Romo withdraws from US Open qualifying

By Associated PressJune 7, 2010, 6:59 pm

2010 U.S. Open

THE WOODLANDS, Texas (AP)—Tony Romo failed in his bid to make the U.S. Open, so he’ll try to use the experience to help the Dallas Cowboys.

The star quarterback withdrew from a 36-hole sectional qualifier at The Club at Carlton Woods on Monday after it was delayed for the second time due to bad weather.

Romo was one of 36 players vying for two spots, and he shot a 1-under 71 in the first round to trail leader Casey Clendenon by only four shots.

He started his second round with a quadruple bogey and played three holes when air horns signaled the day’s second weather delay. Players were going to resume their unfinished second rounds on Tuesday, but Romo withdrew because the Cowboys return to practice then, and he said he is obligated to rejoin his team.

“It was fun, it was enjoyable and I made a good run at it,” Romo said. “It’s exciting to be competing, it’s fun to teach yourself lessons on the golf course about sports in general. I took away a few things that I’m going to use in football, so that’s a positive in that respect.”

Romo survived a four-man playoff May 20 to advance to the sectional qualifier, a rare feat for a professional athlete from another sport. But Romo said he’s fully committed to football and isn’t likely to ever take on golf as a second career.

“It’s hard for me to think about doing something else at a high, high level,” he said. “It’s fun to go out here on a day and compete and try and win on a day. But I don’t know if I could put in the time that would be needed to play or compete at that level, day in and day out. I don’t have any feeling or need to right now.”

The 30-year-old Romo took a triple bogey on the par-5 fourth after hooking his drive on the water-lined hole. He botched two pitch shots from deep rough along the edge of the pond, hit his approach into a greenside bunker and two-putted from about 20 feet for an 8.

Romo dropped his approach to the par-4 fifth hole about 10 feet away and sank the putt for his first birdie. A young fan said, “Nice birdie,” as Romo walked off the green and the quarterback answered, “I appreciate you.”

Air horns sounded off a few minutes later, and play was halted for two hours.

Romo changed into a red shirt and black shorts after the weather delay and played much better, making a birdie at the par-5 8th. He was proud of himself for bouncing back from the early disaster, one of the lessons he hopes to convey to his NFL teammates.

“On the football field, we’re going and all of a sudden, we have two drives that stall,” Romo said. “Everyone is saying, ‘What’s going on? Why haven’t we done anything?’ We’ll talk about it, we’ll learn from it, we’ll go out and execute on the next one. No matter what happened in the past, it’s about the next play and about going forward and I think that’s what I tried to do today, and I was very proud of fighting back.”

By the time he and playing partners Dustin Wigington and Thomas Hagler finished nine holes, the crowd around the group had swelled to about 100 people, many of them rabid Cowboys fans. A boy wearing a Romo jersey carried a football that he hoped Romo would sign after the round. Another follower had a Cowboys logo and star tattooed on his right calf.

Romo boarded a cart after nine holes and rode to the 10th tee. Troy Williams, 18, of The Woodlands, ran after the cart and got Romo to give him a signed golf glove.

Romo gave his fans something to cheer with birdie putts on Nos. 13 and 14. The quarterback pumped his fist after sinking both putts to move to 1-under par.

He parred his last four holes, missing a 10-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole.

“By not getting through, I didn’t do what I had hoped to do,” he said. “But it’s still a lesson to take certain things and use them mentally. The ability to overcome adversity is a great lesson. I really didn’t get emotionally down after I made a big number early. And to come up and post a score like that was very rewarding.”

The United States Golf Association said Romo would’ve become the fourth athlete from a professional team sport to qualify for the U.S. Open. He was trying to join a group that includes former San Francisco 49ers quarterback John Brodie (1959, ’81), former New York Yankees outfielder Sam Byrd (1938-41, 46-47, 1949-51) and former NHL player Bill Ezinicki (1947, ’52, ’56, ’60-61, 63-64, 67-68).

NFL kickers Ryan Longwell and Josh Scobee and former major-league pitcher John Smoltz failed to advance out of local qualifying this year, according to the USGA. Former NHL goalkeeper Grant Fuhr, retired tennis players Ivan Lendl and Michael Chang and former Miami tight end Brian Kinchen have also fallen short in qualifying in recent years.

