Friday, May 1

USGA: 9,860 Will Attempt to Qualify for U.S. Open

Following are major portions of yesterday's USGA announcement.

By USGA

FAR HILLS, N.J. – The United States Golf Association (USGA) has accepted a total of 9,882 entries for the 2015 U.S. Open Championship at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash.

The number of entries is second to the 10,127 accepted for last year's U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club’s Course No. 2, and is 22 more than the 9,860 accepted for the 2013 championship at Merion Golf Club, in Ardmore, Pa. Among this year’s total are 49 players, including 11 past champions, who are currently fully exempt into the field (see list below).

"We are thrilled with the interest demonstrated by the 9,882 entries, the most we have ever accepted for a U.S. Open held on the West Coast," said Diana Murphy, USGA vice president and chairman of the Championship Committee. "That Chambers Bay, a public course which has never held an Open, could have this kind of impact proves that our national championship knows no state, regional or national bounds. We look forward to local and sectional qualifying and to conducting the 115th U.S. Open on June 18-21."

To be eligible, a player must have a Handicap Index® not exceeding 1.4, or be a professional. Local qualifying, which will be played over 18 holes at 111 sites in the United States, will take place between May 4-21.

Sectional qualifying, played over 36 holes, will be conducted on Monday, May 25, at two international sites (Japan and England) and on Monday, June 8, at 10 sites in the United States, ranging from New York to California. This will be the 11th year with two international qualifiers, which were established in 2005.

The USGA accepted entries for the 115th U.S. Open from golfers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and 63 foreign countries.

For the fifth consecutive year, only online entries were accepted. The USGA received 535 entries on the last day applications were accepted (April 29), including 97 applications in the final hour. Josh Williamowsky, a 30-year-old amateur from Bethesda, Md., submitted his entry just 21 seconds before the deadline of 5 p.m. EDT. Darren Ernst, a 42-year-old amateur from Trabuco Canyon, Calif., was the first entrant when entries opened on March 4.

The number of fully exempt players will increase with the inclusion of the top 60 point leaders and ties from the Official World Golf Ranking®, as ofMay 25 and June 15. The winners of The Players Championship (May 7-10) and European Tour BMW PGA Championship (May 21-24) will also earn exemptions.

The list of the 49 golfers who are fully exempt into the 2015 U.S. Open (as of April 29):

Keegan BradleyMartin Kaymera-Oliver Schniederjans
Angel CabreraChris KirkCharl Schwartzel
Darren ClarkeBrooks KoepkaAdam Scott
Erik ComptonMatt KucharJohn Senden
Jason DayHunter MahanWebb Simpson
Jason DufnerHideki MatsuyamaBrandt Snedeker
Ernie ElsGraeme McDowellJordan Spieth
Rickie FowlerRory McIlroyHenrik Stenson
Jim FurykPhil MickelsonBrendon Todd
Sergio GarciaColin MontgomerieCameron Tringale
Lucas GloverKevin NaJimmy Walker
Bill Haasa-Bradley NeilBubba Watson
Russell HenleyGeoff OgilvyGary Woodland
Morgan HoffmannLouis OosthuizenTiger Woods
Billy HorschelRyan Palmera-Gunn Yang
Dustin JohnsonPatrick Reed
Zach JohnsonJustin Rose
Bold – U.S. Open champion      a-amateur

Thursday, April 30

Calvin Peete: Remarkable Overachiever

CALVIN PEETE, A BLACK MAN with a crooked left arm, hit the golf ball straighter than any PGA Tour player of his generation. Peete died on Wednesday in Atlanta. He was 71.

The son of a vegetable picker, Peete didn't try golf until he was 23. He didn't turn professional until the age of 32.

Three days shy of his 36th birthday, Peete won the 1979 Greater Milwaukee Open by five strokes. He went on to 11 more PGA Tour victories, including four titles in the 1982 season.

