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Golfer's extra effort leads to U.S. Open berth

Extra effort leads to U.S. Open berth

Among those who qualified on Monday for next week's U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, Erik Compton might be the most unlikely. After finishing play at the Memorial on Sunday, he grinded out 36 holes at a qualifier in Springfield, Ohio. That's not bad for most golfers, but Compton is a two-time heart transplant recipient who must guard against overexertion. "After the bad round Sunday (82), I was tired and was thinking maybe I didn't want to qualify," Compton said. "I didn't want to overdo it." But Compton, 30, who was 12 when he received his first transplant and 27 for his second, shot 69 and 66 and won a three-way playoff for one of two spots. "I've never played at Pebble before," he said. "I've tried, but I was never able to get a tee time. It's surreal, almost, to think about playing there in my first major championship. Thinking about where I was two years ago; just laying there in bed watching it on TV and to have to learn how to walk again and do all that and people always asking me about am I going to use a cart. Then the whole thing is, I qualify walking 36 holes."

Memorial winner out of U.S. Open

The winner of the Memorial, Justin Rose, is not in the U.S. Open field. He wasn't among the top 50 in the world rankings at last month's cutoff, and he failed to qualify Monday. "It's not the best field in golf. It never pretended to be," USGA official David Fay said. "It's the most democratic championship. In a perfect world, we wouldn't have special exemptions. But if you can keep half the field open to qualifiers … that's why we have 9,000 entries." With Rose out, England's Simon Khan is in. He was the first alternate from the European sectional qualifier.

St. Jude has eight among top 20

The event leading up to the U.S. Open has a strong field. The St. Jude Classic, which starts today in Memphis, includes Lee Westwood (No. 3 in the world), Ian Poulter (sixth), Rory McIlroy (10th), Robert Allenby (13th), Padraig Harrington (14th), Camilo Villegas (15th), Zach Johnson (16th) and Retief Goosen (17th). Also playing is Jordan Spieth, the 16-year-old Texas amateur who threatened to win last month's Byron Nelson. He's playing on a sponsor's exemption.

Tiger commits to Irish pro-am

Tiger Woods will play his first tournament outside of the United States this year at a charity event in Ireland. The JP McManus pro-am, a 36-hole event, takes place July 5-6, a week before the British Open. Woods said in a statement released by organizers that because of his foundation, he understands, "the importance and necessity of raising funds to help deserving individuals."

Retired LPGA stars to play for charity

Recently retired Annika Sorenstam and Lorena Ochoa, who combined for 99 LPGA wins, will play in the third annual Notah Begay Challenge, a fundraiser aimed at fighting obesity and diabetes among Native American youth. Also playing in the mixed team skins match on Aug. 31: LPGA's Suzann Pettersen, Cristie Kerr, Morgan Pressel and Anna Rawson and PGA's Anthony Kim, Villegas, Hunter Mahan, Vijay Singh and Rickie Fowler, who is part Navajo.

Golfer's extra effort leads to U.S. Open berth 06/09/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 11:43pm]

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