KOHLER, Wis. – After she got the lay of the land Tuesday at Blackwolf Run, Stephanie Meadow had a quick email to send. The rising junior at Alabama has to play hookey for the first few days of summer school. She hopes her finance professor understands.
The first day of that session happens to coincide with the opening round of the U.S. Women’s Open, a tournament to which Meadow gained entry only three days ago, courtesy of her Ladies British Amateur victory.
All of a sudden, Meadow’s summer has taken a decidedly different turn.
“This was supposed to be an easy summer. This was supposed to be the whole month of July off and just kind of easy, like mini off-season,” Meadow said. “... I was thinking right after the British Am, I’m done for a month, just relax. We couldn’t miss this for the world.”
Meadow arrived in Wisconsin late Monday night, and spent time Tuesday morning working around the greens. She opted only to walk a few holes on Tuesday, and will play a full 18 on the eve of the championship. Meadow has a late-afternoon tee time on Thursday with former Arizona State player ...
TROON, Scotland - Add Nathan Kimsey’s name to a list that includes Morgan Pressel and Ross Fisher. Finally the snails are being outed.
About time, too!
Kimsey was handed a one-shot penalty for slow play in the second round of qualifying for the British Amateur Championship. The Englishman picked up two bad times, and the R&A docked him a stroke. His 72 turned into a 73, but he still qualified for the match play stages.
Pace-of-play guidelines have been in existence for the Amateur Championship for years. Ditto for the Open Championship. In fact, the R&A, U.S. Golf Association and all professional tours have pace-of-play guidelines. It’s just that they haven’t really been enforced.
“Our championship committee had reviewed this whole thing over the winter and decided the policies we had in place were the correct ones, and we are going to enforce them somewhat more rigorously than we had in the past,” R&A chief executive Peter Dawson said.
Pace-of-play guidelines were printed in 16 languages and placed on a large notice board in the foyer of the Royal Troon clubhouse. Competitors hardly could fail to miss them. Kimsey obviously failed to ...
NESHANIC STATION, N.J. – It’s not often that players walk out of a scoring tent in tears after shooting under par. But for Steffi Neisen, stroke-play qualifying at the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links provided a mixture of joy and relief. The hard work paid off.
Neisen’s goal coming into the WAPL was simply to advance to match play, something she hadn’t done in three previous USGA appearances. Rounds of 70-68 at Neshanic Valley Golf Course put her in second place at 6-under 138, one stroke shy of soon-to-be-USC-graduate Lisa McCloskey.
“I know I’m a good player,” Neisen said, but it meant something to the Nebraska junior to post those rounds back to back.
Few players in this week’s field have a perspective on the game like Neisen, 20, of New Prague, Minn. Her two brothers were diagnosed with Hunter syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that predominately affects males.
Sam Neisen died two years ago at age 16 from the terminal condition. Steffi’s youngest brother, 12-year-old Tommy, was diagnosed with the syndrome at age 3. When asked if Tommy was able to follow along by watching live scoring, Steffi said he can ...
Only a couple of hours after the final putt dropped in a dramatic, come-from-behind 10.5-9.5 victory for GB&I at the 2012 Curtis Cup, the USGA announced the site of the next Curtis Cup in 2014.
For the first time, the U.S. will host it in the state of Missouri, taking a USGA event back to the St. Louis Country Club for the first time since the 1972 U.S. Women's Amateur.
“The traditional values of sportsmanship and camaraderie that are evident at the Curtis Cup Match will be on display at a classic golf course,” said USGA Vice President and Championship Committee Chairman Thomas J. O’Toole Jr. said in a press release. “The skill of the players at this international competition will be tested by the architectural intrigue of St. Louis Country Club. We anticipate, as we always do, a spirited and friendly competition.”
“St. Louis Country Club views the 2014 Curtis Cup Match as a particularly appropriate way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of its renowned Charles Blair Macdonald-designed golf course,” said Bill Sedgwick, the 2014 Curtis Cup Match Chairman. “The St. Louis Country Club has a rich history of golf dating back ...
NAIRN, Scotland – Amy Anderson realized the inevitable at No. 12: If the Americans were going to keep the Curtis Cup, she had to win her singles match against Stephanie Meadow.
That kind of news tends to bring on a hand tremor. Anderson, however, remained calm.
“In all honesty, I didn’t feel the pressure here,” she said. For reference, Anderson pulled out her sole U.S. Golf Association victory, which happened three years ago at the U.S. Girls’ Junior. That, she said, was much more nerve-wracking.
Call Anderson the woman of the match for the Americans, even if it didn’t end as grandly as it started. The 19-year-old North Dakota native played every match and took away a 3-2 record. She began the week with three consecutive victories, falling eventually in the final session of fourballs (while paired with Emily Tubert) to Holly Clyburn and Kelly Tidy. Still, Anderson and Brooke Pancake played the anchor positions for the U.S. during Sunday’s singles matches.
“I’m so proud of how Amy fared out there,” U.S. captain Pat Cornett said. “She never gave up and she played really hard.”
As the GB&I points came in all ...
NAIRN, Scotland – Holly Clyburn will walk away from the Curtis Cup with this distinction: She’ll be the only GB&I player to see action in all five sessions.
Early week, it appeared the GB&I bench would be an equal opportunity one. Captain Tegwen Matthews sat each player for one match before Saturday afternoon’s final fourball session. Charley Hull, the highest ranked player on the GB&I team at No. 5 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, got a second sit while Clyburn got to suit up. Sending Clyburn out seems a good decision from Matthews. So far this week, she’s been the most vocal of the GB&I players.
“My job now is to make sure we get the right pairings this afternoon,” Matthews said after her team took just one point out of morning foursomes. “We’ve been working hard on getting them right and I think we have.”
Clyburn and fourball partner Kelly Tidy produced the first GB&I point Friday afternoon. It came not a minute too soon – the team needed a rebound after losing all three morning foursome matches.
After a morning rout at the hands of the Americans, the GB&I ...
NAIRN, Scotland –- Despite frozen cheeks from an early-morning practice round at Nairn Golf Club, three assembled members of the U.S. Curtis Cup team paused at the question, "Has Coach Cornett told you much about her playing days?"
Glances are traded before answers follow.
“The next two days,” Amy Anderson said. “I feel like she’s going to talk about the first tee with us.”
In other words, Pat Cornett is a coach who won’t speak much about her own accolades, of which there are many. She has more than 50 starts in U.S. Golf Association championships, and eight of those were in the U.S. Women’s Open. She was runner-up at the 1987 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur, and won the 1990 Women’s Western Amateur.
“Their accomplishments probably far exceed what I was ever able to accomplish,” Cornett said, in what could be described as a question dodged out of modesty. “But I think the thing that I tried to bring to them is, the conditions out here can change dramatically,”
Cornett, 56, has seen this competition before, too – from the other side. She was a member of the 1978 and ’88 U.S. Curtis ...
Want a radical solution to grow the game? Let children play for free.
It’s time to own up to an unpleasant truth – golf is not growing in the western world. It’s shrinking. That’s why we should set the kids free.
There’s never been a better time to join a golf club in the British Isles. There was a time, say, 15 years ago when clubs in my area to the north of London had long waiting lists. No more. Those same clubs are openly advertising for membership. Many have dispensed with joining fees. Yet many are struggling to attract new members.
Some clubs are even going to the wall. Lamerwood in Hertfordshire was a lovely course when it opened in 1996. I had the pleasure of playing there with Retief Goosen. Those were heady days, when clubs like Lamerwood had marketing money to spend on a future U.S. Open champion.
Drive past Lamerwood now and sheep graze on what used to be fairways. Only the discerning eye can pick out what were formerly tees, greens and bunkers. Lamerwood was one of many courses in this part of Hertfordshire looking for business that has long since ...
Thai sisters Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn will try to join the long line of talented teens who have made their mark at the Kraft Nabisco Championship as amateurs.
Ariya, 16, finished 25th last year in the LPGA's first major championship of the season. Moriya, 17, will be making her debut at the Rancho Mirage, Calif., event. They’ve accepted sponsor exemptions to play as amateurs along with Austin Ernst, Jaye Marie Green and Charley Hull at Mission Hills Country Club on March 29-April 1.
Moriya and Ariya are Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, in the Golfweek/amateurgolf.com Women’s Player Rankings as well as the Golfweek/Sagarin Junior Rankings, though Ariya leads the way in the latter.
Ernst, a sophomore at LSU, is the reigning NCAA champion. She advanced to the semifinals of the U.S. Women’s Amateur and will represent the U.S. at the 2012 Curtis Cup. The 20-year-old from Seneca, S.C., will be making her Kraft debut.
Jaye Marie Green, 18, of Boca Raton, Fla., spent a brief time as Golfweek’s No. 1-ranked amateur thanks to her victory at the 2011 South Atlantic Amateur. She helped lead the U.S. team to ...
Full marks to England’s Lauren Taylor for the way she’s handled the news that she has been kicked out of this year’s U.S. Women’s Open, but the USGA goes to the bottom of the class for a colossal screw-up.
