But a rainy week at Kingwood Golf Club outside Houston never relented, and Gilliam never hit another shot. Because the field did not finish the third round, the scores were wiped out and the second stage reverted to a 36-hole qualifier.
Gilliam wound up missing by one shot.
Its a sad situation for those of us a shot out of it, Gilliam said Tuesday.
Erik Compton, Roger Tambellini and Bryce Molder were among those in the same predicament'not knowing whether they could have rallied over the final 36 holes that were not played.
The other five sites at the second stage all played 72 holes.
Obviously, the intention is to play 72 holes, PGA Tour spokesman Dave Lancer said. The regulations say 36 holes is acceptable if thats what it comes down to.
The PGA Tour had no choice. It rained so much in Houston last week that the course was reduced to a par 68 because four holes were under water. Gilliam said the tees on four holes had so much water that the tees were moved up to about 180 yard short of the green and played as a par 3.
The qualifier was supposed to be Wednesday through Saturday, but rain washed out the opening round and made it impossible to play Saturday and Sunday.
Gilliam and other hard-luck cases now have no place to play. The former Florida Gator said he likely would play the Hooters Tour and try to Monday qualify on the Nationwide and PGA Tour.
He also is looking at a team competition in May near Las Vegas called Big Stakes, in which two-man teams put up $100,000 for a chance to win $3 million.
I met someone in Texas who might be willing to sponsor us, Gilliam said. That was about the only good thing that came out of that trip.
The Father-Son Challenge is for major champions and their sons, although tournament organizers were more than willing to bend the rules for Lee Janzen.
He will be playing the tournament with the 15-year-old son of Payne Stewart.
It struck me that Aaron would be playing with his dad if Payne were still alive, Janzen said. I thought he was missing out on something special. So I called my manager about playing with Aaron.
Stewart, a three-time major champion, died Oct. 25, 1999, when his plane flew uncontrolled across the country before crashing in a South Dakota field.
Janzen and Stewart were close friends, and Stewart was the runner-up both times Janzen won the U.S. Open.
The Father-Son Challenge will be played Dec. 2-5 at ChampionsGate in Orlando.
Fresh off his first victory of the season at the Taiheiyo Masters in Japan, Darren Clarke is shutting it down the rest of the year because of his wifes health.
Clarke pulled out of the Nelson Mandela Invitational this week in South Africa and the Nedbank Challenge next week in Sun City, where the winner gets $2 million. He is not expected to play again until next year.
The nature of his wifes illness was not disclosed.
Much as I am disappointed in having to withdraw from my obligations, I hope that everybody understands that it is vital I am with my wife and family at this time, Clarke said. Heather has been having problems, and we are determined to get to the bottom of them as quickly as possible.
Frank Lickliter and Cameron Beckman arent just going to South Korea for a chance to win $1 million this week. They will be hosting a clinic for U.S. troops at the Korea Golf Championship. The $3.5 million tournament starts Thursday. ... The Wendys Championship in Ohio that ends Aug. 28 will be the final tournament for LPGA players to earn Solheim Cup points. The team previously had been decided at the State Farm Classic. ... Fred Ridley was nominated for a second one-year term as USGA president.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Tiger Woods hit more greens in regulation than anyone else at the Dunlop Phoenix, the first time he has led the field in that category since the 2003 Funai Classic at Disney.
Im more worried about the speech. I dont think I can ramble on for 20 minutes.'Karrie Webb on her induction next year into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
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