Westwood Helps Carry GBI to Lead

By Sports NetworkNovember 6, 2003, 5:00 pm
VALENCIA, Spain -- Lee Westwood and Paul Casey of Great Britain & Ireland combined to win nine holes Thursday and lead their respective teams to victories in fourball matches at the Seve Trophy. The GB&I team took a 3 1/2 - 1 1/2 lead over the Continental Europe squad after the first day of competition.
Westwood paired with David Howell to down Jose Maria Olazabal and Continental Europe captain Seve Ballesteros, 2-up. Casey teamed with Brian Davis to beat Ignacio Garrido and Miguel Angel Jimenez, 2 and 1.
Alex Cejka and Raphael Jacquelin gave the Continental European team their only full point Thursday when they beat Justin Rose and Ian Poulter, 4 and 3.
GB&I captain Colin Montgomerie and 1999 British Open winner Paul Lawrie halved their match with Fredrik Jacobson and Niclas Fasth. Phillip Price and Padraig Harrington scored a 2-up victory over Continental European team Sergio Garcia and Thomas Bjorn.
'We would definitely have taken that if you had offered us a two-point lead at the start of play so it has been a pretty good first day for us,' said Montgomerie. 'The competition is as intense as you would expect but the standard of play has been excellent.'
Westwood and Howell fell 1-down when Olazabal birdied the par-3 fourth at Campo de Golf Parador El Saler. Howell responded with a birdie at the next and Westwood gave the English duo a 1-up advantage with a birdie at the sixth.
Ballesteros managed to square the match with a birdie at the eighth. After the two teams split the 10th and 11th holes, Westwood took over. He birdied the 13th and 14th to give his team a 2-up lead and held them there with pars on the next two holes.
The Spaniards tried to come back to gain a 1/2 point as Olazabal birdied 17 from 10 feet out to get within 1-down. However, Howell hit a magnificent shot within three feet of the cup on 18 and made the birdie for the 2-up victory.
Davis and Casey had a similar start as they fell 1-down when Garrido birdied the third. Garrido rolled in another birdie at the sixth to give his duo a 2-up lead.
Casey rallied with birdies on Nos. 7 and 9 to square the match. Jimenez won the 10th and 12th with a birdie and par respectively. In between, Davis birdied the par-5 11th. Casey drained his third birdie of the day at No. 13 to square the match.
After Davis and Garrido halved the 14th with birdies, Casey birdied the 15th to give his duo a 1-up lead. The Englishman followed with a 12-foot birdie on 17th to claim the 2-and-1 victory.
In the fourth match, Monty picked up a birdie at the first to grab a quick lead for the Scottish duo. Lawrie extended their lead to 2-up with a birdie at the fourth.
The Swedes fought back with a pair of birdies to square the match. Fasth cut the deficit to 1-down with a birdie on the sixth and Jacobson squared the match with a birdie on the eighth.
Lawrie gave the Scotsmen a 1-up lead with a birdie on the par-3 ninth. Jacobson evened the match with a birdie at the par-5 11th. They halved the final seven holes, including birdies by both teams on Nos. 15, 16 and 17 to split the point.
'I think myself and Paul's better ball score of 65 was about the worst of the day which gives you a good indication of the standard of play, but as always this is turning out to be a great contest on an excellent golf course at a wonderful venue,' Montgomerie said. 'I am already looking forward to the next three days.'
In the anchor match, Harrington was on fire on the front nine running off three birdies and an eagle between Nos. 4 and 7 to give his duo a 4-up lead.
Garcia began to cut into that deficit with a birdie at the ninth. He cut it to 2-down with a birdie on No. 12 and the Spaniard birdied the 14th to get his duo back within 1-down.
Harrington birdied the 15th to move back to 2-up, but Bjorn birdied the next to get back to 1-down. Harrington rolled in a birdie putt from over 20 feet out at the last for the 2-up win.
'I definitely got off to a fast start and that helped keep me going,' Harrington said. 'I seemed to be hitting them close and didn't seem to be missing too many putts either which left our opponents a bit too much to do on the back nine.'
'Padraig played unbelievably well,' said Garcia. 'We did well turning for home but he had left us just too much to do.'
Jacquelin and Cejka secured the easiest win over Rose and Poulter. Cejka and Jacquelin combined to birdie five of the first six holes, all of which they won.
Jacquelin drained his fourth birdie of the day on No. 9 to move his pair 7-up through nine. The two teams halved the following two holes.
Standing 7-down with seven holes to play, Poulter and Rose tried to make a miraculous comeback. Poulter birdied the 12th, then Rose the 13th. Poulter kept their hopes alive with a birdie at the 14th to cut it to 4-down with four holes to go.
Their hopes were dashed when Rose could only manage a par at the 15th and was halved by Jacquelin. The big win for Cejka and Jacquelin was the lone victory for the Continental European team, which lost 14 1/2 - 11 1/2 to the GB&I squad last year.
'You know we had a great start, Raphael birdied the first and I birdied the second,' said Cejka, the 2002 Trophe Lancme winner. 'It was good that we were 5-up after five holes.'
Despite the deficit, Ballesteros knows there is plenty of golf to play.
'I will go and speak to my players now, see what they feel like, how they feel about tomorrow and then I will make the decision on my pairings,' Ballesteros said. 'It was a tough day today but there is a long way still to go.'
Friday will see another set of fourball matches, before morning greensomes and afternoon foursomes on Saturday, and the traditional 10 singles matches on Sunday.
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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.”