Duval Lehman earn trips to Bethpage

By Associated PressJune 8, 2009, 4:00 pm
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2009 U.S. OpenCOLUMBUS, Ohio ' David Duval is returning to the U.S. Open, while Danny Lee missed a shot at earning the spot he surrendered.
Duval, absent from the last two Opens, made the grade Monday in the 36-hole sectional qualifier at Brookside and The Lakes courses. The 121-player field included 61 PGA Tour players. Many were coming off four grueling days at the Memorial Tournament but figured it was worth it to get to play at Bethpage Black in two weeks.
You look at whats at the other side of it, said Duval, who hasnt won since the 2001 British Open. You dont have much of a chance to win if you dont tee it up on Thursday there.
Lee had earned an automatic U.S. Open berth last summer by becoming the youngest player to ever win the U.S. Amateur. But when he turned pro this spring, he was forced to give up his spot. He shot a 3-under 69 in the morning at the Lakes and then an even-par 72 at Brookside in the afternoon.
Asked if he was disappointed, the South Korean-born, New Zealand-raised 19-year-old said, A little bit, but thats golf. I need to practice harder and hopefully Ill do better.
Tom Lehman, who picked up $18,600 for finishing tied for 45th at Muirfield Village on Sunday, held up the packet given to each of the Open qualifiers and said, This is worth way more than the paycheck from yesterday at the Memorial.
Two amateurs were among the 17 players grabbing spots in the Open at the Columbus sectional. Kyle Stanley, a Clemson golfer who was second in the NCAA medalist race last week, shared medalist honors with pro George McNeil at 12-under 132. Stanley had 10 birdies and no bogeys in a 62 at The Lakes in the morning.
Make par and dont make any big numbers, Stanley said of his approach to the second 18. I knew I didnt have to really shoot a great number to get through.
Other qualifiers included Bo Van Pelt, James Kamte, Lucas Glover, Charl Schwartzel, all at 133; 1996 British Open champion Lehman, J.B. Holmes and Ryan Moore (134); and Matthew Bettencourt, John Mallinger, Oklahoma State collegian and amateur Rickie Fowler, Ben Crane, Craig Bowden and Ricky Barnes (135).
Nine players went to a playoff to decide the final Open slot, with James Nitties, John Senden and Dean Wilson birdieing the first hole. Nitties then birdied the second playoff hole, with Senden parring and Wilson making bogey. Senden will be the first alternate and Wilson the second out of the sectional.
A year ago, Rocco Mediate survived a playoff in Columbus to grab one of the last qualifying spots for the Open at Torrey Pines. Tiger Woods, battling a painful knee injury, had to hit a pressure-packed birdie putt on the 72nd hole to tie Mediate and force an 18-hole playoff. Woods then held off Mediate a day later in sudden death.
Van Pelt qualified for his third U.S. Open ' all of which have been in New York. He previously made the cut at both Shinnecock in 2004 and Winged Foot in 06.
Im a New York kind of guy, I guess, from Indiana by way of Oklahoma, the Richmond, Ind., native said with a laugh.
One of the best stories of the Open figures to be Kamte, a native of South Africa who had never been in the United States until two weeks ago. He received a sponsors exemption to play in the Memorial Tournament but missed the cut after rounds of 77 and 78.
He was excited to be headed for Bethpage Black after rounds of 68 at Brookside and 65 at The Lakes.
My second tournament, he said. Gosh, I cant believe it.
Among the notables missing out in qualifying were 1997 PGA Champion Davis Love III, two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen, two-time Masters winner Jose Maria Olazabal and NCAA medalist Matt Hill.
Related Links:
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    Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test

    By Will GrayDecember 12, 2017, 11:30 pm

    One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.

    Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.

    "I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."

    Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.

    "I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.

    Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.

    "Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."

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    Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

    Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

    Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

    “I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

    The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

    “I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

    This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

    The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

    Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

    The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.

    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

    A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

    And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.

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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm