Clubs lost, Gardiner using makeshift bag for qualifying


COLUMBUS, Ohio – Scott Gardiner arrived in Ohio Sunday night, ready to take aim at earning a U.S. Open berth in today’s 36-hole sectional qualifier. Unfortunately for the Australian, his clubs did not.

Gardiner, who has made four cuts in 15 starts this year on the PGA Tour, showed up at The Lakes Golf & Country Club early Monday morning without equipment, as his clubs were lost on his flight the previous night. Faced with few options, the Tour rookie worked quickly with club employees to assemble a makeshift set of clubs in advance of his 8:10 a.m. starting time.

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Normally supplied with TaylorMade equipment, Gardiner’s bag Monday looked more like the clearance rack at a sporting goods store: an Adams driver and hybrid, Callaway fairway wood, Nike irons, Titleist wedges and a Ping putter. The iron set belongs to a staff member at the club, while the woods and putter belong to an assistant pro. The wedges, in fact, were replacements for replacements: the staffer who supplied his irons offered his wedges as well, but Gardiner was unable to use them as the grooves do not conform to USGA specifications.

Hoping to play his way into the U.S. Open for the first time in his career, Gardiner also had to raid the pro shop for apparel and supplies. The Aussie purchased a shirt and pair of shorts, as well as a new pair of Ecco shoes and a glove. He’ll play his first 18 holes with Titleist balls borrowed from the club’s assistant pro, which are emblazoned with “SNAP” as the employee in question reportedly has a penchant for moving his ball from right to left.

Per the USGA, should Gardiner’s clubs arrive from the airport before his afternoon tee time, he will be allowed to switch out equipment for his second round, which is scheduled to begin at 2:10 p.m. at the nearby Brookside Golf & Country Club.