Deaf Golfer Hall Believes Hes Finally Arrived


US Bank Championship in MilwaukeeMILWAUKEE -- Kevin Hall, the deaf golfer who made his PGA Tour debut at the US Bank Championship, would love another sponsor exemption but says he won't be needing such passes some day.
``I had dreamed since I teed it up that I was going to play with the big boys. After college, I continued to dream about it. I wanted it to happen and it did happen!'' Hall wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press on Saturday, a day after carding a 68-74 and missing the cut at Brown Deer Park.
``I felt like I arrived. It's only a matter of time before I get better and consistent enough to play out there.''

Hall, a 22-year-old from Cincinnati, said he has four stops scheduled on the Nationwide Tour. He's already made three starts on the circuit, including two as a pro, since winning the Big Ten championship at Ohio State in 2004.
When he was invited to Milwaukee on a sponsor's exemption, the PGA Tour searched unsuccessfully for records of any other professional golfers who were deaf.
A bout with meningitis stole Hall's hearing when he was a youngster, so it wasn't necessary for the marshals to raise the ``QUIET'' signs when he teed off. But they did anyway.
And he gathered as big a gallery as any of the other 155 golfers Friday. Fans gave him thumbs-up and high-fives between holes. He communicated with his parents via sign language and with his caddie and playing partners by reading lips and typing text messages into his cell phone/organizer.
Hall was one of 15 golfers who had to play 36 holes Friday because of thunderstorms the day before, and he tuckered out on his ``back 18,'' missing the cut by four strokes.
Playing the course twice ``wore me out,'' he wrote. ``I'm used to playing 36 holes in college but man, it's different on the PGA Tour with the pace of play, the crowd and the pin position. It takes a lot out of you mentally and physically.''
He said he had butterflies but quickly gained his composure.
``I was nervous on the first tee. I stood over the ball and the first thought was, 'What the heck did I get myself into?' and of course I blocked the ball way right,'' he wrote. ``I calmed down with a good swing on No. 3, a 7 iron from 165 that stopped 5 feet from the hole.
``The more people that came out to watch, the calmer I got. I got used to it.''
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