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Goat visor propels Na to Colonial lead

By Will GrayMay 25, 2018, 1:29 am

Jason Dufner officially has some company in the headwear free agency wing of the PGA Tour.

Like Dufner, Kevin Na is now open to wear whatever he wants on his head at tournaments, as his visor sponsorship with Titleist ended earlier this month. He finished T-6 at the AT&T Byron Nelson in his second tournament as a free agent, and this week at the Fort Worth Invitational he's once again wearing a simple white visor with a picture of a goat.

"I bought it at The Players Championship for $22 with the 30 percent discount that they give the Tour players," Na told reporters. "It's very nice."

Perhaps a change in headwear was just what Na needed to jumpstart his game. Last week's result in Dallas was his first top-35 finish in his last six events dating back to February, and he built upon that momentum with an 8-under 62 to take a one-shot lead over Charley Hoffman after the first round at Colonial Country Club.

While many sports fans know the "GOAT" acronym to stand for "Greatest Of All Time," it's a definition that the veteran Na only learned about earlier this year.

"I do social media, but they kept calling Tiger the GOAT. I go, 'Man, why do they keep calling Tiger the GOAT? That's just mean,'" Na said. "Then I realized it meant greatest of all time. Thinking of getting it signed by Jack (Nicklaus) next week (at the Memorial)."

Marc Dull (Florida State Golf Association)

Golden: Dull rude, caddie 'inebriated' at Florida Mid-Am

By Ryan LavnerMay 25, 2018, 1:03 am

Jeff Golden has offered more detail on what transpired at the Florida Mid-Amateur Championship, writing in a long statement on Twitter that Marc Dull’s caddie was “inebriated” before he allegedly sucker-punched Golden in the face.

In a story first reported by GolfChannel.com, Charlotte County Police responded to a call May 13 after Golden claimed that he’d been assaulted by his opponent’s caddie in the parking lot of Coral Creek Club, where he was competing in the Mid-Am finals. Golden told police that the caddie, Brandon Hibbs, struck him because of a rules dispute earlier in the round. Hibbs denied any involvement, and police found no evidence of an attack.

Golden posted a 910-word statement on the alleged incident on his Twitter account on Thursday night. He said that he wanted to provide more detail because “others have posed some valid questions about the series of events that led to me withdrawing” from what was an all-square match with two holes to play.

Golden wrote that both Dull and Hibbs were rude and disruptive during the match, and that “alcohol appeared to be influencing [Hibbs’] behavior.”

Dull, who caddies at Streamsong Resort in Florida, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“I’ve never seen an opposing caddie engage in so much conversation with a competitor,” Golden wrote. “On the eighth hole I had become extremely frustrated when my opponent and caddie were talking and moving. I expressed my disappointment with their etiquette to the rules official in our group.”

On the ninth hole, Golden informed the official that he believed Hibbs had broken the rules by offering advice on his putt. Golden won the hole by concession to move 2 up at the turn, and Hibbs removed himself from the match and returned to the clubhouse.

Golden wrote that after the penalty, the match “turned even nastier, with more negative comments from my opponent on the 10th tee.” He added that he conceded Dull’s 15-foot birdie putt on No. 10 because he was “sick of the abuse from my opponent, and I wanted the match to resemble what you would expect of a FSGA final.”

Though there were no witnesses to the alleged attack and police found little evidence, save for “some redness on the inside of [Golden’s] lip,” Golden wrote that the inside of his mouth was bleeding, his face was “throbbing” and his hand was also injured from bracing his fall. X-rays and CT scans over the past week all came back negative, he said.

Golden reiterated that he was disappointed with the FSGA’s decision to accept his concession in the final match. He had recommended that they suspend the event and resume it “at a later time.”

“The FSGA has one job, and that’s to follow the Rules of Golf,” Golden wrote. “Unfortunately, there’s no rule for an inebriated ‘ex-caddie’ punching a player in a match-play rain delay with no witnesses.”

Asked last week about his organization’s alcohol policy during events, FSGA executive director Jim Demick said that excessive consumption is “highly discouraged, but it falls more broadly under the rules of etiquette and player behavior.”

Dull, 32, was back in the news Wednesday, after he and partner Chip Brooke reached the finals of the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship. They lost to high schoolers Cole Hammer and Garrett Barber, 4 and 3.

