All Entries In For 2001 US Open
A total of 2,045 (24 percent) arrived via the USGA Internet site during the first year online Open entries were offered. The entry of two-time champion Ernie Els was one of those received online.
Thirty-one online entries were submitted in the final hour of the Wednesday, April 25 deadline. The last entry submitted online came just two minutes before the 5 p.m. (EDT) deadline, from Chris Mulligan, a 20-year-old amateur from Bradenton, Fla.
Another 1,088 entries were received via overnight mail delivery in the last two days before the deadline, and 82 more entries arrived a day too late.
In all, 8,697 entries were received. However, 297 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 the second most in Open history, just 59 shy of last year's record of 8,457 entries.
Fifty-eight golfers, including nine 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 9th. Sectional qualifying at 13 sites will be held June 4-5.
Past champions who are fully exempt are Ernie Els (1997,1994), Hale Irwin (1990,1979,1974), Lee Janzen (1998,1993), Steve Jones (1996), Tom Kite (1992), Corey Pavin (1995) and Tiger Woods (2000).
An Open champion receives a full exemption into the field for 10 years. The Open is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the USGA. Other championships include the U.S. Women's Open, the U.S. Senior Open, and 10 amateur competitions.
A list of the 58 golfers who are fully exempt into the U.S. Open follows.
FIFTY-EIGHT GOLFERS WHO ARE FULLY EXEMPT FOR THE U.S. OPEN (as of April 27, 2001)
Robert Allenby - 9, 12
Stuart Appleby - 9
Paul Azinger - 8, 9
Notah BegayIII - 9, 12
Thomas Bjorn - 10
Mark Brooks- 5
Angel Cabrera - 10
Mark Calcavecchia - 9
Michael Campbell - 8,10
Stewart Cink - 8, 9
Darren Clarke - 10
Jose Coceres- 10
Chris DiMarco- 9
Joe Durant- 12
David Duval- 8, 9
Ernie Els- 1,8, 9,10
Nick Faldo- 8
Brad Faxon- 12
Steve Flesch- 9
Carlos Franco- 9
Pierre Fulke- 10
Jim Furyk- 9
Retief Goosen- 8,10
Padraig Harrington- 8,10
John Huston- 8, 9
Hale Irwin- 7
Lee Janzen- 1
Miguel Angel Jimenez - 8,10
Steve Jones- 1
Shingo Katayama- 15
Tom Kite- 1
Franklin Langham- 9
Paul Lawrie- 4
Tom Lehman- 4, 9
Justin Leonard- 4, 9
Davis Love III- 5, 9
Bob May- 9
Phil Mickelson- 9, 12
Colin Montgomerie- 10
Jose Maria Olazabal- 3, 8,10
Mark O'Meara- 3, 4
Greg Orr- 10
Jesper Parnevik- 9, 12
Corey Pavin- 1
Chris Perry- 9
Nick Price- 9
Phillip Price- 10
Jeff Quinney- 2
Loren Roberts- 8, 9
Vijay Singh- 3, 5, 8, 9
Hal Sutton- 9
Toru Taniguchi- 15
David Toms- 9
Kirk Triplett- 9
Scott Verplank- 9
Mike Weir- 9
Lee Westwood- 8,10
Tiger Woods- 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 12
Key to Player Exemptions
1 -Winners of the U.S. Open Championship for the last 10 years.
2 -Winner of the 2000 U.S. Amateur Championship.
3 -Winners of the Masters Tournament the last five years.
4 -Winners of the British Open Championship the last five years.
5 -Winners of the PGA of America Championship the last five years.
6 -Winner of the 2001 Players Championship.
7 -Winner of the 2000 U.S. Senior Open Championship.
8 -From the 2000 U.S. Open Championship, the 15 lowest scorers and anyone tying for 15th place.
9 -From the 2000 final official PGA Tour money list, the top 30 money leaders.
10 -From the 2000 final official PGA European Tour, the top 15 money leaders.
