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Notes Quigley Less Than Perfect

2006 The TOUR Championship presented by Coca-ColaATLANTA -- The amateurs playing with Brett Quigley in the pro-am at the TOUR Championship must have wondered how he got into the elite field. And imagine how they felt to see him only three shots out of the lead going into the weekend.
Quigley said he hit only three greens in regulation during the Wednesday pro-am, but that was by design.
The 37-year-old from Rhode Island sometimes gets caught trying to be too perfect on the golf course, dialing in the exact yardage and concentrating more on his swing than simply playing golf.
So in the pro-am, he tried to miss every green to work on his scrambling.
'I wanted to work on my short game so I wouldn't be worried about anything,' Quigley said. 'A lot of times out here, you hit eight great shots and miss the green on the ninth hole and you're twisted. For me, it's been relaxing and I've been letting my short game shine.'
Then he paused and thought about his audience.
'My pro-am guys probably think I'm terrible,' Quigley said.
It sure paid off in the second round. Quigley saved par all seven times he missed the green on his way to a bogey-free 68, making him the only player to get around East Lake this week without a bogey.
He has another trick he heard sports psychologist Bob Rotella tell Brad Faxon -- purposely hitting the wrong club to learn how to manufacture shots.
'We get so caught up trying to be precise,' Quigley said.
He tried it at Disney in the second round, telling his caddie that whatever club he should be hitting, Quigley would have to choose another. If the shot called for an 8-iron, Quigley either hit an easy 7-iron or a hard 9-iron.
'My caddie wasn't comfortable with it, but I said, 'I need to do it to get back to playing golf and hitting shots.' And I shot 4 under and made the cut,' Quigley said. 'You don't have to be perfect.'
That's one of the problems he sees among young golfers today who are caught up in a perfect swing. His uncle is Dana Quigley, who lives to play golf and has made a killing on the Champions Tour.
'Even if you're playing a family match, you still have to hit a shot on the 18th,' Quigley said. 'It doesn't matter if it's the TOUR Championship, the U.S. Open or a family grudge match. You still have to hit shots. I'm just a slow learner.'
Dean Wilson is among six players from the top 40 on the PGA TOUR money list who will be playing the Masters for the first time, but it won't be the first trip for him, or the first time to see the course.
Wilson and Mike Weir were teammates at BYU and remain close friends. So after the Canadian won the Masters in 2003, he took Wilson and Craig Barlow to Augusta National in late March the following year.
Wilson shot a 1-under 71 and was motivated to get there on his own.
'When you play college golf with a friend who has won there, it motivates you to get better so you can play yourself,' Wilson said.
He did it by winning the International and tying for second in the Texas Open, leading to his best year on the PGA TOUR, and a trip to Augusta National in April without an escort.
Luke Donald has had some surprising success at Buick Invitational considering he has moderate length off the tee and Torrey Pines is one of the longest tracks on the PGA TOUR.
He was a runner-up in 2004 and 2005, and tied for 24th this year, only six shots behind in a crammed leaderboard. But due to a combination of his success and the constricted schedule on the PGA TOUR next year with the FedExCup, the English star says he'll have to miss next year.
'I have played well at Torrey Pines, but I feel as though I need a break,' Donald said.
His season is gearing up this time of the year. Donald will go from Atlanta to Shanghai for the HSBC Champions, then to Barbados for the World Cup and then the Target World Challenge in California to defend his title.
After a two-week break, he opens the year with back-to-back tournaments in Hawaii.
For a chance to play the toughest links in the world, players first have to take on the Monster.
The Royal & Ancient on Friday said that Oakland Hills, which Ben Hogan referred to as a 'monster' when he won the U.S. Open in 1953, would be used as a 36-hole qualifier for the British Open next year.
The Open will he held at Carnoustie, reputed to be the toughest links test of them all.
The R&A used Congressional last year, but the qualifier was washed out because of heavy rains. Qualifying will be July 2 at Oakland Hills, the Monday after the Buick Open, about 45 minutes away.
The other British Open qualifiers held around the world -- known as International Final Qualifying -- will be held Jan. 16-17 at Royal Johannesburg & Kensington in South Africa; Feb. 6 at The Lakes in Sydney, Australia; March 27-28 in Singapore; and July 2 at Sunningdale outside London.
The R&A said four spots in the British Open would be awarded in South Africa, Australia and Singapore, with 12 spots each from Sunningdale and Oakland Hills. Those numbers are subject to change.
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