Monday Morning Golf Report

July 13, 2009

At the PGA Tour's John Deere Classic in Silvis, Ill., Webb Simpson used steady play to make his third-straight cut and finish tied for 39th.

Simpson made four birdies in his opening round of 3-under 68 and was tied for 24th through 18 holes.

Bill Haas, who was coming off a missed cut last week, had a roller coaster first round of 75. He made an eagle and a pair of birdies but also had a double-bogey to go along with six bogeys and just eight pars.

Friday was a total wash as not one player hit a shot due to rain in the Silvis area. That pushed the second round back until Saturday and it meant the players who made the cut would have to play 36 holes on Sunday.

On Saturday, Simpson posted his second-straight sub-70 round as a 69 put him in a tie for 30th heading into Sunday's final 36 holes.

Despite five birdies, an eagle and a 67 on Saturday, Haas still missed the cut by three shots.

Simpson continued his string of under-par rounds in the morning on Sunday with a 68 and closed out the long day with a 1-over 72 to finish in a tie for 39th. It was his third-straight cut made and he now stands 86th on the money list with $679,117 on the year.

Three Demon Deacons, Laura Diaz, Nannette Hill and Michelle Shin, teed-it-up this week at the 2009 US Women's Open at the Old Course at Saucon Valley Country Club in eastern Pennsylvania. The long brutal course took its toll on many of the players and the Wake Forest contingent was not immune.

None of the Deacon-three could get much going on Thursday in pretty good scoring conditions and all had work to do on Friday if any of them want to play on the weekend.

Diaz, a 1997 graduate, birdied her first two holes of the day but then bogeyed the next two and eventually made the turn in one-over par. She opened the front with a pair of pars but made five bogeys in the last seven holes to card an opening round 6-over 77.

Hill, who earned second team All-American honors this past season, got off to a tough start, making a double-bogey at No. 10. She recovered and made the turn at just three-over but made three more bogeys in the first six holes on the front nine to drop to six-over par.

She then ran into trouble on the long 453-yard par-4 seventh, the second-longest par-4 in US Women's Open history. Hill made a quadruple-bogey eight, which dropped her to 10-over par for the day. After a par on the ninth, the Pelham Manor, N.Y., native settled for an opening 81. Hill hit just 4-of-14 fairways on the day, which doesn't make scoring easy on a US Open setup.

Like Hill, Shin teed-it-up for the first time in a US Open. The 2009 recruit made two birdies and two bogeys in the first six holes on Thursday and was even-par heading to the downhill par-3 17th, her eighth hole of the day. Shin would make bogey on both Nos. 17 and 18 to turn in 2-over 37.

After a bogey at the par-5 first, Shin settled down and made five-straight pars but closed with bogies at the final three holes for a first round 78.

The three players weren't the only ones to struggle as the scoring average on Thursday was a stunning 76.42, one of the highest opening round stroke-averages in recent US Open history.

Hill started her second round strong, making birdies on two of her first four holes. However, she would give both shots right back with bogeys at five and nine but still made the turn in even-par.

She then bogeyed Nos. 12, 13 and 14 before recording a nice birdie at the par-4 15th. Hill then closed the round with a bogey at No. 16 and pars on 17 and 18 to post a solid second round 75.

Hill finished her first open at 14-over par and tied for 104th.

Shin got off to a good start on Friday, making birdie at her first hole but couldn't keep the momentum going as she made eight bogeys and a pair of double-bogies the rest of the round to finish with an 11-over 82.

For the week, Shin was 18-over par after rounds of 78-82.

Diaz also couldn't find her game on Friday, hitting just 3-of-18 greens en route to a second round 85. Diaz finished her week at 20-over par after a first round 77.

The 36-hole cut fell at 9-over par and the scoring average through the first two days was a whopping 76.36. Kristie Kerr is the leader through 36 holes at 3-under par.

Hill and Shin were two of 28 amateurs to tee-it-up this week and just seven of them made the cut led by Alexis Thompson, who leads the field through 36 holes in greens in regulation with 27.

Kyle Reifers was 10-under in an eight-hole stretch on Thursday on his way to a blistering opening round 11-under 61 at the Nationwide Tour's Ford Wayne Gretzky Classic in Clarksburg, Ontario, Canada. He had a three-shot led through 18 holes.

Reifers opened his first round with three-straight pars before getting his first of eight birdies on the day at No. 4. That started his hot streak as he made another birdie at No. 5, an eagle at the par-5 sixth and three-straight birdies to close the front nine in 7-under 29.

He started the back with another eagle at the par-5 tenth and a birdie at No. 11 to go to 10-under par. Remarkable, Reifers made a bogey at the par-3 12th followed by three more pars at holes 13, 14 and 15. The Columbus, Ohio native finished his day with birdies at Nos. 16 and 17 and a solid par at No. 18.

The 61 was tied for Reifers' lowest round of his professional career. He also fired a 61 in the final round of the Chattanooga Classic, his first professional tournament, to come from behind and win his first tournament.

He then started the second round just as hot as the first, making four-straight birdies on holes 11-14 to climb to 15-under par. He made the turn at 4-under but that's when disaster hit. He made a triple bogey on the par-4 first and followed it with bogeys at Nos. 2 and 3 to slip to one-over for the day. That is where he eventually finished the round with a one-over 72 and was tied for 2nd at 10-under par.

Ron Whittaker also opened with a bogey-free round of 5-under 67 and found himself tied for seventh after the first round. He followed that with a 72 on Friday to make his third-straight cut and was tied for 46th through 36 holes.

Len Mattiace was hampered by three double-bogies and couldn't recover, carding rounds of 73-75 and missing the cut.

Reifers closed out the weekend with rounds of 71-70 and finished the tournament right where he finished the first day at 11-under par and tied for 12th. Whittaker carded a 73 on Saturday to slip back into a tie for 59th but a final round 68 brought him back to a tie for 34th.

A total of six former Deacons were in the field this week at the Champions Tour's 3M Championship.

Scott Hoch once again led the Deacon contingent with a third place finish after rounds of 67-69-66. His stellar 66 on Sunday was bested only by tournament champion Bernhard Langer's 65.

Jay Haas also had a good week, posting his 10th top-15 finish of the season. He opened with a 71 but carded rounds of 69-68 over the weekend to finish in a tie for 13th.

Gary Hallberg started the tournament with a 68 and was tied for eighth after the first round but posted rounds of 74-72 on Saturday and Sunday to slip back into a tie for 42nd.

Lanny Wadkins made four birdies in his final nine holes on Sunday to comeback and post a round of even-par 72 and after rounds of 71-75 to open, the 2009 Hall of Fame Inductee finished the week tied for 54th.

Jay Sigel finished a shot behind Wadkins after a bogey-free round of 69 on Sunday helped him dig out of a hole after his first round 79.

Leonard Thompson rounded out the Deacon contingent with rounds of 73-74-77. This was Thompson's first tournament in over a month.

A total of five Demon Deacons played this week at the Eastern Amateur Championship at Elizabeth Manor Country Club in Portsmouth, Va.

Recent graduate Dustin Groves was the top finisher as he carded rounds of 67-73-67-68 to tie for ninth. Groves has had a good summer thus far, as he also won the Canon Cup in early June and will now focus on the Southern, Western and US Amateurs in the coming weeks.

Rising sophomore Lee Bedford, playing in his first tournament of the summer, finished the week in a tie for 25th after rounds of 73-69-70-67.

Bedford's future teammate Evan Beck got off to a great start and was tied for sixth after a pair of 68s. But he couldn't keep the momentum rolling as he posted rounds of 75-74 over the weekend and finished tied for 58th.

Rising senior Travis Wadkins finished in a tie for 75th after rounds of 75-68-71-74 and classmate Marc Gladson posted rounds of 80-69 but would miss the 36-hole cut.

The upcoming week is a busy one for the Deacons. The women's North & South Amateur is being held this week at Pinehurst No. 2 on July 14-18. Wake Forest will be well represented as rising junior Allie Bodemann will join Hill in a strong field.

Both players are ranked in the top-30 of the field and have earned an exemption from the 18-hole qualifier. Hill has earned the No. 4-seed in the match play bracket while Bodemann is No. 11. The top-30 players filled spots two through 31 and the rest of the bracket will be filled out by the 18-hole qualifier on Tuesday.

Cheyenne Woods will be back to action this upcoming week as she tries to qualify for the US Women's Amateur. She will be playing at Alta Mesa Country Club in Mesa, Ariz., on Thursday.

Natalie Sheary and rising senior Dolores White will also be trying to qualify for the Women's Amateur this week. Sheary is playing at Charles River Country Club in Newton Centre, Mass., while White will try her luck at The Wanderers Club in Wellington, Fla.

Groves, Bedford, Beck and Brendan Gielow will be in action at the prestigious Southern Amateur this week in Memphis, Tenn.

The British Open is being held across the Atlantic this week and while no Deacons will be in the field, a number of them are staying States-side for the U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee. Simpson and Haas will be joined by Billy Andrade and Scott Hoch will try to keep his momentum going as he makes a rare appearance on the PGA Tour.

The Champions, Nationwide and LPGA Tours are all taking this week off and will resume action next week.

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