11 -From the 2001 official PGA Tour money list, the top 10 money leaders through May 28.
12 -Any multiple winner of PGA Tour co-sponsored events whose victories are considered official from April 26, 2000 through June 3, 2001
13 -Special exemptions selected by the USGA Executive Committee International players not otherwise exempt as selected by the USGA Executive Committee.
14 -From the 2001 PGA European Tour, the top two money leaders through May 28.
15 -From the 2000 final Japan Golf Tour money list, the top two leaders provided they are within the top 75 point leaders of the World Rankings at that time.
16 -From the 2000-2001 final official PGA Tour of Australasia money list, the top two leaders provided they are within the top 75 point leaders of the World Rankings at that time.
17 -From the final World Rankings list, the top 50 point leaders as of May 28.
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Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf
Well, this is a one new one.
According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:
“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”
Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.
“If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.
The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.
“I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”
The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.
Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.
Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.
PGA Tour suspends Hensby for anti-doping violation
Mark Hensby has been suspended for one year by the PGA Tour for violating the Tour’s anti-doping policy by failing to provide a sample after notification.
The Tour made the announcement Monday, reporting that Hensby will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.
The statement reads:
The PGA Tour announced today that Mark Hensby has violated the Tour Anti-Doping Policy for failing to provide a drug testing sample after notification and has been suspended for a period of one year. He will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.
Hensby, 46, won the John Deere Classic in 2004. He played the Web.com Tour this past year, playing just 14 events. He finished 142nd on the money list. He once ranked among the top 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking but ranks No. 1,623 today.
The Sunshine Tour recently suspended player Etienne Bond for one year for failing a drug test. Players previously suspended by the PGA Tour for violating the anti-doping policy include Scott Stallings and Doug Barron.
The PGA Tour implemented revisions to its anti-doping program with the start of the 2017-18 season. The revisions include blood testing and the supplementation of the Tour’s prohibited list to include all of the substances and methods on the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list. As part of this season’s revisions, the Tour announced it would also begin reporting suspensions due to recreational drug use.
The Tour said it would not issue further comment on Hensby's suspension.
Good time to hang up on viewer call-ins
Golf announced the most massive layoff in the industry’s history on Monday morning.
Armchair referees around the world were given their pink slips.
It’s a glorious jettisoning of unsolicited help.
Goodbye and good riddance.
The USGA and R&A’s announcement of a new set of protocols Monday will end the practice of viewer call-ins and emails in the reporting of rules infractions.
“What we have heard from players and committees is ‘Let’s leave the rules and administration of the event to the players and those responsible for running the tournament,’” said Thomas Pagel, the USGA’s senior director of rules and amateur status.
The protocols, formed by a working group that included the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and the PGA of America, also establish the use of rules officials to monitor the televised broadcasts of events.
Additionally, the protocols will eliminate the two-shot penalty when a player signs an incorrect scorecard because the player was unaware of a violation.
Yes, I can hear you folks saying armchair rules officials help make sure every meaningful infraction comes to light. I hear you saying they make the game better, more honest, by helping reduce the possibility somebody violates the rules to win.
But at what cost?
The chaos and mayhem armchair referees create can ruin the spirit of fair play every bit as much as an unreported violation. The chaos and mayhem armchair rules officials create can be as much a threat to fair play as the violations themselves.
The Rules of Golf are devised to protect the integrity of the game, but perfectly good rules can be undermined by the manner and timeliness of their enforcement.
We have seen the intervention of armchair referees go beyond the ruin of fair play in how a tournament should be conducted. We have seen it threaten the credibility of the game in the eyes of fans who can’t fathom the stupidity of a sport that cannot separate common-sense enforcement from absolute devotion to the letter of the law.
In other sports, video review’s timely use helps officials get it right. In golf, video review too often makes it feel like the sport is getting it wrong, because timeliness matters in the spirit of fair play, because the retroactive nature of some punishments are as egregious as the violations themselves.
We saw that with Lexi Thompson at the ANA Inspiration this year.
