MONDAY, JUNE 5, 2017
by Gary Van Sickle

The circle feels complete.

Eighteen years ago, Payne Stewart cupped Phil Mickelson’s face on Pinehurst’s 18th green after holing the putt to win the 1999 U.S. Open and consoled him by saying, “You’re going to love being a father!”

Mickelson’s wife, Amy, was on the verge of going into labor with their first child, and Mickelson had promised to walk off the course and catch a flight home, even during a Monday playoff, if his pager sounded.

 


by Adam Schupak

Dustin Johnson still remembers the one time he qualified for the U.S. Open through 36-hole sectional qualifying. The year was 2008 and Johnson, a PGA Tour rookie, was part of an 11-for-7 playoff in Columbus, Ohio, as darkness set in. 

"I think I had about a 12-footer and I made it, thank God, because then I didn't have to come back the next day," he said.

Anyone who thinks the qualifying process is a hopeless quest should talk to Steve Jones, who survived his own playoff in the Columbus sectional en route to winning the title in 1996.

 



by Steve Elling

Texas native Kelly Kraft played college golf in the decidedly urban atmosphere of Big D, five miles from downtown at Southern Methodist.

Not surprisingly, his first trip to next week’s isolated U.S. Open venue nearly required a pith helmet, Sherpa and guide rope.

Erin Hills might not be situated in the middle of nowhere, but it’s in the same ZIP code. More like the edge of nowhere, really.

 


by Bill Fields

Charitable endeavors underpin much of professional golf, bringing real benefits to real people far away from the gallery ropes. It can knock the cynical out of you to realize the good that goes on, not only as a result of tour events but through the efforts of individual pros such as Val Skinner who devote themselves to their cause the way they did competition.

Skinner compiled a solid LPGA career, winning six tournaments in a 10-year span (1985-1995), but what she has done off the course dwarfs her playing record. 

 


A little positivity from Purkey, please

I'm a big fan of Morning Read, but lately everything coming from Mike Purkey has been negative and preachy, from his horrendous article on Tiger Woods’ travails (“Woods needs help, and his life might depend on it,” May 31, http://bit.ly/2rFStwz) to chastising Tour players for skipping Colonial ("Tour players fail history by skipping Colonial," May 23, http://bit.ly/2rRDpYZ).

With so much to appreciate in today's professional-golf ranks, how about mandating a positive spin from Mr. Purkey? "His life might depend on it."

Charles Bolling
Glen Cove, N.Y.

 


1

Number of career victories on the European Tour for Renato Paratore, who won the Nordea Masters on Sunday. The 20-year-old Italian shot a final-round 3-under 70 for an 11-under 281 total, edging Englishmen Matthew Fitzpatrick and Chris Wood by one stroke, at Barseback Golf and Country Club in Malmo, Sweden.

 


In the news

Ended: Lydia Ko’s reign at No. 1 in the Rolex Rankings, after 84 consecutive weeks. Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn became No. 1 today without hitting a shot in competition during the past week. South Korea’s So-Yeon Ryu could have moved to No. 1, but she missed the cut in the ShopRite LPGA Classic.

Announced: As honorees for the 2018 Memorial Tournament, three-time U.S. Open winner Hale Irwin, plus posthumous recognition for two-time major champion Jock Hutchison and Willie Turnesa, a top amateur.

Named: As winners of the Jack Nicklaus Award, Sam Burns (LSU), Chandler Blanchet (West Florida), Logan Lanier (LaGrange), S.M. Lee (Dalton State) and Marco Maldonado (Tyler Junior College), as the top players in NCAA divisions I, II, III, NAIA and NJCAA, respectively.



FROM THE INDUSTRY

Bridgestone Golf congratulated the Oklahoma and Vanderbilt men’s teams for their recent performances at the NCAA Division I Championship. Bridgestone Golf provides custom golf balls to each program. Oklahoma won the NCAA title, and Vanderbilt advanced to the semifinals after having finished the season ranked No. 1. 

 


CALENDAR
June 5
U.S. Open sectional qualifying
(10 sites)
June 6
Industry: Women’s Golf Day
various golf facilities worldwide
June 7-10
Men’s amateur: Monroe Invitational
Monroe GC, Pittsford, N.Y.
June 8-11
European Tour: Lyoness Open
Diamond CC, Atzenbrugg, Austria
LPGA: Manulife LPGA Classic
Whistle Bear GC, Cambridge, Ontario
Men’s amateur: Palmer Cup
Atlanta Athletic Club, Johns Creek, Ga.
PGA Tour: FedEx St. Jude Classic
TPC Southwind, Memphis, Tenn.
Web.com Tour: Rust-Oleum Championship
Ivanhoe (Ill.) Club
June 9-11
Symetra Tour: Four Winds Invitational
Blackthorn GC, South Bend, Ind.
Champions Tour: Principal Charity Classic
Wakonda Club, Des Moines, Iowa
June 14-17
Men’s amateur: Sunnehanna Amateur
Sunnehanna CC, Johnstown, Pa.
June 15-18
LPGA: Meijer LPGA Classic
Blythefield CC, Belmont, Mich.
Web.com Tour: Air Capital Classic
Crestview CC, Wichita, Kan.
PGA Tour: U.S. Open
Erin Hills, Erin, Wis.
June 16-18
Symetra Tour: Decatur-Forsyth Classic
Hickory Point GC, Decatur, Ill.
June 18-22
Junior: Western Junior
Park Ridge (Ill.) CC
June 19-24
Men’s amateur: British Amateur
Royal St. George’s GC, Sandwich, England
June 20-21
Junior: Pepsi Little People’s Tournament
Westview GC and Knights of Columbus Par 3, Quincy, Ill.
June 21-24
Men’s amateur: Northeast Amateur
Wannamoisett CC, Rumford, R.I.

      
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