USGA Receives Record Number of US Open Entries

By Golf Channel NewsroomApril 29, 2002, 4:00 pm
Far Hills, N.J. - The United States Golf Association has accepted a record 8,468 entries for the 2002 U.S. Open to be played June 13-16 at Bethpage State Park (Black Course) in Farmingdale, N.Y.
A total of 3,541 (41.8 percent) arrived via the USGA Internet site during the second year online Open entries were offered, an increase from 24 percent from 2001. The entry of two-time champion Lee Janzen was one of those received online.
In the last three days before the deadline of April 24, a total of 1,288 electronic entries were received and 75 of those entries were submitted in the final hour before the deadline. The last entry to arrive was from Brigham Gibbs, a professional from Laguna Niguel, Calif., who submitted his electronic entry at 4:58 p.m. (EDT), two minutes before the deadline.
Another 209 entries were received via overnight mail delivery in the last two days before the deadline.
In all, 8,839 entries were received. However, 371 were rejected because the entrant had played poorly in past qualifying rounds or had a USGA Handicap Index higher than 1.4. The number of entries is 13 more than the previous record of 8,455 entries accepted in 2000.
The youngest golfer to enter is 13-year-old Min So of Wichita, Kan. The oldest is 70-year-old Joe Moresco of Woodmere, N.Y.
Sixty-two golfers, including eight past champions, are currently fully exempt from having to qualify for the upcoming championship.
The number of fully exempt golfers will increase with the inclusion of the top 50 players from the World Rankings, the top 10 money leaders on the PGA Tour and the top two money leaders on the European PGA Tour at the end of May.
Local qualifying at more than 100 sites will begin May 6. Sectional qualifying at 12 sites will be held June 3-4.
Past champions who are fully exempt are Ernie Els (1997,1994); Retief Goosen (2001); Hale Irwin (1990,1979,1974); Lee Janzen (1998,1993); Steve Jones (1996); Tom Kite (1992); Corey Pavin (1995); and Tiger Woods (2000).
A U.S. Open champion receives a full exemption into the field for 10 years.
Players Who Are Fully Exempt For The 2002 U.S. Open:

Michael Allen    
Robert Allenby    
Paul Azinger    
Thomas Bjorn    
Mark Brooks    
Angel Cabrera    
Stewart Cink
Darren Clarke    
Chris DiMarco
Mark Calcavecchia    
Michael Campbell    
Joe Durant    
David Duval    
Ernie Els    
Bob Estes    
Niclas Fasth
Brad Faxon    
Bruce Fleisher    
Jim Furyk    
Sergio Garcia    
Matt Gogel    
Retief Goosen    
Padraig Harrington    
Scott Hoch    
David Howell    
Toshi Izawa    
Hale Irwin    
Lee Janzen    
Steve Jones    
Robert Karlsson    
Shingo Katayama    
Tom Kite    
Bernhard Langer    
Paul Lawrie    
Tom Lehman    
Justin Leonard    
Frank Lickliter    
Davis Love III    
Steve Lowery    
Scott McCarron    
Paul McGinley    
Billy Mayfair    
Rocco Mediate    
Phil Mickelson
Colin Montgomerie    
Jose Maria Olazabal    
Peter O'Malley    
Mark O'Meara    
Craig Parry    
Corey Pavin    
Craig Perks    
Kenny Perry    
Adam Scott    
Vijay Singh
Jeff Sluman    
Steve Stricker    
Hal Sutton    
David Toms    
Kirk Triplett    
Scott Verplank    
Mike Weir    
Tiger Woods

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Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

"A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

"If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

"I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"

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The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

"It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

"It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

"I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

"If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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LPGA lists April date for new LA event

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.