Officials at the governing body should be deeply ashamed of themselves.
The U.S. Golf Association told Taylor at the beginning of this month that she was in this year’s U.S. Women’s Open after winning the Ladies’ British Amateur Championship last year. Taylor made history when she won the championship at Royal Portrush. At 16, she was the youngest winner in championship history.
The USGA even put out a press release stating the English player was in the field. Then the governing body realized its error. Seems the USGA meant the exemption for this year’s Ladies British Amateur champion, not last year’s. They’ve now withdrawn Taylor’s exemption.
"This unfortunate case is simply the result of a miscommunication of the exemption category as it was originally intended," said Joe Goode, the USGA's managing director of communications. "Certainly we discussed a number of solutions to this situation, including making good ...
In the middle of Patrick Cantlay’s summer run that hoisted him into the headlines, a Twitter account popped up, purporting to belong to the amateur star. It seemed an uncharacteristic move by the quiet Cantlay. It was. The account was a fraud, and soon removed from the social-media site at the family’s request.
Cantlay, unlike many college kids, has no interest in social media. “I just like doing my own thing,” the UCLA sophomore said. “I’m fine if no one knows what I’m thinking or no one knows what I’m doing on Friday afternoon at 1:57.”
There are plenty of people interested in Cantlay’s inner-most thoughts, though. There’s one question above all the rest that they’d love to have answered: When are you turning pro?
“I’m just worrying about this week and trying to play as best I can this week,” said Cantlay, who is playing the Northern Trust Open on a sponsor exemption. “I’m an amateur this week.”
Cantlay said his father, Steve, and instructor, Jamie Mulligan, have been handling the research required before a potential leap to the pro game.
When asked how the PGA Tour’s ...
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Erica Popson was not on my Curtis Cup radar. Why? Because she hasn’t played in a USGA event since the 2008 U.S. Girls’ Junior.
“I thought there was no way I was going to get picked because of that,” Popson said.
Luckily for Popson, the USGA’s International Selection Committee didn’t hold that against her. She became the first player from the University of Tennessee to be named to a Curtis Cup team on the strength of an outstanding college resume. She won four times last season, including the SEC Championship and NCAA West Regional titles. She’s currently No. 2 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings. The trip to Scotland in June will be her first time outside the country.
So why the slim summer schedule?
Popson injured the thumb on her left hand two and a half years ago and realized quickly that she needed the time off in the summer to give it some rest. Doctors thought it was tendonitis or a joint problem that she’d have to learn to live with. Last fall, however, the pain grew worse and she found it difficult to perform basic daily functions like put on deodorant ...
The Clyburn family’s annual winter golf holiday to the U.S. took a bizarre turn last week at the Dixie Amateur.
According to a Coral Springs, Fla., police report, a fight broke out Dec. 30 between family members of two players during the first round of the women’s tournament at Heron Bay Golf Club. No charges were filed, but reportedly fists flew and a driver was wielded as a weapon after a slow-play penalty led to a player’s disqualification.
Tournament officials would not comment when contacted by Golfweek, and witnesses have been reluctant to speak. But based on the police report and interviews with the Clyburn family, here is the sequence of events:
India Clyburn, 15, was making her debut on the Florida Orange Blossom Circuit. Her older sister, Holly, 20, a Curtis Cup veteran and one of the United Kingdom’s top players, also was entered in the Dixie.
India was paired with Lucia Polo of Guatemala and Vivian Gallin of Germany, and the younger Clyburn sister had her mother, Allison, on the bag.
According to India’s father, Paul, the group was warned about slow play at the turn. By the time the threesome reached ...
Making a call on a possible violation always has been at the heart of Pete Blaisdell’s passion for being a top-echelon rules official.
Fielding a call about a violation is a different story.
“It shook me up. I wasn’t sure how to react,” Blaisdell said from his home in New Hampshire as he related an eerie telephone call he got, though it’s one that might speak volumes to how sacred some see the Rules of Golf.
Listening to a woman who called his house Tuesday evening, Blaisdell was told that she was calling on behalf of her husband. The man wanted to speak to Blaisdell, but she warned that he was sick and heavily medicated. The man then got on the phone and said that he used to play in U.S. Golf Association qualifiers more than 10 years ago and he had an incident during a Public Links qualifier that required Blaisdell being called into a dispute on a putting green at Gardner (Mass.) Municipal Golf Course.
It seems a playing competitor had insisted that this man’s golf ball had moved after the man had addressed it. The accused denied the ball had moved. One ...
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