Peete was the second African American to play in the Masters. He played on the 1983 and 1985 U.S. Ryder Cup teams. (Peete passed a high-school equivalency test in order to represent his country. A high school diploma or equivalent was required.) In 1984 he won the Vardon Trophy, awarded to the PGA Tour player with the lowest stroke average.

When they play the Players Championship next week, it will mark the 30th anniversary of Peete's greatest win. He shot a 66 in the final round at TPC Sawgrass and set a tournament record (14 under).

And, of course, this: Peete led the PGA Tour in driving accuracy for 10 consecutive years.

"I get my accuracy from my tempo and rhythm," Peete told the New York Times during his playing days. "I never really worked for it. It is just something that happened. I just seem to have a good tempo and good control as far as knowing just when to release the club."

On Wednesday Jack Nicklaus called Calvin Peete "a remarkable golfer" who "overcame a lot of adversity, including a physical limitation, to become a very, very good golfer."

"Over the years, we played a lot of golf together," Jack added, "and I was amazed at what he could get out of his game."

It was also amazing what Peete could get out of a life filled with so many disadvantages.

Read the New York Times obituary by Bruce Weber

Wednesday, April 29

Golf on TV: WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship, Volunteers of America North Texas Shootout, Insperity Invitational

The following edited content was supplied by Golf Channel in a news release.

PGA TOUR

WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship
Dates: April 29-May 3
Venue: TPC Harding Park, San Francisco, Calif.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Wednesday     4-10 p.m. (Live) / 11 p.m.-5 a.m. (Replay)    
Thursday         4-10 p.m. (Live) / 11 p.m.-4 a.m. (Replay)
Friday              5-10 p.m. (Live) / 11 p.m.-3 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday          3-7:30 p.m. (Live) / 12:30-4 a.m. (Sunday replay)
Sunday            9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live) / 10 p.m.-2 a.m. (Replay)

Tournament Airtimes on NBC (Eastern):
Saturday          7:30-11 p.m. (Live)
Sunday            2-6 p.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes

New format: This is the first time that the event will feature the 64 players being divided into 16 four-player groups who will compete in a round-robin format over the first three days, guaranteeing each player a minimum of three matches,Wednesday-Friday. At the conclusion of Friday’s matches, the player in each group with the best win-loss record will advance to single elimination match play with the Round of 16 and quarterfinals scheduled for Saturday, and the semifinals and championship match on Sunday.

Day defends: Jason Day beat Victor Dubuisson in 23 holes for his second PGA Tour victory.

Headlining the field: Tournament Field / Groupings

* * *

LPGA TOUR

Volunteers of America North Texas Shootout
Dates: April 30-May 3
Venue: Las Colinas Country Club, Irving , Texas

Tournament Airtimes On Golf Channel (Eastern):          
Thursday         10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live) / 4-6 a.m. (Friday replay)
Friday              10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Live) / 5-7 a.m. (Saturday replay)
Saturday          1-3 p.m. (Live) / 3-4 p.m. (Live, airing exclusively on Golf Live Extra)
Sunday            2-5 p.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes

Tournament format: The format this week will feature two separate cuts: the first cut will feature the low 70 players (and ties) following 36 holes, and the second cut will include the low 50 players (and ties) following 54 holes.

Lewis defends: Stacy Lewis finished six strokes clear of the field for her ninth career LPGA Tour win.

Headlining the field: Lydia Ko, Inbee Park, Stacy Lewis, Hyo Joo Kim, So Yeon Ryu, Michelle Wie, Amy Yang, Lexi Thompson, Brooke Henderson, Cristie Kerr, Anna Nordqvist and Karrie Webb.

