Love Duval and More in Sectional Qualifying

By Usga News ServicesMay 30, 2008, 4:00 pm
2008 U.S. OpenThe 108th U.S. Open will take place on the South Course at Torrey Pines Golf Course June 12-15 in La Jolla, Calif. Angel Cabrera will be defending the title he won a year ago at Oakmont Country Club.
Sectional Qualifying will continue Monday June 2 across the U.S. and in England. Here are some of the storylines to keep an eye on and some notable players trying to make their way to the season's second major:

Lake Merced Country Club (Daly City, Calif.; 86 players for 6 spots)
  • Ian Coffman, a 22-year-old amateur from San Diego, grew up playing Torrey Pines through the city junior golf program. His most recent round at Torrey Pines was March 8, 2008.
  • Jordan Cox of Redwood City, Calif., is a member of the Stanford University golf team. He was runner-up at the 2003 U.S. Junior Amateur.
  • DeBock of San Diego has been the head pro at Torrey Pines for more than 15 years.
  • Jason Gore of Valencia, Calif., led after two rounds of the 2005 U.S. Open. He was tied for second after three rounds. As an amateur, he was a member of the 1997 USA Walker Cup team.
  • Tim Hogarth, a career amateur from Northridge, Calif., won the 1996 U.S. Amateur Public Links title. He tied for medalist honors after two rounds of stroke play at the 2007 U.S. Mid-Amateur.
    Columbine Country Club (Littleton, Colo.; 28 players for 2 spots)
  • Daniel Wax of Pacific Palisades, Calif., and Benjamin Weatherly of Melbourne, Australia, are amateurs who tied for medalist honors in local qualifying at Fort Collins, Colo., with a 65, three strokes ahead of the rest of the field.
  • Michael Zaremba, 53, of Pueblo, Colo., was the general chairman of the 2006 U.S. Womens Amateur Public Links Championship at Walking Stick Golf Course.
    Walton Heath Golf Club (Surrey, England; 65 players for 10 spots)
  • Thomas Bjorn of Denmark has played in the last 11 U.S. Opens. He has nine wins on the European PGA Tour since turning pro in 1993. He played on the 1997 European Ryder Cup squad.
  • Oliver Fisher of England was the youngest player ever selected to play in a Walker Cup Match. He was 16 years old when he played his first match for the Great Britain and Ireland squad in 2005. He turned pro shortly thereafter.
  • Rory McIlroy of Ireland turned professional after playing for Great Britain and Ireland in the 2007 Walker Cup Match. He was ranked as the worlds top amateur in 2007.
    Jupiter Hills Club (Tequesta, Fla.; 44 players for 3 spots)
  • Michael Hebert of Orlando and Tommy Mou of Bradenton, Fla., are trying for their first U.S. Open at age 17. Mou tied for medalist honors in local qualifying in Bradenton. Hebert got the last of five spots awarded in Palm Harbor.
  • Billy Horschel of Grant, Fla., is a college player at the University of Florida and one of the countrys top-ranked amateurs. He played on the 2007 USA Walker Cup team. He posted a USGA championship record of 60 in stroke play at the 2006 U.S. Amateur.
  • Brothers Horacio and Hugo Leon of Chile are trying to play in the same U.S. Open. Horacio is a 23-year-old professional. Hugo is a 17-year-old amateur. They both advanced through local qualifying in Boyton Beach. Hugo was the medalist.
    Ansley Golf Club (Roswell, Ga.; 37 golfers for 3 spots)
  • USGA champions Matt Kuchar and D.J. Trahan are among those entered. Kuchar won the 1997 U.S. Amateur. Trahan won the 2000 U.S. Amateur Public Links. Both are former Walker Cuppers.
  • Billy Andrade has played in 11 U.S. Opens, but none since 2003. He finished tied for sixth at the 1992 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.
  • Fourteen-year-old Oliver Schniederjans of Powder Springs, Ga., is the youngest of all golfers headed for sectional qualifying. There are more than 830 golfers taking part in sectional qualifying.
    Conway Farms Golf Club (Lake Forest, Ill.; 60 players for 6 spots)
  • Colt Knost of Dallas won two USGA amateur titles in 2007 before turning pro and giving up a full exemption into the 2008 U.S. Open. Knost won the 2007 U.S. Amateur and the 2007 U.S. Amateur Public Links titles.
  • Neal Lancaster twice posted a 29 for nine holes at a U.S. Open ' once in 1995 and again in 1996. He finished tied for fourth in 1995. He also qualified for the 2003 U.S. Open.
    Boone Valley Golf Club (Augusta, Mo.; 17 players for 1 spot)