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D. Kang, M. Jutanugarn in four-way tie at Volvik

By Associated PressMay 25, 2018, 12:50 am

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Amy Olson crossed paths with her coach, Ron Stockton, on her walk to the 18th tee at the Volvik Championship.

''Make it another even $20,'' Stockton said.

The coach was already prepared to give his client $35 for making seven birdies - $5 each - and wanted to take her mind off the bogey she just had at 17.

Olson closed the first round with a 6-under 66, putting her into the lead she ended up sharing later Thursday with Moriya Jutanugarn , Caroline Masson and Danielle Kang.

Do small, cash incentives really help a professional golfer?

''Absolutely,'' said Olson, who graduated from North Dakota State with an accounting degree. ''He'll tell you I'm a little bit of a hustler there.''

Olson will have to keep making birdies - and petty cash - to hold her position at Travis Pointe Country Club.

Jessica Korda, Minjee Lee, Nasa Hataoka, Lindy Duncan, Morgan Pressel, Megan Khang and Jodi Ewart Shadoff were a stroke back at 67 and six others were to shots back.

Ariya Jutanugarn, the Kingsmill Championship winner last week in Virginia, opened with a 69.

The Jutanugarn sisters are Korda are among six players with a chance to become the LPGA Tour's first two-time winner this year.

Moriya Jutanugarn won for the first time in six years on the circuit last month in Los Angeles.

''What I feel is more relaxed now,'' she said. ''And, of course I like looking forward for my next one.''

Olson, meanwhile, is hoping to extend the LPGA Tour's streak of having a new winner in each of its 12 tournaments this year.


Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship


She knows how to win. It just has been a while since it has happened.

Olson set an NCAA record with 20 wins, breaking the mark set by LPGA Hall of Famer Juli Inkster, but has struggled to have much success since turning pro in 2013.

She has not finished best finish was a tie for seventh and that was four years ago. She was in contention to win the ANA Inspiration two months ago, but an even-par 72 dropped her into a tie for ninth place.

If the North Dakota player wins the Volvik Championship, she will earn a spot in the U.S. Open at Shoal Creek in Alabama. If Olson finishes second or lower in the 144-player field, she will enjoy an off week with her husband, Grant, who coaches linebackers at Indiana State.

''I'll make the best of it either way,'' she said.

Olson was at her best in the opening round on the front nine, closing it with four birdies in a six-hole stretch. Her ball rolled just enough to slowly drop in the cup for birdie on the par-3, 184-yard 13th. She had three birdies in five-hole stretch on the back, nearly making her second hole-in-one of the year at the par-3, 180-yard 16th. A short putt gave her a two-stroke lead, but it was cut to one after pulling and misreading a 6-foot putt to bogey the 17th.

Even if she doesn't hold on to win the tournament, Olson is on pace to have her best year on the LPGA Tour. She is No. 39 on the money list after finishing 97th, 119th, 81st and 80th in her first four years.

''Two years ago, I started working with Ron Stockton and whenever you make a change, it doesn't show up right away,'' Olson said. ''That first year was tough, but we've turned a corner and I've just found a lot of consistency in the last year. And, it's a lot of fun to go out there and play golf a little more stress free.''

Stockton helped her stay relaxed, walking along the ropes during her morning round.

''Maybe some people feel a little more pressure when their coach is there,'' she said. ''I'm like, 'Great. If he sees the mistake, he knows what can go wrong and we can go fix it.' So, I like having his eyes on me.''

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Club pro part of 6-way tie atop Sr. PGA

By Associated PressMay 25, 2018, 12:04 am

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - Nevada club professional Stuart Smith shot a 5-under 66 on Thursday for a share of the first-round lead in the Senior PGA Championship.

Smith closed his morning round with a double bogey on the par-4 18th, and Scott McCarron, Tim Petrovic, Wes Short Jr., Barry Lane and Peter Lonard matched the 66 in the afternoon.

One of 41 club pros in the field at Harbor Shores for the senior major, Smith is the director of golf at Somersett Country Club in Reno.


Full-field scores from the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship


McCarron won the Senior Players Championship last year for his first senior major.

Defending champion Bernhard Langer is skipping the event to attend son Jason's high school graduation, and Steve Stricker is playing the PGA Tour event in Texas.