* * *

CHAMPIONS TOUR

Insperity Invitational
Dates: May 1-3
Venue: The Woodlands Country Club (Tournament Course), The Woodlands, Texas

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):           
Friday              2:30-4:30 p.m. (Live) / 3-5 a.m. (Saturday replay)
Saturday         7:30-9:30 p.m. (Tape delay) / 5-7 p.m. (Live streaming on Golf Live Extra)
Sunday            5-7 p.m. (Live) / 4-6 a.m. (Monday replay)

Broadcast Notes

Langer defends: Bernhard Langer won by one shot over Fred Couples for his 20th career Champions Tour victory.

Headlining the field: Bernhard Langer, Fred Couples, Colin Montgomerie, Jesper Parnevik, Kenny Perry, Corey Pavin, Tom Lehman, Kirk Triplett, Nick Price and Mark O’Meara.

Tuesday, April 28

Reading Greens: Books on Golf

By John Coyne

Copyright © John Coyne. All rights reserved. Used with permission.


WHY HAS THE TOPIC OF GOLF produced such a deep shelf of great books?

As someone who writes and reads golf books, I became curious why the game was so popular as literature. Yes, we all check scores of tournaments, online and in the sports pages, but we also turn to bookshelves and take down a golf novel or history of the game to read at night or on winter afternoons when there is no tournament on television.

I see several reasons why golf is so attention-grabbing and addictive.

The most obvious reason is that the topic of golf appeals to an audience that both love the game and appreciates fine prose. Players enjoy gifted writers like Bernard Darwin, Henry Longhust, J.P. Marquand, John Updike, and a dozen others who write knowingly about their sport and spin tales of information and enjoyment.

Golf also offers a diverse field of subjects not possible with any other sport. Biography and general history are fertile genres for most high-profile games, but golf adds many other components: architecture, great matches, great courses, instruction, travel, and the long history of the game.

Golf, too, is a mental game where we struggle, on and off the course, with controlling our emotions, managing the course, and swinging a club. All of that is fuel for a writer's imagination.

Finally, golf presents challenges to players regardless of ability. We all have to handle a sand shot, play a utility wood over a pond to a small patch of green, or try and sink a downhill putt on a slick green.

We are up against ourselves in our battle with the golf ball. We all face the same challenges regardless of what our handicap is. So we want to read how others players handle the same shot.

Such a universal understanding by those who play the game allows us to relate to golf writing in a way virtually impossible with other sports, and allows a writer a wider range with which to converse, often deeply, with his or her reader.

Given that, we turn to books to find answers about our swing, understanding of the game, and wisdom from other players, and if not that, we seek the simple solace of the printed page to calm our battered egos after a long day on the links.

But where to find golf books which will smooth our egos and feed our image of the game, that's the question.

Most pro shops today carry a few instructional books, some histories of the game, and perhaps a copy or two of Harvey Penick's Little Red Book. Home pros might be wise to build bookshelves in their shop. It could be a convenience for their members and another source of income.

Beyond that, finding a bookstore is like looking for a lost ball in long grass.

Amazing Golf Book Collections

Seeking answers for myself, I have come across some amazing collections of golf books. One of the prizes, at the University of Chicago Library, a gift to the school by an alumnus and life trustee of the university, Arthur W. Schultz, is his special collection of golf books.

Schultz, an advertising executive with Foote, Cone & Belding Communications, who was also nominated by President Reagan in 1984 to be a member of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities, gave 1,600 golf books to University of Chicago's Department of Special Collections, making it available to scholars.

[A detailed summary of what is in the Shultz collection is available at: http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/webexhibits/readingthegreens/index.html]

Another amazing private collection is the Sam Martz Golf Book Collection at the University of British Columbia. This collection has 4,730 golf books, which I believe is the biggest collection in the public domain. It was donated by Sam Martz, a retired Canadian meat packing magnate, to the university because he wanted it preserved in perpetuity.

It is said to be the third or fourth largest in existence behind those at the USGA and Alaistair Johnston's private collection.

