Notes McGill and Elway Get Home Cookin


2005 U.S. WomenJill McGill grew up playing at Cherry Hills Country Club, so she'll know the slopes of the greens and where the trouble areas are for the U.S. Women's Open.
Of course, with 4-inch-high rough lining the greens and fairways, Cherry Hills is playing nothing this week like it did when McGill was younger.
'This rough is thick and now it's longer,' McGill said. 'A month ago, when it was an inch shorter, it was still very challenging. The course isn't set up so that you need a tremendous amount of length, so the rough is the penalty.'
Being a local still has its advantages, though.
'When I was here a month ago, it kind of came flooding back to me - which way the greens break, what a ball does when it lands on the green, which way it releases, where the best spot is to come into the green,' McGill said. 'Anytime you play a golf course that much, I think you have a little bit of an advantage.'
Former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway took part in a clinic for kids with Jill McGill in the afternoon and tried to cap off the session by hitting what he called a 'Happy Gilmore' shot.
Elway ran up and smacked a drive, just like Adam Sandler in the movie, but the result wasn't the same. The Hall of Famer's shot hit a tree about 20 yards away and caromed into the short-game course, leading to laughter from the crowd.
As for McGill, she came away with Elway's autograph.
'I've been a Broncos' fan ever since I was a kid. I grew up going to the games,' she said.
Angela Stanford finished second at the 2003 U.S. Women's Open and has been playing well lately, but she's still not sure what to expect at Cherry Hills this week.
Look at her Women's Open record and it's easy to see why.
Of the five Opens she's played in, Stanford only made the cut in 2003. She made a long birdie putt on the 72nd hole that year to finish 1 under and get into a playoff with Kelly Robbins and eventual champion Hilary Lunke, but she's 45 over and hasn't broken par in eight other Open rounds.
'I've always struggled at Opens,' Stanford said. 'It's all or none with me. Maybe it will be all again this week.'
At least Stanford will have some confidence headed into this week - she finished 16th at the LPGA Championship and was 28th at Rochester last week.
'The last two weeks have been good. I'm starting to get into that rhythm, that groove,' she said.
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