US Open Qualifying Starting to Heat Up

By Associated PressMay 26, 2008, 4:00 pm
2007 The Memorial TournamentDUBLIN, Ohio -- Arron Oberholser already has had a tough time this year with a hand injury. He was dealt another blow Monday when he was knocked out of the U.S. Open by the tiniest of margins based on tournaments held on three continents.
 
Oberholser was losing a spot or two each week in the world ranking while recovering from injuries to his left hand, falling to No. 45. But he dropped six spots to No. 51 at the worst time'the cutoff for the top 50 being exempt to the U.S. Open.
 
He wound up .004 points behind Soren Hansen, who already was eligible.
 
Its a goofy system'we all know that. But its the system we have, Oberholser said while waiting on lunch at Muirfield Village. I probably deserve it. I havent played but five events because of my hand. And when I have played, I havent played well.
 
The U.S. Open will be held June 12-15 at Torrey Pines in San Diego.
 
Fourteen players were exempt from U.S. Open qualifying based on the world ranking and money lists on the PGA and European tour.
 
Rod Pampling received a small consolation from Colonial. Even though he lost a two-shot lead on the back nine to Phil Mickelson, his tie for second at the Crowne Plaza Invitational was enough to move Pampling from No. 69 to No. 47 and avoid a 36-hole qualifier Monday.
 
Also getting into the U.S. Open through the world ranking were Ian Poulter, Stuart Appleby, Robert Karlsson, Sean OHair, Martin Kaymer, Justin Leonard, Mike Weir and J.B. Holmes.
 
Ryuji Imada, Anthony Kim and Jeff Quinney earned spots by being in the top 10 on the PGA Tour money list. Miguel Angel Jimenez defeated Oliver Wilson in a playoff at the BMW Championship in England, and both qualified for the U.S. Open as Nos. 1 and 2 on the European tours Order of Merit.
 
Seventy-two players were exempt from qualifying, including defending champion Angel Cabrera and Tiger Woods, who was exempt in 10 categories. That leaves 84 spots available at 36-hole sectional qualifiers next Monday.
 
How did Oberholser fall six spots in one week?
 
He lost a few points when his tie for fourth at Colonial two years ago was wiped off the slate, but that wasnt enough on its own. It took good results from six players on three tours who were behind him in the ranking going into last week:
 
' Toru Taniguchi tied for fifth on the Japan PGA Tour.
 
' Tim Clark birdied two of the last three holes and tied for second at Colonial, along with Pampling.
 
' Wilson moved into the top 50 with his playoff loss at Wenworth, while Hansen birdied the 17th hole to tie for 34th earning enough points to hold down the 50th spot in the ranking.
 
' Quinney birdied the last hole at Colonial and tied for seventh, earning enough points to move from No. 52 to No. 49.
 
The perfect storm, Oberholser said. I kept looking at the ranking and was falling one spot, two spots. And then I fall six spots when I least needed that to happen. Its very disappointing.
 
Oberholser said he will not go to sectional qualifying Monday because he doesnt think his tender hand can take 36 holes in one day.
 
He had not played since a tie for 25th at the Masters, taking six weeks off for rest and therapy and returning last week at the Colonial, where he tied for 59th and received no points. It would not have mattered had he taken last week off because Oberholser has played fewer than 40 tournaments over the last two years while coping with various injuries.
 
And this might not be the last of his troubles.
 
He said the grip pressure in his left hand was 30 percent weaker than his right hand after the Masters, but therapy has reduced that gap to about 5 percent. But doctors also found a bone spur in the top of his left hand. If it gets too painful, he might face surgery.
 
Ive kind of written this year off, Oberholser said.
 
One thing was certain on Monday. He wont be playing the U.S. Open for the first time since 2004.
 

Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - The Memorial
  • GOLF CHANNEL Airtimes
  • Getty Images

    McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

    One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.

    McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

    It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

    McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

    Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

    Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

    Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

    The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

    The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

    Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

    The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

    A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

    Getty Images

    Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

    Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

    Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

    South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

    Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

    The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

     

     

    Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

    By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

    It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

    Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

    Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

    "We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."


    Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout


    Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

    Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.