The PGA Tour heads to Memphis for the FedEx St. Jude Classic this week. This is the last chance for players to fine-tune their games for Shinnecock Hills. Before we get to that, we have some U.S. Open qualifying to discuss.
U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying
More than 700 golfers played twelve U.S. Open Sectional events on Monday. This 36-hole dog fight proves to be one of the most dramatic days of the season. This year featured 12 events with a collective 71 spots available for the U.S. Open. Of the 71 qualifiers, 19 of them ended up being amateur entrants.
Here are some of the best stories to come out of Monday’s madness…
Timothy Wiseman (a) - Wiseman is going to be a senior on Ball State’s golf team this fall. On June 1st, he failed to get through an Indiana amateur qualifier that had 12 golfers playing for 8 spots. On June 4th, he qualified for the U.S. Open. Golf is fun.
Daly City Amateurs - Of the 5 qualifiers from the California sectional, 4 of them were amateurs. All four are current collegiate players: Chun An Yu (ASU), Shintaro Ban (UNLV), Franklin Huang (Stanford), and Rhett Rasmussen (BYU). Side note, “Daly City Amateurs” needs to be the title of a movie someday.
Garrett Rank (a) - A full time NHL referee, it might surprise you to find out that Garrett Rank is actually #78 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings. He was the 1 seed at the 2014 U.S. Pub Links Championship and was the runner-up in the 2012 U.S. Mid-Amateur.
Luis Gagne (a) - Remember the kid who got through local qualifying via a coin flip? Well he won the sectional qualifier at The Bear’s Club. Funny how that works.
Adam Scott - In danger of missing out on his first major championship in over 16 years, Scott made the cut on the number at the Columbus sectional.
Dylan Meyer - The U.S. Open will be the first professional event for the former Illinois star. Meyer was an All-American in 2017 and tied for 4th at the NCAA Championship in May.
Stewart Hagestad (a) - A fan favorite from the 2017 Masters, Hagestad qualified via the New Jersey sectional. Hagestad won the 2016 Mid-Am and played in both the Masters (T-36) and U.S. Open (MC) last season.
Sungjae Im - The current money leader on the Web.com Tour, Im, shot -9 at the Columbus qualifier to get through easily. He already has a win and two runner-ups on the Web this season.
Memphis 11 for 3 Playoff - As often happens, there was a large playoff at the Memphis sectional. 11 players teed off with hopes of capturing one of three qualifying spots. Eric Axley holed out from the fairway to capture one while Aaron Wise and Matt Jones both made birdies to capture the final two.
Onto the PGA Tour. This week’s event is the FedEx St. Jude Classic, held at TPC Southwind outside of Memphis. With temperatures in the mid 90s and moderate humidity expected, it is one of the more brutal events weather-wise. This year’s field is headlined by Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson, Daniel Berger and Henrik Stenson. Tee Times
Last year saw Daniel Berger capture his second straight title in Memphis, his only two PGA Tour victories. He shot a bogey-free 66 in the final round to beat Charl Schwartzel and Whee Kim by 1 shot. Braden Thornberry, fresh off his NCAA Championship victory, finished just two shots behind Berger in a tie for fourth place.
13 players in the field will head to New York next week for the U.S. Open. Adam Scott dropped out of the event after earning his spot via sectional qualifying. This still leaves the opportunity for Billy Horschel or James Hahn to qualify by winning in Memphis.
Only 5 players in the last forty years have won the same tournament three years in a row. Daniel Berger looks to become the sixth. That would mean that Berger would have three PGA Tour victories, all at the same course. He has come close in other events, most notably the 2017 Travelers Championship when he lost to Jordan Spieth in a playoff.
With a limited number of big names in the field this week, see who Paulie likes for DraftKings and one-and-done leagues. Full article.
The Yolk with Doak - Michigan Golf
The latest episode of the Yolk with Doak is up on iTunes, Stitcher and the website. Tom and Andy are joined by Renaissance Golf design associate Don Placek. They discuss their favorite courses in the state and the economics of golf courses.
The European Tour will debut the Shot Clock Masters this week. As you might expect, a shot clock will be in play on every shot.
The Web.com Tour heads to Chicago for the Rust-Oleum Championship. Tee Times
The volcano that erupted in Guatemala has engulfed a PGA Tour Latinoamerica venue. Story