Gulbis Dis-Harmon-y Wie Going to Prom


Someones gonna have to change, Butch Harmon was saying. Either him or me.
Whoa! Dissension already in the early days of the Harmon-Phil Mickelson honeymoon?
Actually, renowned golf instructor Harmon was talking about comments attributed recently to John Gulbis, whose daughter Natalie is one of Harmons prize pupils.
The elder Gulbis was dissatisfied with his daughters recent play and was quoted as saying that at least part of the blame should be shouldered by Harmon.
Harmon has since spoken to Natalie Gulbis about the remarks. And, he told me, his status as her instructor has not changed. Harmon added that he and John Gulbis are overdue for a sit-down conversation to attempt to thaw the frost between the two men.
Michelle Wies next big event is next week in Hawaii. It will not, however, be a tournament. Wie, who has been sidelined from competitive golf much of this year with a wrist injury, will be attending her high school senior prom at the Punahou School.
Wie hopes to return to tournament golf late next month at the Ginn Tribute Hosted by Annika. But she is still awaiting clearance from her doctors. If she does play in that event, she will miss her high school graduation.
Wednesday was the application deadline for U.S. Open Local Qualifying. Wies people confirmed that she did not enter. But the USGA said that Hawaiian teen sensation Tadd Fujikawa has entered the local at Turtle Bay. Last year, Fujikawa earned the lone spot from the Hawaii sectional into the U.S. Open at Winged Foot.
Hawaiian golf officials, meanwhile, are increasingly disappointed that the USGA stripped its state this year of its lone sectional qualifying spot. All of that states local qualifiers now must travel to the mainland, at no small personal expense, for a sectional.
Predictably, the number of local entrants in Hawaii is down dramatically. Wed like to remind the USGA that were still a part of the United States, one official told me. For its part, the USGA has said it will review the decision and could reinstate Hawaiis sectional for 2008.
The buzz over the difficulty of Oakmont, the site of this years U.S. Open, continues to grow. Tiger Woods reportedly needed a full 3-wood to get to the green last weekend in a practice round at Oakmonts 288-yard, par-3 eighth hole.
USGA course set-up guy Mike Davis told me he thinks Oakmonts 231-yard 16th will actually play the toughest of the par-3s there. Davis also said he didnt expect to hear the fair word, prevalent at last years U.S. Open at Winged Foot, from the worlds best players when they arrive.
But those complaints wont be because of the set-up, Davis said, they will be because of the architecture.
Earlier this month USGA Executive Director David Fay was quoted in the Wall Street Journal as saying, Oakmont was the big, bad wolf of American golf courses when it opened in 1904 and it remains the big, bad wolf 103 years later.
Sources at The TOUR confirmed today they have scheduled the dedication for the new 70,000 square foot, $32 million clubhouse at the TPC Sawgrass for the Tuesday before next months PLAYERS Championship.
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