by Ron Kroichick

R.J. Harper was the classy, upbeat gatekeeper at America’s most storied course. You cannot convey the spirit and emotion of golf in this country without Pebble Beach, and you cannot convey the spirit and emotion of Pebble Beach without R.J. Harper.

Harper died Nov. 8 of pancreatic cancer, at age 61. His passing was not unexpected, given his 14-month tussle with this ruthless disease. Even so, the news was jarring, a tad surreal and overwhelmingly sad. 



Number of 2018 Open Qualifying Series tournaments to be played in the coming months, beginning with this week’s Emirates Australian Open, a PGA Tour of Australasia Tour event at The Australian Golf Club in Sydney. The top three players among the top 10 who are not already exempt will qualify for the British Open at Carnoustie (Scotland) Golf Links. In all, 46 spots into the British Open will be available in the series that spans the PGA, European, Australasia, Asian, Japan, Korean and Sunshine tours.


Exempted: Into the Web.com Tour’s 2018 Nashville Golf Open, country singer Jake Owen, who will maintain his amateur status. Owen, 36, who lives in Nashville, Tenn., and reportedly carries a 3 handicap, is the second celebrity in recent months to be granted an unrestricted sponsor exemption to an event on the developmental tour. NBA star Stephen Curry played in the Ellie Mae Open in August, missing the cut with rounds of 74-74 (“Curry gives golf an edge this week,” Aug. 3, http://bit.ly/2vxgqYQ). Football’s Jerry Rice and baseball’s John Smoltz also have played on the developmental tour on exemptions. The Nashville Open will be May 24-27 at Nashville Golf & Athletic Club.


It’s your honor

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The 2018 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, which will be played at Kemper Lakes Golf Club in Kildeer, Ill., is encouraging young golf enthusiasts ages 14-21 in the Chicago area to volunteer for the tournament. The event will be played June 28-July 1. Information is available at www.KPMGWomensPGA.com.


Whirlwind Golf Club at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler, Ariz., will host the Web.com Tour Qualifying Tournament finals next month. The four-day, 72-hole stroke-play event will be held Dec. 7-10 to determine the 138 golfers’ status for the 2018 season.


In celebration of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, TecTecTec is offering 20 percent off of its golf laser rangefinders through Nov. 27. Along with the discount, TecTecTec will use its customary free shipping, provide a two-year warranty and a 30-day full-refund guarantee, available at www.us.tectectec.com.


November 20-23
Juniors: AJGA Rolex Tournament of Champions
PGA National Resort (Champion and Fazio), Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
November 23-26
European Tour: UBS Hong Kong Open
Hong Kong GC, Fanling, Hong Kong
November 28 - December 1
Champions Tour: Qualifying Tournament Final Stage
TPC Scottsdale (Champions), Scottsdale, Ariz.
November 29 - December 3
LPGA: Qualifying Tournament Final Stage
LPGA International, Daytona Beach, Fla.
November 30 - December 3
European Tour: Australian PGA Championship
RACV Royal Pines Resort, Gold Coast, Australia
European Tour: AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open
Heritage GC, Domaine de Bel Ombre, Mauritius
PGA Tour: Hero World Challenge (unofficial event)
Albany Golf Club, New Providence, Bahamas

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