Notes: British qualifying tougher on Americans
Bless his heart, but Scott Dunlap remains a throwback to the days when an adventurous spirit carried the American golfer to remarkable heights.
While the Final Local Qualifying played out Tuesday, Dunlap surfaced as one of the few Americans teeing it up in a last-ditch effort to get into the Open Championship. Like Colin Montgomerie, Dunlap will play at Gullane No. 1.
Marty Jertson, a senior design engineer with Ping, is another who'll take on the challenge. He'll play at The Musselburgh.
Used to be Americans were plentiful at these final qualifiers, but that was when the R&A played them the Monday and Tuesday of Open Championship week – and it made sense for a guy to give it a try. If he made it, he walked next door and teed it up in the Open.
But now? The qualifiers are held July 2, the tournament proper doesn't begin until July 18, and if you were to make it, what do you do, stick around and eat haggis for two weeks?
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ELEVATOR UP …
A few notes of positive trends for the pros:
• Graham DeLaet is on a nice little roll, the latest showing being a T-8 at the AT&T National. In his last six tournaments, DeLaet is 32 under par and has been over 72 just three times. He's got three top 10s during that stretch, his worst finish a T-26.
• When Stuart Appleby finished T-9 at the recent Travelers Championship, it ended a top-10 drought that had started after the 2011 Honda Classic.
• James Driscoll seems to be an AT&T guy. He has two top 10s this year – last week's AT&T National and the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am back in February.
• Stewart Cink has three top 10s in 17 starts this year. He had one top 10 in 44 tournaments in 2011-12.
• Jose Maria Olazabal was T-5 at the Irish Open, his first top 10 since finishing sixth at the Volvo Golf Champions in January of 2012.
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… ELEVATOR DOWN
A few snippets of not-so-great happenings of late:
• One thing about playing only the marquee events: If you're not totally on top of your game, your numbers don't look too good. Adam Scott, for instance. Since winning the Masters he's played only four times, all at difficult venues – the Players, the Memorial, the U.S. Open, and the AT&T National. He's 12 over par for those 16 rounds (15 over at the U.S. Open alone) and in his last nine rounds Scott has broken 70 once and been 73 or higher six times.
• Having ended a string of 10 consecutive cuts made, Freddie Jacobson has missed the cut in three of his last four starts.
• Here it is July and Rory McIlroy is still searching for an effective driver? Has he checked his garage?
• Jessica Korda fires her caddie in mid-round. Cantankerous at 20. Gotta love this younger generation.
• Not really sure what it says for the strokes gained putting category when the leader (Greg Chalmers) in his last 11 tournaments has finished no better than T-37 and missed six cuts; when No. 2 (Stephen Ames) has but one top 25 finish in 15 starts; and when No. 5 (Aaron Baddeley) has missed the cut in eight straight tournaments.