his second round, he posted his first bogey in 27 holes at the par-4 fourth. The 1999 Buick Invitational winner responded with a birdie at the next two holes, to climb to minus-6 for the tournament. After a pair of pars, Woods chipped in for eagle at the last to climb into contention.
 
'I finally hit a good tee shot there (on 18),' said Woods. 'A nice little draw, then I ripped a 3-wood. The pitch shot is something I've been working on, because it's all I could do for a while. I had a pretty good feel for it and I had to get up there and trust it. It came off great.'
 
Faxon finished his first round with three consecutive birdies from the sixth on the South Course to end round one at minus-2. He remained hot from the outset of his second round.
 
'It was perfect today' said Faxon. 'I really wasn't doing anything extraordinary. All of a sudden I made birdie on 6, 7, 8 on the South, and got to 2-under-par. Then I eagled the first hole. I was hitting some good iron shots.'
 
Faxon, a seven-time winner on the PGA Tour, eagled the first hole at the North Course to quickly move to 4-under for the tournament. He followed that up with a birdie at the fifth, before making the turn at 5-under.
 
The Furman University graduate caught fire on the back nine. He posted consecutive birdies beginning at the 11th to get to minus-7. He would alternate pars and birdies over his final six holes, with his final birdie on No. 18 lifting him into a share of first place.
 
'Yeah, I would have expected some low scores,' said Faxon. 'I'd say this is a typical day we play Torrey Pines. Obviously, the North course is going to yield lower scores.'
 
Dawson completed his first round at minus-4 on the South Course. He began round two at the North Course with a birdie at the first. Dawson, who was struggling with back pain most of the day, also birdied the fifth and eighth to climb to 7-under.
 
Dawson made another birdie around turn at the 10th. He later birdied the final two holes to claim a share of first place.
 
Dawson is the only player without a bogey so far in the tournament and he credits the turn-around in his putting for that.
 
'I hit the ball well at the Bob Hope, but putted terrible,' said Dawson. 'Last week I started making a few more putts. I can see some light at the end of the tunnel as far as my putting. This week I started to make some putts and I felt real comfortable on my long putts. I didn't have any three-putts and I don't have any bogeys.'
 
Woods is tied with Bob Tway, Neal Lancaster and Steven Alker at 8-under par. Phil Mickelson, Carl Pettersson, Dean Wilson, Darren Clarke and Fred Couples are one stroke further back at minus-7.
 
Defending champion Jose Maria Olazabal finished his first round at 3-under-par 69, but followed that with a 3-over 75 and missed the cut by one stroke at even-par 144.
 
Related Links
  • Full-field scores from the Buick Invitational
  • Full coverage of the Buick Invitational
  • 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.”