Tag Archives: Lee Janzen

Rich Berberian Jr., Jamie Lovemark, Pat Wilson and Lee Janzen punch their tickets to Chambers Bay

Rich Berberian Jr., Jamie Lovemark, Pat Wilson and Lee Janzen punched their tickets to Chambers Bay

The Monday the week before the U.S. Open week officially kicks off has been dubbed “the longest golf day of the year” — that’s because it’s traditionally when 10 sectional qualifiers around the nation take place to fill up (most of) the remaining spots for the second major of the season. As longtime readers know, I’m usually at the Columbus sectional, where the field is basically like a PGA Tour event since it occurs the day after The Memorial Tournament.

Well, this year, I attended the MGA (Metropolitan Golf Association) section since it’s close to home for me in NYC. I always call the qualifier my favorite day to cover in the golfing season because it’s about democratic as the game gets. It’s pure golf — no ropes, no electronic scoreboards, not to mention pros in shorts. Once again, it didn’t disappoint — well, except the fact that there wasn’t a playoff for the final spot. I always love the playoffs, where there are five guys vying for three spots, etc. 

At the MET section, there were 71 players competing for one of four spots available into next week’s U.S. Open at Chambers Bay. 

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Lee Janzen and the late Payne Stewart at Olympic in '98

Last Monday I spoke with ’93 and ’98 U.S. Open champ Lee Janzen, mostly about his win the last time it was held at Olympic.. It was especially cool because the next evening I was channel surfing and came across Golf Channel’s replay of the ’98 U.S. Open, where Lee overcame a seven-shot deficit to beat Payne Stewart by a stroke.

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By Stephanie Wei under Nationwide Tour

The Wells Fargo Championship wasn’t the only hang-on-to-the-edge-of-your-seat finish on Sunday. About 200 miles southwest of Charlotte at University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, the Nationwide Tour’s Stadion Classic had an ending perhaps just as compelling.

Former UGA golfer and NWT rookie Hudson Swafford followed in the footsteps of his ex-teammate Russell Henley, who captured the title in 2011, to win at his former college golf home course. (See, it’s not overrated!) Heading into the final round, Swafford was three shots back and teed off an hour before the final pairing. However, he holed out for birdie from the greenside bunker on the 72nd hole to fire a course-record nine-under 62, which turned out to be enough to hold off good friend Luke List, who won the NWT event a week earlier.

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Scoreboard knocked down next to 18 at Palmer Private

For nine-and-a-half holes, President Bill Clinton shook hands, posed for pictures, signed autographs, kissed babies, etc. He also played some golf with Greg Norman, Scott McCarron and Humana CEO Mike McCallister at PGA West’s Palmer Private course.

While walking from eight green to nine tee, Clinton stopped to oblige some fans who wanted autographs. He looked around and called to one of his secret service agents and said, “Help me…” Not that he didn’t want to sign (he did for a few minutes), but because he’d be there until the sunset if someone didn’t intervene at some point. The fans all thanked him for supporting and reviving the tournament — which he sure has achieved. (I was here last year and the energy and buzz are like 20 times greater this time around, which is awesome.)

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Tiger Woods trying to get into contention!

Day two at Bay Hill and Spencer Levin is in the process of lapping the field… or is he? Three-under for the day through the turn, he’s nine-under par for the tournament and six shots clear of a group that consists of Steve Marino, the Playmobil Kid (Fowler) and Hunter Mahan, with the latter two yet to tee off. I’ve been a fan of Levin’s game for some time– here’s hoping this is his week!

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By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

Ben Martin in the third round at Q-school

Five rounds down, one to go for PGA Tour hopefuls at Orange County National for PGA Tour Q-School. Veteran Billy Mayfair and former US Amateur runner-up Ben Martin are tied for the lead at 16-under through 90 holes in the 108-hole marathon. If all goes as planned, Mayfair will earn back his card and Martin will secure his in his first try.

The final round of Q-school is one of the most nerve-wracking days in professional golf — it’s where greatness or absolute disaster can change a player’s life. For 25 players (and ties), they will be competing on the PGA Tour next year, while for others, it’s another year grinding it out on in the minor leagues before they’ll have another shot. There’s so much emphasis on finishing in the top-25, but even if you’re out of the running, every shot still matters because the guys are still playing for status on the Nationwide Tour.

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