Notes Superintendents son LPGAs return to the US

By Doug FergusonApril 28, 2009, 4:00 pm
Bookmark and Share

CHARLOTTE, N.C. ' Jeff Klauk might know every blade of grass on the Stadium Course at the TPC Sawgrass after growing up watching his father, retired golf course superintendent Fred Klauk, tend to the course for The Players Championship.
Barring an unlikely turn of events, the PGA Tour rookie will see the course next week like never before.
Because two international players have decided not to play, Klauk has earned the final spot in the field next week based on a solid start to his season that has put him 42nd in the FedEx Cup standings.
The only way he could lose his spot would be for someone not already eligible to win the Quail Hollow Championship.
The top 10 players in the FedEx Cup standings after last week were assured a place in the field at The Players Championship. The Tour then goes down the standings as far as necessary to fill the 144-man field.
Miguel Angel Jimenez and Shingo Katayama elected not to play, leaving the tournament with 141 players. David Toms (No. 21) and Scott Piercy (No. 40) took those spots, and Klauk will get the last one.
Having mowed greens and fairways and all that stuff, and then coming to a tournament and you see maintenance guys, how many hours they have to work to get the course in the conditions that they are in, it takes a lot of hours, Klauk said earlier this year. Just makes me appreciate things a lot more than a lot of other people.
Also added to the field last week was Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand, who won in Korea and moved to No. 49 in the world ranking.
QUAIL HOLLOW FUTURE: Wells Fargo, which acquired Wachovia last year, has taken its name off the tournament this week, which is why it is now called the Quail Hollow Championship. The bank also acquired a contract with the PGA Tour that runs through 2014, and tournament officials do not expect it to be broken before then.
That likely will be the end of a PGA Tour stop in Charlotte ' but not necessarily major golf.
PGA of America officials are in town this week as the guest of club president Johnny Harris, who is trying to land the 2017 PGA Championship and the 2024 Ryder Cup.
Whether it gets the two major events remains to be seen. Davis Love III is not convinced it will work, although it has nothing to do with the golf course, considered among the best on tour.
Theres a lot of courses that can handle a major championship ' certainly, Quail Hollow as a golf course can, Love said two weeks ago at Hilton Head. Its the infrastructure. If Johnny Harris said, You all come look at Quail Hollow for a U.S. Open or a PGA, they wouldnt look much at the golf course. Theyd say, Wait a minute, is there room for parking? And is there room for corporate hospitality? Is there room for buses? If you get an extra large tournament, can you handle it?
The golf course is great, he said. It would certainly handle a major championship. But I dont think theres enough room for everything else that goes with it.
FALL SERIES: Sea Island wont be getting a PGA Tour event this year.
Rick George, the Tours chief of operations, said the new World Golf Championships event in China to be held Nov. 5-8 will not have an opposite-field event during the Fall Series. That date had been occupied by the Ginn sur Mer Classic, which ended its contract early. The Tour had been negotiating with a couple of companies that wanted an event at Sea Island.
George confirmed that such a deal will not happen, and there will be no tournament in the U.S. that week.
OHAIR PLANS: Sean OHair goes into the U.S. Open with some uncertainty at home, although there is little question he will play.
His wife, Jackie, is expecting their third child on June 25 ' four days after the U.S. Open at Bethpage Black. They are expecting a boy that they plan to name Grady Quinn.
Hopefully, he comes the week before, because Im taking that week off, OHair said.
But what if it comes early, and OHair gets a call in the middle of a round?
He wont be carrying a beeper, as Phil Mickelson did at Pinehurst No. 2 in 1999. He will leave, but not for long.
If I get the call, Ill finish my round and then fly home (to Philadelphia) and see the baby and make sure Jackie is OK. Then Ill go back, OHair said, pausing to smile, and win the U.S. Open.
OHair, 26, already has a 4-year-old daughter (Molly) and an 18-month-old son (Luke).
LPGA SCHEDULE: If anyone has lost track of the LPGA Tour, its easy to see why.
Having lost three tournaments from the previous year, the LPGA has not had a tournament in the United States since the Kraft Nabisco Championship a week before the Masters. Last weeks event in Mexico, won by Lorena Ochoa, was not shown on television.
Through the first four months of the year, the LPGA Tour has staged only seven events ' only two of them on the U.S. mainland. The tour resumes next week at the Michelob Ultra Open in Virginia.
DIVOTS: NBC Sports has earned a Sports Emmy for its coverage of the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. The network won in the Outstanding Live Sports Special, beating out the Super Bowl, Daytona 500 and Wimbledon. Adam Scott has agreed to an expanded contract deal with Acushnet Co., which he has endorsed since turning pro in June 2000 by playing the Titleist and FootJoy brands. The Solheim Cup is changing its schedule of play, leading off with fourballs on the first two days. I always felt as a player that we would see better golf if you played your own ball in the morning, and then played alternate shot in the afternoon, U.S. captain Beth Daniel said.
STAT OF THE WEEK: Robert Allenby has 46 finishes in the top 10 since his last PGA Tour victory in 2001.
FINAL WORD: Were not saying, No, to too many sponsors, in case you havent noticed. ' PGA Tour board member Stewart Cink.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Quail Hollow Championship
  • Golf Channel Airtimes
  • Getty Images

    Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook played a six-hole stretch in 6 under and shot an 8-under 64 in breezy conditions Saturday to take the lead at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook began the run at La Quinta Country Club with birdies on Nos. 4-5, eagled the sixth and added birdies on No. 7 and 9 to make the turn in 6-under 30.

    After a bogey on the 10th, he birdied Nos. 11, 12 and 15 and saved par on the 18th with a 20-footer to take a 19-under 197 total into the final round on PGA West's Stadium Course. The 26-year-old former Arkansas player is making his first start in the event. He won at Sea Island in November for his first PGA Tour title.

    Fellow former Razorbacks star Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were a stroke back. Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 on the Stadium Course. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. They are both winless on the PGA Tour.

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Jon Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium Course to reach 17 under. The top-ranked player in the field at No. 3, Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

    Scott Piercy also was two strokes back after a 66 at the Stadium.

    Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on PGA West's Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course, and Harkins shot 68 on the Stadium Course.

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium Course to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time.

    The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

    Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. The Southern California recruit had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over for the week.

    John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine – and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

    Getty Images

    Mickelson misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

    He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

    How rare is his missing the cut there?

    The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

    The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

    Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

    Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.

    Getty Images

    Defending champ Gana co-leads Latin America Amateur

    By Randall MellJanuary 20, 2018, 11:20 pm

    Toto Gana moved into early position to try to win a return trip to the Masters Saturday by grabbing a share of the first-round lead at the Latin America Amateur Championship.

    The defending champ posted a 3-under-par 68 at Prince of Wales Country Club in his native Chile, equaling the rounds of Argentina’s Mark Montenegro and Colombia’s Pablo Torres.

    They are one shot ahead of Mexico’s Alvaro Ortiz and Mario Carmona, Argentina’s Horacio Carbonetti and Jaime Lopez Rivarola and the Dominican Republic’s Rhadames Pena.

    It’s a bunched leaderboard, with 19 players within three shots of each at the top of the board in the 72-hole event.

    “I think I have my game under control,” said Gana, 20, a freshman at Lynn University. “I hit the ball very well, and I also putted very well. So, I am confident about tomorrow.”

    The LAAC’s champion will get more than a Masters invitation. He also will be exempt into the The Amateur, the U.S. Amateur and any other USGA event he is eligible to play this year. The champion and players who finish runner-up are also exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and the U.S. Open.

    The LAAC was founded by the Masters, the R&A and the USGA, with the purpose of further developing amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

    Getty Images

    LAAC returning to Casa de Campo in 2019

    By Randall MellJanuary 20, 2018, 8:23 pm

    The Latin America Amateur Championship will return to Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic in 2019 (Jan. 17-20), event organizers announced Saturday in Chile, where this year’s championship is underway.

    The LAAC champion receives an invitation to play the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club every spring.

    The champion is also exempt into The Amateur, the U.S. Amateur and any other USGA event for which he is eligible to compete. The champion and players who finish runner-up are also exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and the U.S. Open.

    The LAAC was founded by the Masters, the R&A and the USGA, with the purpose of further developing amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

    The championship got its start in 2015 with Chile’s Matias Dominguez winning at Pilar Golf in Argentina. In 2016, Casa de Campo hosted, with Costa Rica’s Paul Chaplet winning. At 16, he became the first player from Central America to compete in the Masters. In 2017, Chile’s Toto Gana won the title at  Club de Golf de Panama.