One of the earlier collections of golf books in the twentieth century was created by C.B. Clapcott, a postal employee from England who died in the late 1950s. He sold part of his library to Colonel R. Otto Probst, of South Bend, Indiana. Probst's whole library of 6,000 books is at the PGA Historical Center in Florida.

Another major collector is O.M. Leland, Dean of the Engineering School at the University of Minnesota. He donated his books to the USGA library in New Jersey. 

And, of course, pros, too, read and collect golf books. Ben Crenshaw is said to have at least 800 books in his home and his collection is still growing.

My favorite collector of golf books, however, lives in the state of Washington. That's  Peter Yagi. I like Peter because his books are for sale, and whenever I need a golf book for pleasure or historical facts, I check his catalog and there it will be. If you need something to read before your next round, check with Peter Yagi Golf Books at pete@moneytolend.com.

You may not break par tomorrow, but you can enjoy a great author writing about the game of golf today.

John Coyne is a bestselling author of three golf novels and more than 20 other books. Pay him a visit at John Coyne Books.

Monday, April 27

Lydia Ko: 'Great Birthday Week Again'



FOR LYDIA KO, BEING 18 isn't much different than 17 in at least one respect. She wins golf tournaments.

On Sunday, two days after celebrating her 18th birthday, Ko beat Morgan Pressel on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff for a repeat victory in the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic at Lake Merced Golf Club. Ko canned a 5-foot birdie putt after Pressel missed from slightly farther away.

We've seen this before. As LPGA.com reported, five of Ko's seven LPGA wins have been in come-from-behind fashion.

''At the start of the day, I didn't know how it was going to go,'' Ko said. ''It's been a great birthday week again.''

"I had plenty of chances out there today," Pressel said, "so I can't be too disappointed. I gave it my all."

Ko closed with a 70. Pressel had a 72. Brooke Henderson, just 17, shot a final-round 74 and missed the playoff by a shot.

In addition to her seven LPGA titles, Ko has posted some other impressive numbers, according to LPGA.com. She has five wins in her last 25 starts. She also leads all three LPGA major categories: Money List, Rolex Player of the Year and Race to CME Globe.

And in case you didn't already know, Ko is world No. 1 in women's golf for 13 weeks running.

Friday, April 24

Erik Compton Featured During National Donate Life Month



PGA TOUR PROFESSIONAL ERIK COMPTON stars in the above PSA for National Donate Life Month (April). Featuring Compton, a two-time heart transplant recipient, the PSA raises awareness about organ donation and also shows active, healthy athletes who have received organ transplants as well as Los Angeles news anchor and kidney donor Phillip Palmer.

To learn more, visit donatelife.net.

VIDEO: Laura Baugh on Early Pressures



REMEMBER LAURA BAUGH? IN 1971, at the age of 16, Baugh won the U.S. Women's Amateur at Atlanta Country Club. Golf Digest named Baugh the most beautiful golfer in 1972. She joined the LPGA Tour in 1973 and was rookie of the year. The Florida native recorded 10 runner-up finishes in a winless career.

Baugh talked to Golf Channel's Morning Drive about the pressures of being a teen phenom and what advice she might give to Lydia Ko, who turned 18 today and has already racked up six victories on the LPGA Tour.

Thursday, April 23

Golf on TV: Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, Zurich Classic, Legends of Golf, Volvo China Open

The following edited content was supplied by Golf Channel in a news release.

LPGA TOUR

Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic
Dates: April 23-26
Venue: Lake Merced Golf Club, San Francisco, Calif.

Tournament Airtimes On Golf Channel (Eastern):          
Thursday         6-9 p.m. (Live)
Friday              6-9 p.m. (Live)
Saturday          6-9 p.m. (Live)
Sunday            6-9 p.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes

Ko leads a strong field: World No. 1 Lydia Ko headlines a field that includes each of the top-10 players in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings.

Ko defends: Lydia Ko finished one stroke ahead of Stacy Lewis for her third career LPGA Tour victory.

