Woods Mickelson Go Head-to-Head

By Sports NetworkFebruary 15, 2003, 5:00 pm
SAN DIEGO -- Tiger Woods shot a 4-under 68 Saturday to grab a one-stroke lead after three rounds at the Buick Invitational. Woods stands at 12-under-par 204, one shot ahead of overnight co-leader Brad Faxon.
Phil Mickelson sank a 15-foot birdie putt on the last hole to shoot a third-round 69 and climb to minus-10 alongside Steven Alker. Briny Baird, Fred Couples, Jonathan Kaye, Arron Oberholser and Carl Pettersson are one stroke farther back at 9-under-par 207.
Woods, who has won 26 of the 28 times he has led entering the final round on the PGA Tour, will be paired with Faxon and Mickelson in the final group on Sunday. Mickelson is the last player to defeat Woods when he was leading after three rounds, which happened at the 2000 Tour Championship.
The final pairing will be interesting as Woods and Mickelson are trying to put controversy behind them. Mickelson referred to Woods' equipment as 'inferior' in a recent interview but the duo has reportedly settled any differences they may have had.
'I'm looking forward to tomorrow,' said Woods, the 1999 Buick Invitational winner. 'After taking as much time as I took off. I'm excited about getting out there and competing and we have got a great final group. So it's going to be a lot of fun.'
'I was thinking on that putt on 18 I would love to get into that last group,' said Mickelson. 'I love the challenge of it. And Tiger's probably not even a hundred percent, he hasn't played competitively for some time. He's had surgery and he's been rehabbing that. And yet he's still atop the leaderboard, still leading the tournament. So it shows you what a great player he is. And I love the opportunity to play with him and compete against him.'
Woods, playing in his first tournament since December knee surgery, got off to a quick start with consecutive birdies starting at the first. He followed that up with a birdie at the par-5 sixth.
'I got off to a great start,' Woods said. 'Birdied the first two and just kind of grinded my way along today. I didn't hit the ball particularly well, but I got up-and-down from a lot of places today.'
The No. 1 player in the world however faltered at the next and went on to make the turn at 10-under.
The eight-time major winner continued his dominance of the par-5s on the back nine. He birdied both, Nos. 13 and 18, to climb into the lead.
Woods scrambled for his birdie on 18. He drove his ball down the right side of the fairway, but then found trouble. His second shot sailed into the bleachers right of the green. After a free drop, he nearly holed out for eagle before rolling in a short birdie putt to take the lead.
'Well I feel a lot better today. I have felt a lot more comfortable with my driving today,' said Woods. 'I hit some better shots off tees. It's just one of those things where I just need to go out there and hit a few balls after I'm done with this and just kind of get back in that rhythm again.'
Faxon had an inconsistent round of 71. He started with back-to-back birdies starting at No. 2. He dropped a shot with a bogey at the par-4 fourth, but responded with a 12-foot birdie putt at the next to get back to 12-under.
Faxon, a seven-time winner on the PGA Tour, later bogeyed the seventh before birdieing the ninth to make the turn at minus-12.
'I didn't make any many pars early on,' said Faxon. 'The golf course is really new for me. I didn't play last year and my first round was actually the round that was broken up over two days. But you got a real golf course here. There's a lot of good spots to put the pins and you can get them in some corners where it's really hard to attack.'
Around the turn, he made another birdie at the 10th to briefly claim a two-shot lead at minus-13. He then bogeyed two of his next three holes, both of which were due to three putts, to drop back into second place.
The 2001 Sony Open winner is looking forward playing with Woods and Mickelson.
'I don't think I have played in the last group with World's 1 and 2,' said Faxon, who didn't realize Mickelson has fallen to No.3 behind Ernie Els. 'I'm going to kind of get lost in the shuffle a little bit. I think Phil's going to have a little bit more of a home crowd. Tiger, everybody wants to see him play, because he hasn't played at all this year. So it's going to be mayhem out there. But I'm looking forward to it. I've played with both the guys, but I never played with both of them together.'
Mickelson shot his second 69 of the tournament despite a double bogey. 'Lefty' carded three straight birdies starting at No. 2 to climb to 10-under. He then parred the final five holes on the front side and the first two on the back.
'I played well today and the course was playing very difficult,' Mickelson said. 'But I did get off to a really good start and had a chance to go really low. But I let a few things slide midway through the round. I missed a couple of short birdies on six and nine.'
Mickelson went on to double bogey the par-4 12th, his second double bogey of the tournament. He responded with a birdie at the next to reclaim one of those strokes. Mickelson, who owns 21 PGA Tour wins, birdied the 18th to get back to 10-under and set up a final-round duel with Woods and Faxon.
'I felt like because I drove it well it was an easy 69,' said Mickelson. 'Because I hit more fairways today than I did the first two days combined. And that gave me a chance to go at a lot of pins, especially with the lift-clean-and-place.'
Charles Howell III, Mark Calcavecchia, Marco Dawson, Luke Donald, Spike McRoy, Craig Perks, Rory Sabbatini and Bob Tway are tied for 14th at 6-under 210.
Darren Clarke, who was tied for 22nd at 5-under 211, was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard. Clarke signed for a par-4 on the 12th, but actually scored a bogey-5 on the hole.
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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.”