It's a waiting game for young Argentine amateur

By Doug FergusonJune 15, 2011, 8:48 pm

BETHESDA, Md. – Emiliano Grillo glanced at his watch Wednesday as he stood next to the putting green, the stately clubhouse behind him and a U.S. Open golf course in front of him.

“I could be playing the 15th hole,” he said.

Only he wasn’t talking about Congressional. The 18-year-old from Argentina is the first alternate in the U.S. Open, and he isn’t even allowed to play the course unless someone withdraws.

Grillo was in Rochester, N.Y., for the Monroe Invitational Championship when he faced what would seem to be an easy decision: Stick around and compete against college-age amateurs or sit around Congressional with an outside chance of playing in the U.S. Open.

He went for the trip to Maryland.

“I’m happy to be here,” he said. “I’m not really happy, but I’m here. And that’s all that matters.”

Grillo grew up in Resistencia, located about 600 miles north of Buenos Aires, the same town that produced two-time PGA Tour winner Jose Coceres, one of his golfing mentors. He moved to Florida three years ago to attend the IMG Leadbetter Golf Academy and plans to turn pro in September after the U.S. Amateur.

Getting to the first tee on Thursday could be a long shot. Grillo wasn’t aware of anyone who might not be able to play. The worst part of it is being restricted to the practice areas.

Unlike the British Open, alternates are not allowed to practice on the course until they are in the field. Grillo faces eight hours of waiting around Thursday, and even if he gets in, will play in his first major without ever having seen the course.

“It’s hard to play the U.S. Open without seeing the golf course,” he said.

Among his amateur feats are winning the Copas de las Americas in Argentina, and the Ping Invitational. Because he is among the top 50 in the world amateur ranking, he was exempt into the final stage of U.S. Open qualifying.

And he almost made it.

Grillo wound up in a seven-man playoff for four spots in the Memphis, Tenn., qualifier that featured mostly PGA Tour players. He hung around until there were three players left for one spot. On the third extra hole, Tag Ridings hit into the water on a par 5. Grillo and Briny Baird reached the green in two and faced long eagle putts.

“It was almost darkness, and it can be hard to putt in the dark,” he said. “I three-putted, but I still made par. I was so mad.”

It took him a while to get over the disappointment of being one putt away from playing in the U.S. Open. He packed his clubs and headed to upstate New York to start a busy season of amateur golf. After being informed Monday that he was the first alternate, Grillo took two days to decide whether to come to Washington.

“At least I’m around here,” he said, pointing to a practice green that was filled with players like Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson. “It is something. But now I have to wait. If somebody withdraws, that’s fine. If not, that’s fine. I should have made one more putt.”

 

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. 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. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

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

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Rory faces criticism

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President at the Presidents Cup


Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

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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


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Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National


Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open


Trump golf properties

Vandalism

Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

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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

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up


Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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