Yes, she deserved a two-shot penalty for improperly marking her ball, but she didn’t deserve the two-shot penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard. She had no idea she was signing an incorrect scorecard.
We nearly saw the ruin of the U.S. Open at Oakmont last year, with Dustin Johnson’s victory clouded by the timing of a video review that left us all uncertain if the tournament was playing out under an incorrect scoreboard.
“What these protocols are put in place for, really, is to make sure there are measures to identify the facts as soon as possible, in real time, so if there is an issue to be dealt with, that it can be handled quickly and decisively,” Pagel said.
We have pounded the USGA for making the game more complicated and less enjoyable than it ought to be, for creating controversy where common sense should prevail, so let’s applaud executive director Mike Davis, as well as the R&A, for putting common sense in play.
Yes, this isn’t a perfect answer to handling rules violations.
There are trap doors in the protocols that we are bound to see the game stumble into, because the game is so complex, but this is more than a good faith effort to make the game better.
This is good governance.
And compared to the glacial pace of major rules change of the past, this is swift.
This is the USGA and R&A leading a charge.
We’re seeing that with the radical modernization of the Rules of Golf scheduled to take effect in 2019. We saw it with the release of Decision 34/3-10 three weeks after Thompson’s loss at the ANA, with the decision limiting video review to “reasonable judgment” and “naked eye” standards. We’re hearing it with Davis’ recent comments about the “horrible” impact distance is having on the game, leading us to wonder if the USGA is in some way gearing up to take on the golf ball.
Yes, the new video review protocols aren’t a panacea. Rules officials will still miss violations that should have been caught. There will be questions about level playing fields, about the fairness of stars getting more video review scrutiny than the rank and file. There will be questions about whether viewer complaints were relayed to rules officials.
Golf, they say, isn’t a game of perfect, and neither is rules enforcement, though these protocols make too much sense to be pilloried. They should be applauded. They should solve a lot more problems than they create.
Lexi 'applaud's USGA, R&A for rules change
Lexi Thompson’s pain may prove to be the rest of golf’s gain.
David Rickman, the R&A’s executive director of governance, acknowledged on Golf Channel’s "Morning Drive" Monday that the new protocols that will eliminate the use of TV viewer call-ins and emails to apply penalties was hastened by the controversy following Thompson’s four-shot penalty at the ANA Inspiration in early April. The new protocols also set up rules officials to monitor TV broadcasts beginning next year.
“Clearly, that case has been something of a focus point for us,” Rickman said.
Thompson reacted to the new protocols in an Instagram post.
“I applaud the USGA and the R&A for their willingness to revise the Rules of Golf to address certain unfortunate situations that have arisen several times in the game of golf,” Thompson wrote. “In my case, I am thankful no one else will have to deal with an outcome such as mine in the future.”
Thompson was penalized two shots for improperly returning her ball to its mark on a green during Saturday’s round after a viewer emailed LPGA officials during Sunday’s broadcast. She was penalized two more shots for signing an incorrect scorecard for her Saturday round. Thompson ultimately lost in a playoff to So Yeon Ryu.
The new protocols will also eliminate the additional two-shot penalty a player receives for failing to include a penalty when a player was unaware of the penalty.
Shortly after the ANA Inspiration, the USGA and R&A led the formation of a video review working group, which included the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and PGA of America.
Also, just three weeks after Thompson was hit with the four-shot penalty, the USGA and R&A released a new Rules of Golf decision decision (34-3/10) limiting video evidence in two ways:
1. If an infraction can’t be seen with the naked eye, there’s no penalty, even if video shows otherwise.
2. If a tournament committee determines that a player does “all that can be reasonably expected to make an accurate estimation or measurement” in determining a line or position to play from or to spot a ball, then there will be no penalty even if video replay later shows that to be wrong.
While the USGA and R&A said the new decision wasn’t based on Thompson’s ANA incident, LPGA players immediately began calling it the “Lexi Rule.”