Sixteen-Year-Old Qualifies for Open

By Sports NetworkJune 3, 2002, 4:00 pm
Derek Tolan, a 16-year-old amateur from Highlands Ranch, Colo., holed a 30-foot chip-in birdie on the first playoff hole Monday to earn the second spot in U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying at Columbine Country Club.
 
See who earned a spot through Sectional Qualifying
 
The Columbine Country Club had 31 players competing for two spots and after Tolan's chip-in found the bottom of the cup, PGA Tour professional Mike Reid and Mike Zaremba were reduced to alternate status.
 
'I never felt so nervous and so excited in my whole life,' said Tolan, who just completed his sophomore year in high school. 'It hasn't sunk in yet. I remember thinking to myself that the chip didn't have a chance but somehow it went in.'
 
Tolan won this year's Arizona Junior Classic and played in both the 2001 U.S. Junior Amateur and U.S. Amateur Championship.
 
Tolan joined Ben Portie as qualifiers from Columbine Country Club. Portie carded a 9-under-par 135 Monday as he earned medalist honors at the 36-hole qualifying event.
 
Peter Lonard headlined the largest qualifying group Monday in Rockville, Md., at Woodmont Country Club when he fired a 15-under-par 138. Thirty-three of 34 spots were filled in Maryland on Monday and a 12-man playoff will take place for the final berth Tuesday morning. Hank Kuehne, Dennis Paulson, Duffy Waldorf and Bob May, the 2000 PGA Championship runner-up to Tiger Woods, are among the players who will fight for the last spot from Woodmont.
 
Among the players who qualified in Maryland Monday were Steve Pate, Tim Herron, Blaine McCallister and Charles Howell III, who lost an automatic bid when he fell out of the top 50 in the World Golf Rankings the week of the Memorial.
 
Fred Couples, the 1992 Masters champion, will not compete in this year's U.S. Open in two weeks. He missed a spot in the field when posted an even-par 143 at Woodmont.
 
Steve Flesch set a course record at the TPC at River's Bend in Cincinnati, Ohio, with his first-round 64. He added a 71 in the second 18 to earn the final of three spots. Todd Rose was the medalist in Ohio with an 11-under-par 133 and Ian Leggatt, the 2002 Tucson Open champion, earned the other berth in the field.
 
Ryan Moore, who plays collegiately at UNLV, outlasted 16 other players for the lone spot out of The Reserve Vineyards in Oregon. Moore, the 2001 U.S. Junior Amateur runner-up, shot a 6-under-par 138.
 
At Lake Merced Golf and Country Club in California, Andy Miller, son of 1973 U.S. Open champion Johnny Miller, set the pace with a 7-under-par 135. PGA Tour player Paul Goydos and amateur Ricky Barnes will join Miller in the 2002 U.S. Open.
 
Britain's Justin Rose, who won the British Masters over the weekend, withdrew from qualifying at Lake Merced.
 
Inclement weather stopped play Monday at Biltmore Country Club in Illinois. Thunderstorms caused a near four-hour delay Monday and only 14 players completed their first rounds. Play will resume Tuesday morning to find the three qualifiers from the Biltmore.
 
Sectional qualifying will also take place at six other sites Tuesday.
 
The 2002 U.S. Open is scheduled from June 13-16 at Bethpage State Park's Black Course in Farmingdale, N.Y.
 
Full coverage of the 102nd U.S. Open
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Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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Rahm (62) fires career low round

By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

"Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


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Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

"That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

@tommyfleetwood_1

A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.