Big Names Fail to Qualify for US Open

By Associated PressJune 8, 2004, 4:00 pm
USGACOLUMBUS, Ohio -- While 184 players were competing for 33 spots in the U.S. Open, the United States Golf Association was left to face a lot of caustic comments.

With a cumbersome field that included dozens of tour players fighting for limited spots in the Columbus sectional, the pace of play was glacial as officials tried to complete the 36-hole qualifier.

'The USGA needs to apologize to the people of the section here in Columbus for putting 184 people at one site,' said Tom Pernice Jr., who qualified for the Open with a score of 10 under in rounds at The Lakes and Brookside Country Clubs on Monday. 'You've got some sites with 20 or 16 people. You'd think the USGA would know better, but obviously they don't.'

The field teed off in threesomes at 7:30 a.m., going off both the first and 10th tees at both courses. The last few groups scrambled to finish as darkness fell. Everyone completed play, but 10 players must return Tuesday morning to participate in a playoff for the final seven qualifying spots.

Jesper Parnevik, who failed to qualify with a pair of 2-under 70s, said three groups were backed up on his second hole of the day -- with 34 more holes to play.

The USGA acknowledged that it put too many players in the Columbus sectional, one of eight played around the country on Monday. There were five sectionals scheduled for Tuesday.

'I agree it's too many,' said USGA site official Jeff Hall. 'We've already had a discussion -- it won't help us this year -- assuring that it doesn't present this type of problem in the future.'

Hall said the problem stemmed from the large contingent of pros, competing one day after the final round of the Memorial Tournament, and locally exempt players competing for spots. The USGA permits those applying to qualify for the Open to specify where they wish to play.

'They know where most of the spots are,' Hall said. 'They're chasing the spots.'
South African Tim Clark was the medalist at the Columbus sectional with a 67 at Brookside and a 62 at The Lakes. Among those also qualifying were Duffy Waldorf, Chris Smith, Jeff Maggert, Aaron Baddeley, Mark Calcavecchia, Rory Sabbatini and Wake Forest senior Bill Haas, who will join his father, Jay Haas, at Shinnecock Hills in New York next week.

Among those failing to qualify were Mark O'Meara, who won the Masters and British Open in 1998, Paul Azinger, Robert Gamez, Frank Lickliter II, Scott McCarron and Tom Lehman.

'The last time I had to qualify was in 1992,' said Lehman, who won the British Open in 1996. 'One of the other guys qualifying that year was Greg Norman. I remember asking 'How could the best player in the world have to go through qualifying?' I'm far from the best player in the world right now.'

At qualifying in Summit, N.J., David Moreland IV and J.P. Hayes shared medal honors at 8-under-par 134 at Canoe Brook Country Club. A field of 138 golfers competed for 22 spots.

Also qualifying were touring pros Dudley Hart, Dennis Paulson and Tom Carter. Kevin Stadler, the son of Craig Stadler, also earned a spot, as did 1996 PGA champion Mark Brooks.

A 10-man playoff to decide the last qualifier was suspended after four holes with five players left.

In Littleton, Colo., John Douma qualified for his second Open, and Steve Gotsche of Great Bend, Kan. earned a spot in his ninth Open.

In Barrington, Ill., tour pro Carl Paulson shared medal honors with Robert Garrigus, finishing at 3-under 141 at Wynstone Golf Club.

Of the 72 golfers competing in Daly City, Calif., the four qualifiers were Roger Tambellini, Leif Olson, amateur Spencer Levin and David Carr.

In Rockville, Md., 74 golfers played for five qualifying spots. Paraguay's Carlos Franco was the medalist, qualifying along with Joey Sindelar, Omar Uresti, Bubba Watson and Pat Perez.

Amateur Oscar Alvarez was the lone qualifier among 21 players at the Sunriver, Ore., sectional.

Parker McLachlin, a member of the Hooters Tour, beat out 10 other players at the Turtle Bay Palmer Course in Hawaii with rounds of 71 and 78 to qualify for the Open.
Related links:
  • Full Coverage - 2004 U.S. Open
  • Sectional Qualifying Results
    Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • Getty Images

    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

    Getty Images

    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

    Getty Images

    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

    Getty Images

    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.