Notes Consolation Prizes Love Hurts

By Associated PressJune 15, 2008, 4:00 pm
2008 U.S. OpenSAN DIEGO -- Either Tiger Woods or Rocco Mediate will hoist the U.S. Open trophy after an 18-hole playoff Monday.
 
As far as consolation prizes go, John Merrick and Carl Pettersson scored two big ones Sunday.
 
They tied for sixth at 3-over 287, good enough to earn an invitation to the Masters and an exemption from qualifying for next years U.S. Open at Bethpage Black.
 
Not bad for two guys who had to go through qualifiers to get here.
 
The top eight get Masters invites and the top 15 are welcomed back to the U.S. Open.
 
Pettersson, of Sweden, shot a 3-under 68 on Sunday at Torrey Pines. Merrick, from up the freeway in Long Beach, had a 71.
 
It was the second Open for Merrick, who missed the cut in 2005.
 
To play well like this is pretty gratifying, said Merrick, a UCLA graduate who had rounds of 73-72-71-71.
 
It was one of those weeks where I had a good frame of mind and I just played consistent all week and never got out of my mode all week, he said. Never got too excited. Never got too (upset) if something happened and just kind of moved on and just did my best.
 
That was pretty cool.
 
Also earning invitations to the Masters and an exemption from qualifying for the 2009 U.S. Open are Lee Westwood (even-par 284); Robert Karlsson and D.J. Trahan (2-over 286); and Miguel Angel Jimenez, who tied with Merrick and Pettersson.
 
Jimenez birdied the 18th, which wound up taking away a Masters invite from Eric Axley, who needed the top-eight finish to assure himself of a trip to Augusta. Axley finished in a tie for ninth at 288. Axley does get to come back to the U.S. Open.
 
Mediate, who had to make it through qualifying to get here, is assured of all that, and maybe more.
 
HAPPY FATHERS DAY, HEATH:
Heath Slocum gave himself a nice Fathers Day gift with a 6-under 65 on Sunday, the best score in a U.S. Open since Vijay Singh shot 63 in the second round in 2003.
 
That was obviously one of the better rounds Ive ever played, Slocum said after making six birdies and no bogeys. I hit the ball pretty good at times, but I kept it out of bad trouble. And I made a lot of putts today.
 
Slocum was in a good mood, in part because he was thinking about his 6-month-old daughter, Stella.
 
It was just a lot of fun out there I was enjoying myself, a good, solid frame of mind. I went out and had fun and played well.
 
He tied for ninth at 4-over 288, giving him an exemption into next years Open.
 
LOVE HURTS:
Davis Love III was two shots behind going into the weekend and wound up in a tie for 53rd with a 76-78 weekend.
 
It wasnt hard to see how he did it.
 
Love failed to make a single birdie during the weekend and he played the par 5s in 3 over.
 
TOP AMATEUR:
Its been a big year so far for Michael Thompson, and its about to get bigger.
 
Thompson finished as the low amateur at the U.S. Open with an 8-over 292 at Torrey Pines South Course, tied for 29th. He finished with his best round of the tournament, a 1-over 72.
 
I learned that I have a lot more composure than I thought I did, Thompson said. I never gave up this week and Im very proud of that. The last couple days Ive gotten off to some pretty bad starts and played 1-under there on in. I mean, that speaks more than if I would have finished second, you know, to me, I learn more from that.
 
Thompson was the runner-up at last years U.S. Amateur, losing 2 and 1 to Colt Knost at the Olympic Club. Thompson also played in this years Masters, although he missed the cut.
 
Thompson plans to play in the Travelers next week as an amateur, play in the Palmer Cup as an amateur in Scotland and then turn pro.
 
I feel like I belong out here. This is fun, he said. This is a great experience for me. I dont feel any different than the rest of the pros out here.
 
Thompson has gotten his golf career back on track after it was interrupted by Hurricane Katrina. Tulane disbanded its golf team after the storm devastated New Orleans and Thompson transferred to Alabama.
 
HAPPY LEFTY/SAD LEFTY:
Phil Mickelson had dueling emotions as he finished the first U.S. Open played in his hometown.
 
Leftys self-proclaimed once-in-lifetime opportunity to hoist his first U.S. Open trophy had long since ended before he finally played his first sub-par round at Torrey Pines South Course, a 3-under 68 on Sunday. He finished at 6-over 290, tied for 18th, done in by rounds of 75 on Friday and then Saturdays 76, when he had a quadruple-bogey 9 on the 13th hole.
 
I think that as I look back I am so proud to be from San Diego and to have this Open championship here at Torrey Pines. And the golf course was, again, I think the best, fairest setup its ever been. The mixture of tee boxes, the pin placements were all perfect to give the best players a chance to separate themselves.
 
Im disappointed I didnt play well, but Im not disappointed the way this championship is shaping into form and the way that San Diego has been presented. This has been awesome.
 
Mickelson teed off at 9:20 a.m. Sunday, just more than four hours before the final group, Tiger Woods and Lee Westwood. In fact, he had just finished his 18 holes when Westwood and Woods were walking toward the first tee.
 
Asked if he was going to stick around to watch, he said: Ill probably watch some of it, yeah. Its kind of my punishment.
 
Lefty, by the way, turns 38 on Monday. I kind of need a day off, he said.
 
Related Links:
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    Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

    By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

    The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

    Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

    Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

    There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

    Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

    Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

    None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

    An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

    In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

    Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


    Playing with the pros

    Tiger, DJ and Faxon

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    Rory faces criticism

    Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

    Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'


    President at the Presidents Cup


    Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

    Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

    Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump


    Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

    Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

    Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73


    Cart on the green


    Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green


    Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open


    Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

    Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

    Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National


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    Trump golf properties

    Vandalism

    Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

    Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses

    Finances


    Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

    Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

    Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

    Reportedly fake TIME covers


    Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover


    Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

    Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

    Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

    With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

    Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

    The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

    Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

    In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.