Headlining the field: Lydia Ko, Inbee Park, Stacy Lewis, Hyo Joo Kim, Shanshan Feng, Brittany Lincicome, So Yeon Ryu, Suzann Pettersen, Michelle Wie and Lexi Thompson.

* * *

PGA TOUR

Zurich Classic of New Orleans
Dates: April 23-26
Venue: TPC Louisiana, Avondale, La.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):           
Thursday         3-6 p.m. (Live) / 9:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (Replay)
Friday              3-6 p.m. (Live) / 9:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday         1-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 10 p.m.-2:30 a.m. (Replay)
Sunday            1-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 10 p.m.-2:30 a.m. (Replay)

On CBS TV (Eastern)
Saturday 3-6 p.m.
Sunday 3-6 p.m.

Broadcast Notes

Noh defends: Seung-Yul Noh won by two strokes over Robert Streb and Andrew Svoboda for his first career PGA TOUR win.

Headlining the field: Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Justin Rose, Billy Horschel, Steve Stricker, Rickie Fowler, Keegan Bradley, Erik Compton, Justin Thomas and Jamie Donaldson.

* * *

CHAMPIONS TOUR

Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf at Big Cedar Lodge
Dates: April 24-26
Venue: Buffalo Ridge (Springs Course); Top of the Rock, Ridgedale, Mo.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):           
Friday              Noon-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 1-3 a.m. (Saturday replay)
Saturday         3-6 p.m. (Live) / 3:30-6 a.m. (Sunday replay)
Sunday            3-6 p.m. (Live) / 3:30-6 a.m. (Monday replay)

Broadcast Notes

Tournament format: Two-man teams will compete in two divisions: the Champions division (54-hole tournament) and the Legends Division (45-hole tournament for players age 65+). Teams will compete in a better-ball format at Buffalo Ridge and will play nine holes each of alternate shot and better-ball at Top of the Rock. Each division will play one round on each course over the first two days, and the final round will be played at Top of the Rock.

Nicklaus, Player team up in the Legends division: World Golf Hall-of-Famers Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player will team up in the Legends division. Over the course of their respective careers, the pair combined to win 29 Champions Tour titles.

Funk, Sluman defend: Fred Funk and Jeff Sluman finished one shot ahead of Jay Haas and Peter Jacobsen last year.

Champions Division teams: Andy North/Tom Watson, Jeff Sluman/Tom Lehman, Peter Jacobsen/D.A. Weibring, Brad Bryant/Bart Bryant, John Cook/Joey Sindelar, Ben Crenshaw/Jerry Pate, Fred Funk/Eduardo Romero, Sandy Lyle/Ian Woosnam, Lee Janzen/Rocco Mediate, Corey Pavin/Duffy Waldorf, Olin Browne/Steve Pate.

Legends Division teams: Jack Nicklaus/Gary Player, David Graham/Tony Jacklin, Chi Chi Rodriguez/Bob Murphy, Mike Hill/Lee Trevino.

* * *

EUROPEAN TOUR

Volvo China Open
Dates: April 22-26
Venue: Tomson Shanghai Pudong Golf Club, Shanghai, China

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):           
Wednesday     10:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (Live)
Thursday         2:30 a.m.-5:30 a.m. (Live) / 9 a.m.-2 p.m. (Replay)
Friday              12:30-2:30 a.m. (Tape delay) / 2:30-5:30 a.m. (Live) / 9 a.m.-Noon (Replay)
Saturday         6-10 a.m. (Tape delay)
Sunday            6-10 a.m. (Tape delay)

Broadcast Notes

Levy defends: Alexander Levy won by four shots over Tommy Fleetwood for his first career European Tour win.

Headlining the field: Peter Uihlein, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Mikko Ilonen, Tommy Fleetwood, Alexander Levy, Ross Fisher, Alex Noren, Gary Stal, Matteo Manassero and Oliver Wilson.