Monday Morning Golf Report

Aug. 3, 2009

Last week was a good week for the Haas family. Jay Haas finished tied for 13th at the US Senior Open, his son Bill finished tied for 18th at the Buick Open and Jerry Haas won the Western North Carolina Open last Tuesday.

Jay played in the marquee pairing the first two rounds of the US Senior Open at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Ind. He posted a pair of 2-under par 70s while playing with Greg Norman and Bernhard Langer the first two days.

All three players made the cut but trailed amateur Tim Jackson who was 11-under par. Haas posted a third under-par round of 71 on Saturday and finished-up with a 72 on Sunday to tie for 13th.

Gary Hallberg, Scott Hoch and Lanny Wadkins were also in the field but they all missed the 36-hole cut.

Fred Funk ran away with the Senior Open title, winning by six shots after rounds of 68-65 over the weekend.

Bill Haas also had a solid week at the Buick Open at Warwick Hills Country Club in Grand Blanc, Mich.

He opened with a pair of 68s and was 8-under par heading into the weekend. A 3-under 69 on Saturday put him into a tie for 15th with a round to go and after a 1-under 71 on Sunday, Haas finished tied for 18th at 12-under par.

It was just the second cut Haas has made in his last six tournaments and it was his best finish since a tie for third at the Valero Texas Open in mid-May. Haas is currently 79th on the money list with a little over $800,000 on the year.

Webb Simpson and Billy Andrade also teed-it-up this week in Michigan but both players fell victim to the low-cut line. Simpson carded rounds of 71-71 and Andrade was one-shot worse at 73-70 but the cut came at 4-under par and both players found themselves on the wrong side of the number.

Jerry Haas overcame a four-shot deficit over the final six holes to win the Western North Carolina Open at Mimosa Hills Country Club in Morganton, N.C., last Tuesday.

Haas opened the tournament with a strong round of 5-under 67 on Monday. He missed just two greens on the day.

On Tuesday, he was 1-under through 12 holes, 6-under for the tournament but found himself four-shots behind playing partner Greg Parker, who was 5-under for the day.

The 13th hole was a long 220-yard, downhill par-3. Parker hit first and pulled his shot left of the green. Haas followed with a nice shot, 15-feet right underneath the hole. Parker's chip went a bit long and he two-putted for bogey while Haas drained his birdie putt to cut the deficit in half.

On the 14th hole, Haas hit a perfect drive and a nice 5-wood to 35-feet and was staring at an eagle putt. Parker was greenside in two and after a good chip, he settled for a birdie-four. Showing the poise of a former PGA Tour player, Haas stepped-up and rolled in his left-to-right breaker for eagle and cut into the lead once again.

Both players pared the 15th hole and Haas still found himself one back with three holes to go. On the 16th, he hit a poor drive into the right rough and his second shot came up just short of the green. After Parker also missed the green and eventually made bogey, Haas once again came through with a clutch shot, chipping-in for birdie and taking a one-shot lead.

Both players played the par-4 17th to par, Haas two-putting and Parker making a nice up-and-down.

After solid drives off the tee on the par-4 18th, Haas hit first and pushed his second shot into the deep greenside bunker. Parker followed with a similar shot that hit the fringe and bounced down into the same bunker.

Haas again went first from the bunker and hit a solid shot but clipped the lip of the bunker and the ball meekly rolled onto the green, 18-feet from the hole. Parker, facing a much more difficult shot off the down slope, hit a fine shot but his ball hit the same lip and rolled back down into the bunker.

Now with a much flatter lie, Parker blasted out to four-feet and rolled in the putt for bogey. Haas now had to just two-putt for the victory. He rolled his first attempt to two-feet and cleaned-up the bogey putt to finish one-shot ahead of Parker.

Haas finished at 9-under par for the two rounds after a 4-under 68 on Tuesday.

This week was a home-game for 2005 graduate Kyle Reifers at the Nationwide Tour's Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational at the OSU Scarlet Course in Columbus, Ohio.

Playing just 15 minutes from where he grew-up in Dublin, Ohio, Reifers was the only member of the Wake Forest contingent to make the cut. He opened with a tough round of 2-over 73 but rebounded with a solid 68 on Friday to position himself for the weekend.

After an even-par round of 71 on Saturday, Reifers finished with a 2-over 73 on Sunday to tie for 38th at 1-over par.

Ron Whittaker shot rounds of 73-72 and Len Mattiace posted scores of 73-75 but both players missed the cut which fell at even-par.

Laura Diaz opened the Women's British Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club in Lancashire, England, with a round of 4-over 76 on Thursday. She was tied for 38th after the first round and despite a second-straight 76 on Friday, Diaz made the cut at 8-over par.

She then carded another 76 on Saturday but had a rough round of 82 on Sunday to finish tied for 67th.

This was just the third cut Diaz had made in her last ten starts.

Two Wake Forest recruits Evan Beck and Stephanie Kim played last week as members of the East squad at the AJGA's Canon Cup at Forest Highlands Golf Club in Flagstaff, Ariz.

The unique format pits 20 junior golfers (10 male and 10 female) from the Eastern half of the country against 20 juniors from the western half of the country in a Ryder Cup format.

The first two days consisted of a total 10 four-ball matches in the morning and five foursome matches in the afternoon. Everyone played in the morning matches as there are five men's matches and five women's matches.

For the afternoon matches, one male and one female from each squad teamed-up in the alternate shot format. The third and final day featured 20 singles matches.

The matches started on Tuesday and right away the West Team jumped out an early lead, winning 7.5 of the possible 10 points in the morning. Kim was paired with Annie Park in the morning four-ball match and the pair would fall to Jane Rah and Ani Gulugian of the West, 2 down.

Beck teamed with Austin Cody in a thrilling match against Stewart Hagestad and Austin Cook in the morning. Through 13 holes, the match was all-square. The teams then split the next four holes with each side winning two holes apiece. So that meant they went to No. 18 all-square and that's where the West eventually prevailed, winning 1 up.

On Tuesday afternoon, Kim joined Austin Cody for alternate shot but neither could get anything going and would fall to Zachary Blair and Rachel Morris 4 and 2. Beck had the afternoon off.

The second day was a different story for the East. Trailing 11.5-3.5 heading into the day, the East squad took 10 of the 15 points and had closed the gap to three at 16.5-13.5 heading into Thursday's singles matches.

Despite playing better on Wednesday, Beck still finished the day pointless. He lost a pair of matches 1 down as he and partner Michael Hebert, a Florida State recruit, lost Wednesday morning to James Back and Michael Weaver. He was then paired with Doris Chen for alternate shot in the afternoon but they too lost 1 down to Mario Clemens and Tiffany Lua.

Kim picked up her first point of the competition Wednesday morning as her and partner Karen Chung posted a convincing 4 and 3 win over Kristen Park and Hana Lee. Kim then had the afternoon off.

Thursday's singles matches provided a thrilling finish to the week. The East trailed by three heading into the day and the two Demon Deacons found themselves on opposite ends of the draw.

Kim was slotted in the fourth match out against Victoria Sungmin Park. Kim was 2-down after 12 but rallied to win the next three holes and take a 1-up lead through 15. The players halved No. 16 and Kim won the 17th with a par to close out the match 2 and 1 and claim a valuable early point for the East.

The East won five of the first seven singles matches to take the early lead but the West battled back and won five of the next seven to regain its three-point edge through 14 matches.

Beck went out in the second-to-last match against Jeffrey Kang. With the East winning the next four match to take another one-point lead, the matches hinged on the result of the final two groups.

Beck was 2-down through 11 holes but birdied the par-3 12th and the made an eagle at the par-5 13th to quickly square the match. He then lost No. 14 but bounced-back to win both Nos. 15 and 16 with pars to take a 1-up lead.

Kang then birdied No. 17 to even the match and send it to the 18th hole. With the West's Ani Gulugian defeating Kelly Shon of the East 2 and 1 in the final match to even the score, the only match left on the course was Beck and Kang.

On No. 18, Kang played safe and laid up with his second shot on the par-5. Beck took a different approach, attempting to hit the green in two. His second shot came up short in a lateral water hazard. After a couple unsuccessful attempts to recover from the hazard, Beck conceded the match, which secured the Canon Cup once again for the West.

In US Amateur qualifying action last week, recent graduate Dustin Groves carded rounds of 73-72 at Hayfields Golf Club in Hunt Valley, Md., and finished tied for eighth, missing a playoff by three shots.

After winning the Porter Cup on Saturday, July 25, Brendan Gielow jumped in his car and headed for Prestwick Village Country Club in Highland, Mich. He made it there Sunday but wasn't able to get on the course until almost 6 pm because of an event that day at the club.

With limited preparation, Gielow went out on Monday and played well, finishing the 36-hole qualifier at 1-under par after rounds of 75-68 but he too missed the playoff for the final qualifying spot by just one shot.

Gielow will now join future teammate Evan Beck at this week's 2009 Western Amateur at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Illinois. Gielow is hoping to earn a spot on this year's Walker Cup team and a strong finish at the Western could go a long way in securing his spot.

Rising senior Travis Wadkins played at the US Amateur qualifier in Dallas, Texas, at the Texas Star Golf Club on Tuesday. He got off to a bit of a rough start, opening with a 2-over 73 but rebounded in the afternoon to shoot a 1-under 70. Unfortunately, he finished tied for 14th overall and only the top-3 players advanced to the championship.

Three Demon Deacons are in the field this week at the US Amateur qualifier at nearby Oak Valley Golf Club in Advance, N.C. Rising seniors Marc Gladson and Preston Yates will be joined by rising sophomore Daniel Meggs as the trio tries to become the first Demon Deacons to reach the US Amateur this year. The qualifier is being held on Monday and Tuesday.

Lee Bedford will also try to qualify for the Amateur this week as he will be playing at Walnut Creek Country Club in Goldsboro, N.C., on Thursday and Friday.

This week is the US Women's Amateur at Old Warson Country Club in St. Louis, Mo., and Wake Forest will be well represented. There are a total of five Demon Deacons in the field as Cheyenne Woods, Natalie Sheary and Jordan Craig all made it through sectional qualifying and Nannette Hill and Michelle Shin each earned a spot by virtue of qualifying for the US Women's Open last month.

Stroke play on the 6,468-yard, par-71 layout will take place on Monday and Tuesday and the low-64 will then advance to match play beginning on Wednesday.

The PGA Tour has a pair of tournaments going on this week as the Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio, is hosting the WGC Bridgestone Invitational and Montreux Golf & Country Club is hosting the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open.

After hosting back-to-back major championships, the Champions Tour will take two weeks off before hosting a third-straight major, the JELD-WEN Tradition, at the Crosswater Club in Sunriver, Oregon.

The Nationwide Tour keeps plugging along as this week it will be in Wichita, Kansas for the Preferred Health Systems Wichita Open.

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