  • Trevor Dodds is a long-time pro who has played in four U.S. Opens. He is currently playing the Nationwide Tour.
  • John Kelly of St. Louis was runner-up at the 2006 U.S. Amateur. He played his college golf at the University of Missouri.
    The Members Club at Four Streams (Beallsville, Md.; 28 players for 2 spots)
  • James Oh of Lakewood, Calif., is now a 26-year-old professional. He won the 1998 U.S. Junior Amateur, beating Aaron Baddeley in the final.
    Old Oaks C.C./Century C.C. (Purchase, N.Y.; 65 golfers for 4 spots)
  • Brad Faxon has played in 20 U.S. Opens, but has missed qualifying the last three years.
  • Austin Eaton III of North Sutton, N.H., is looking to play in his first U.S. Open. He is the 2004 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion.
  • Cody Paladino, 19, of Kensington, Conn., was the runner-up at the 2007 U.S. Amateur Public Links championship.
    OSU Scarlet G.C./Brookside Golf and Country Club (Columbus, Ohio; 144 players for 22 spots)
  • The father-son combination of Jay Haas and Bill Haas are among those in this field. Jay has played in 27 U.S. Opens with his best finish a tie for fourth in 1995 at Shinnecock Hills. Bill has played in two U.S. Opens ' 2003 and 2004, where they both qualified.
  • Another father-son combination in the field is Bob and Kevin Tway. Bob is a past PGA Championship winner. Kevin, his son, won the 2005 U.S. Junior Amateur.
  • Sam Saunders of Orlando, Fla., will attempt to qualify for his first U.S. Open. His grandfather is Arnold Palmer. The 20-year-old Saunders is on the golf team at Clemson University.
  • Davis Love III has a string of 17 consecutive U.S. Opens on the line. He has played in 19 U.S. Opens overall.
  • Derek Fathauer, of Jensen Beach, Fla., is trying to earn a spot at this Columbus site while his brother, Daryl, is playing at the second Columbus site.
  • David Duval is trying to earn a spot in the U.S. Open field after not qualifying in 2007. Duval has played in 14 U.S. Opens. He finished tied for 16th in 2006 at Winged Foot.
    Colonial Country Club and Chickasaw Country Club (Cordova, Tenn.; 100 players for 13 spots)
  • Paul Goydos will be one of 90 professionals in this field hoping for a trip to the upcoming U.S. Open. Goydos was runner-up at the recent Players Championship, losing in a playoff to Sergio Garcia.
  • Stephen Leaney of Australia was runner-up in the 2003 U.S. Open.
  • Olin Browne has qualified for 11 U.S. Opens, including the last six in a row. He was among the early leaders in 2005 at Pinehurst when he had a 67 in the first round.
  • Dick Mast is the oldest of all the golfers in sectional qualifying, at age 57. He has played in six U.S. Opens; the most recent in 1998.
  • Jamie Lovemark, 20, of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., decided to come to Tennessee for sectional qualifying rather than staying in California (Lake Merced in Day City). He is a top golfer at the University of Southern California. He was a member of the 2007 USA Walker Cup team. He lives near Torrey Pines.
    Shadow Hawk Golf Club (Richmond, Texas; 29 players for 2 spots)
  • Steve Elkington is one of 19 pros playing at Shadow Hawk Golf Club. He has played in 12 U.S. Opens.
  • Corey Whitsett, 16, of Houston, is the reigning U.S. Junior Amateur champion.
    Emerald Valley Golf Club (Creswell, Ore.; 27 players for 2 spot)
  • Dan Whitaker of Cle Elum, Wash., was the runner-up at the 2007 U.S. Mid-Amateur.
  • Nick Taylor, a 20-year-old from Canada, was a quarterfinalist at the 2007 U.S. Amateur, where he lost to eventual champion Colt Knost.
    Springfield Country Club (Columbus, Ohio; 73 players for 5 spots)
  • Tom Spencer of Hillsborough, Calif., is an amateur who is also a credentialed member of the media for the upcoming U.S. Open. He does sports radio reports in the San Francisco area.
  • Daryl Fathauer, of Jensen Beach, Fla., is trying to earn a spot at this Columbus site while his brother, Derek, is playing at the other Columbus site.
    Related Links:
  • Sectional Qualifying Results
  • Local Qualifying Results
  • Full Coverage - U.S. Open
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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.'"

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    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.