A FRIEND ASKED ME last Friday at our local Lion’s Club tournament if I thought Tiger Woods would tee it up at Congressional. “I don’t know,” I said. “But I won’t be surprised if he doesn’t. Tiger isn’t right.”
I meant physically—the left knee and Achilles tendon. It’s one of multiple obstacles to regaining his form. A huge one. It seemed to me that Tiger would be smart to get healthy before playing more tournament golf, even if it meant missing the national championship.
Today Tiger announced at his website that he won’t play in this year’s U.S. Open.
“I am extremely disappointed that I won’t be playing in the U.S. Open. But it’s time for me to listen to my doctors and focus on the future. I was hopeful that I could play, but if I did, I risk further damage to my left leg. My knee and Achilles’ tendon are not fully healed.”
Tiger isn’t Superman anymore, if he ever was. He’s damaged goods. He can’t will his way around the golf course like he did at Torrey Pines in June 2008. This was the only sensible choice after the re-injury at the Masters and the forced 9-hole march at The Players Championship last month.
Tiger added that he hopes to play at his AT&T National Tournament, as well as the British Open and PGA Championship. The wait-and-see game continues.
U.S. Open Qualifying
Meanwhile, with Tiger out, a bunch of other players are in, such as the one noted in the headline—William Cauley. I picked Cauley’s name off the lengthy list of those who made it through Sectional Qualifying because he posted one of the lowest scores—132. And not just in Memphis, where he qualified, but anywhere.
Cauley tied for low man at Tunica National with 67-65 in a Sectional Qualifier that included many tour pros. One other thing stood out about Cauley: he’s an amateur.
Following are some notable (or known to me) names who are headed to Congressional.
Thomas Levet, France 66-71--137
Johan Edfors, Sweden 70-70--140
Sam Saunders, Orlando, Fla. 69-72--141
Kirk Triplett, Scottsdale, Ariz. 69-64--133
Fred Funk, Ponte Vedra, Fla. 67-68--135
Ty Tryon, Orlando, Fla. 71-64--135
Chez Reavie, Scottsdale, Ariz. 69-63--132
Brandt Jobe, Westlake, Texas 62-70--132
Robert Garrigus, Charleston, S.C. 67-66--133
Nicholas O'Hern, Australia 68-67--135
D.A. Points, Windermere, Fla. 68-68--136
John Senden, Flower Mound, Texas 68-68--136
Marc Turnesa, Jupiter, Fla. 69-67--136
Marc Leishman, Norfolk, Va. 68-68--136
Webb Simpson, Charlotte, N.C. 68-69--137
Tim Petrovic, Austin, Texas 69-68--137
William Cauley (a), Jacksonville, Fla. 67-65--132
Fredrik Jacobson, Hobe Sound, Fla. 67-67--134
Sergio Garcia, Spain 68-67--135
Brian Gay, Windermere, Fla. 68-67--135
Chad Campbell, Andrews, Texas 66-69--135
Briny Baird, Palm City, Fla. 68-67--135
Todd Hamilton, Cleveland, Ohio 67-68--135
Harrison Frazar, Dallas, Texas 72-64--136
Greg Chalmers, Colleyville, Texas 66-70--136
I was also going to list notable names that didn’t make it, but now I don’t have the desire or heart to do it.
I’ll be at Congressional next week, my first U.S. Open as a credentialed media member. I’m not sure how I’ll cover the action. But I’ll definitely show up and post my dispatches from the year’s second major. I’ve been looking forward to it for quite a while and can’t believe it’s almost here. If you have any comments or suggestions, feel free to email me at email@example.com.
−The Armchair Golfer
(Photo credit: Keith Allison, Flickr, Creative Commons license)