Some Big Names Qualify Some Dont

By Associated PressJune 5, 2006, 4:00 pm
USGACOLUMBUS, Ohio -- A 16-year-old girl didn't make the U.S. Open. A 52-year-old man did.
 
On a day when Michelle Wie failed to make history as the first woman to play in the U.S. Open, Jay Haas was among 21 players who qualified in the pro-laden Ohio sectional qualifier Monday, his fourth crack in as many decades at storied Winged Foot.
 
Haas, who won the Senior PGA Championship two weeks ago, first played Winged Foot in the 1974 U.S. Open as an amateur. He returned for the '84 U.S. Open and the '97 PGA Championship, and had to endure a 36-hole qualifier at Lakes and Brookside golf clubs.
 
'It's pretty darned hard,' said Haas, who will be playing in his 27th U.S. Open. 'They've added some length and the rough is really high. I'm sure it'll be playing pretty difficult. I wouldn't think that there would be too many good rounds this year.'
 
Ian Poulter of England and Canadian tour player Benjamin Hayes were medalists Monday at 13-under 131. The Columbus qualifier offered the most spots because of the large number of PGA Tour players who stuck around after the Memorial. Others who earned spots Woody Austin, Bo Van Pelt, Jeff Sluman and tour rookies J.B. Holmes and Camilo Villegas.
 
Brett Wetterich and Zach Johnson, who tied for second at the Memorial on Sunday, both failed to qualify.
 
Jason Gore, the 'Prince of Pinehurst,' will be AWOL at Winged Foot. Gore was in the final group at last year's U.S. Open until he shot 84 in the final round, falling well out of the top 15 to earn an exemption back. He failed to make it through qualifying Monday.
 
There were 11 qualifying sites Monday, including one in England, followed by three on Tuesday that will set the 156-man field for the U.S. Open, which starts June 15 at Winged Foot.
 
In Houston, Tom Kite failed in his bid to join Haas as the only players to play a U.S. Open at Winged Foot in three decades. Kite shot a 139, leaving him three strokes behind Ryan Baca and Ryan Posey, who earned the two Open spots on the line in Texas.
 
Kevin Tway also failed to qualify in Houston, just as his father Bob came up short in Columbus.
 
In Rockville, Md., Tommy Armour III shot rounds of 68-67 at Woodmond Country Club to claim one of four spots. Also qualifying was Joey Sindelar, Chad Collins and David Berganio, Jr. Among those who failed were Carlos Franco and Notah Begay.
 
In St. Charles, Ill., Steve Stricker and Jason Allred played their way to the U.S. Open.
 
Michael Derminio, Taylor Wood, Alex Coe and Patrick Nagle qualified in Daly City, Calif.
 
Dustin White earned the one spot being handed out in Littleton, Colo., Jonathan Moore qualified in Creswell, Ore., and Tadd Fujikawa qualified in Koloa, Hawaii.
 
In the other qualifier in Columbus, Madalitson Muthiya of Zambia and Stephen Woodward earned the two spots at Double Eagle. Bill Haas, the 23-year-old son of Jay Haas, had played who U.S. Opens with his father but failed to qualify.
 
Poulter struggled at the Memorial, but shot 65-66 in the qualifier to get into his third U.S. Open. Hayes, a 23-year-old who played at Southern California and was medalist in the first stage of PGA Tour Q-school last year, will be making his U.S. Open debut.
 
'It was a big goal of mine,' Hayes said. 'It's very rewarding to play this way.'
 
Carl Pettersson was supposed to be at the qualifier until he won the Memorial, his second victory in the last 12 months, which earned him an exemption to Winged Foot. Others had to grind through a long day for that pleasure.
 
Austin also faced a long weekend in the rain-delayed Memorial, but still had enough left to earn a spot. He still plans to play this week in the Barclays Classic, but not without a short break.
 
'I can guarantee you there'll be no shots hit tomorrow,' he said. 'I guarantee you I am not even thinking of hitting a golf shot.'
 
Others who earned spots at Winged Foot include Charl Schwwartzel of South Africa, Steve Lowery, Skip Kendall, Dean Wilson, Craig Barlow and tour rookie Nathan Green of Australia. Duffy Waldorf made a 5-foot birdie in a playoff to get the last spot.
 
Other PGA Tour players who missed were Brad Faxon and Aaron Baddeley (Verizon Heritage). Jesper Parnevik, Trevor Immelman and Peter Lonard also failed to get to Winged Foot.
 
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    After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

    Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

    On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

    Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

    Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

    It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard


    On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

    There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

    He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

    His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

    Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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    Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

    With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

    He picked up one more No. 2, too.

    The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

    In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

    Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

    “It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

    Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

    Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

    He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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    Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

    Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

    Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

    His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

    “I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

    Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

    Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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    Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

    Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

    Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

    What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

    Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

    Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

    Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

    Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

    Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

    Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry