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Sleeping Under the Sun

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The crowds at the Phoenix Open are notorious. Notorious in numbers. Notorious in noise. They'll come to see Tiger. To see David. To see Freddy. To see Sergio. To see Jeff.
 
Jeff? Yes Jeff, as in Quinney. Jeff Quinney, Mark Hensby and Brett Upper will tee off at 9:20am local time. It's certainly not the event's marquee threesome, but several people will be trailing the trio shot for shot.

Quinney is a Senior at Arizona State; that in itself is enough to draw a small following. But more importantly, Quinney is the reigning U.S. Amateur champion.
 
In August of 2000, Quinney rolled in a 30-foot birdie putt on the 39th hole to defeat James Driscoll of Brookline, Mass., in a dramatic Monday-morning finish to the 100th U.S. Amateur Championship at Baltusrol Golf Club.
 
Quinney and Driscoll battled for 38 holes on Sunday, before darkness forced the suspension of play. Both men were subjected to a fitful night's sleep. Quinney's slumber, however, proved to be more restless than that of his counterpart. And who could blame him. The Eugene, Ore., native blew a 3-up lead with three holes to play in regulation.
 
Quinney barely slept a wink that night, thinking about what he might have lost - a trip to the Masters, a trip to the U.S. Open and a trip to the British Open. Not to mention the prestige that is becoming a U.S. Amateur champion.
 
But all was not lost. In fact, all was gained just two shots into his Monday play. Quinney hit a four-iron to the center of the green at the par-3 3rd, and then calmly rolled in the clinching putt.
 
Tee times at Augusta, Southern Hills and Royal Lytham await. And with the caliber of field present at the TPC of Scottsdale, Quinney might feel as if he is playing in four major championships this year.
 
Quinney has modest goals this week. He just wants to make the cut, which he failed to do in his first PGA Tour event at the 2000 Southern Farm Bureau Classic.
 
If you see Jeff Quinney this week, you may notice a few bags under his eyes. He may still be having problems sleeping. But this time it's not the frustration of possible failure that's keeping him awake. It's the eager anticipation of what's to come.