Two tales of sponsor exemptions


SAN DIEGO (AP)—David Duval went from the sixth alternate at Torrey Pines toreceiving a sponsor’s exemption to withdrawing from this week’s FarmersInsurance Open, all within a span of about 24 hours.

Missing from this strange sequence of events is that Duval had already beenrejected once. When the exemption was awarded to him on Monday night, his WestCoast schedule already was set.

“It was entirely unplanned,” Duval said on Tuesday from his home inDenver. “I had written for an exemption and was turned down, and other thingsfell into place.”

The former British Open champion ran out of status last year when he failedto finish in the top 125 on the money list and didn’t earn a card from Q-school.He is having to rely on sponsor exemptions and his status as a past champion,and he’s having relatively good success.

Just not in San Diego.

The U.S. PGA Tour players who initially received exemptions to Torrey Pineswere John Daly , Rocco Mediate and Billy Mayfair . The tournament had two extraexemptions to award on Monday, and gave them to Duval and Tom Pernice Jr.

Duval missed the cut on Sunday at the Bob Hope Classic, flew home with hisfamily and then learned a spot was waiting for him in San Diego. Trouble was, healready had accepted exemptions to Los Angeles and Pebble Beach, and he’s in thetournament in Mexico. To play in San Diego would have meant five straight weeks.

“That’s not conducive to your golf game, mental game, anything,” Duvalsaid. “I feel bad about it, but I already had been turned down once and I hadto build my schedule around that.”

CHARITY BOOST: In a tough year for charity, Billy Andrade and Brad Faxon hada record year in New England.

The Andrade-Faxon Charities for Children distributed more than $321,135 to52 organizations that serve at-risk children in Rhode Island and southeasternMassachusetts.

Money comes from their CVS Charity Classic in the summer and from individualcontributions. They have awarded more than $4 million since they created thecharity in 1994.

“These grants will help meet the basic needs of our community’s children,”Faxon said. “We try to lessen the burden of hunger and illness so kids can bekids.”

VETERANS: Bobby Mitchell, a two-time winner on the U.S. PGA Tour, onceshowed up at Quail Hollow as a 60-year-old who was the 61st alternate. Becauseso many alternates didn’t show up, he was next in line when the final group teedoff.

That wouldn’t happen under a new policy in the PGA Tour regulations thisyear.

To be eligible as an alternate as a past champion or a veteran (making 150cuts in a career), a player must have signed up for Q-school in at least one ofthe previous two years, made a cut on the U.S. PGA Tour or Nationwide Tour inthe previous two calendar years, or played in five or more tournaments on eithertour the previous year.

The change should help Lance Ten Broeck , the caddie for Jesper Parnevik whoplayed in the Texas Open last year under such circumstances. He gets credit forplaying the Texas Open in 2009. Plus, he played the Reno-Tahoe Open and aChampions Tour event in Minnesota in 2008.

DIVOTS: The U.S. PGA Tour’s final tally for charity in 2009 was $108million, with the Valero Texas Open the top tournament at $8 million. … PaulLawrie signed an equipment deal with Wilson Golf. Lawrie last played Wilson whenhe won the British Open at Carnoustie in 1999. … Four weeks into the U.S. PGATour season, Pat Perez is the only player to enter every event this year.

STAT: Tim Clark of South Africa has more runner-up finishes (eight) than anyother active player without a U.S. PGA Tour victory. Next on the list is BrettQuigley with five.