By LARRY VAUGHT
While Tom Leach is on vacation, I get to host the popular Leach Report for him Monday and Tuesday for him. The show airs from 9-10 a.m. EST on a variety of stations across the state.
Monday we are going to be talking golf.
It starts with Missy Pederson, the caddy since 2013 for LPGA Tour star Brittany Lincicome. The pair will be in Kentucky this week when Lincicome plays in the PGA Tour’s Barbasol Championship at Keene Trace Golf Club in Jessamine County. She’ll be just the fifth LPGA player to play in a PGA event (the others were Babe Zahraias, Annika Sorenstam, Suzy Whaley and Michelle Wie). Lincicome, 32, is an eight-time LPGA winner.
Pederson is a former Division II basketball All-American at the University of St. Thomas. She had never played golf when she attended the 2002 Solheim Cup and liked what she saw. A year later she moved to Florida, took up golf and eventually qualified for the Futures Tour. Eventually she realized she was overmatched and became a caddy.
Lincicome said Pederson helped encourage her to enter the Barbasol and will be coming off a playoff loss in the Marathon Classic Sunday where she had a 4-foot winning putt on the 18th hole in regulation go around the hole and stay out.
Pederson will be able to share a lot of insights on Lincicome and what we might see this week at the Barbasol from her.
Next will be country singer J.D. Shelburne. He’ll be performing a concert at the Barbasol Championship as soon as play ends Saturday night at Keene Trace Golf Club. The stage is near the course exit so fans, volunteers and players will all be able to enjoy the music.
Finally, Allison Tamme will close the show to talk about Swings For Soldiers, the golf scramble that has raised over $700,000 to build specially equipped homes for wounded veterans. Tamme and her husband, Jacob, a former UK and NFL tight end, started this event nine years ago and players will play on both 18-hole courses at the University Club Monday night to raise money again for this great cause.
On Tuesday the show will start with Nitrease Quickley, the mother of UK freshman guard Immanuel Quickley. We’ll talk about her son is adjusting to UK but also about his background to give you a chance to get to know him better because I think he’ll be a big part of UK’s success next season.
The second half of the show will feature LPGA Tour rookie Emma Talley of Princeton, a three-time Kentucky high school champion and NCAA champion at Alabama. She’s playing very well on the Tour right now and will play in the pro-am at the Barbasol Championship on Wednesday.
She finished tied for fifth in the Marathon Classic Sunday with an 11-under par total thanks to rounds of 68-67-70-68. She tied for third — her best LPGA finish — the week before at the Thornberry Classic with rounds of 65-68-68-67. She has two other top 10 finishes this year, too, and has earned over $300,000.
She has hit 78 percent of the fairways this season —18th best on tour — with an average drive of 248.25 yards and hit 71 percent — 41st best — of the greens in regulation. She is second in the Rolex Rookie of the Year standings.
“She had a little trouble getting started as a professional, but she has figured it out now. As I watch her more and more, she is a player with a lot of physical strength and great attitude,” Golf Channel analyst Judy Rankin said Sunday.