Gogel Gets Another Shot At Pebble

Wednesday, June 7th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The last batch of PGA Tour players trying to qualify for the U.S. Open will have to wait one more day as heavy rain kept 93 of 118 players from finishing their 36 holes Tuesday in New Jersey, one of eight sites used for sectional qualifying.

Others got their ticket to Pebble Beach Golf Links for the Open, which gets under way June 15.

Matt Gogel, who squandered a seven-stroke lead to Tiger Woods on the back nine at Pebble in February, was among 12 players who survived a playoff at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Md.

Mario Tiziani, the brother-in-law of Steve Stricker, was the medalist at Boone Valley Golf Club in St. Louis to take one of two spots available.

University of Houston senior Andrew Sanders had a 62 in the afternoon at Shadow Hawk Golf Club in Houston to return to Pebble Beach. He reached the quarterfinals of the U.S. Amateur at Pebble last year.

The bigger story was who didn't make it.

Carolina Panthers tight end Brian Kinchen will have to stick with football. He had rounds of 80 and 81 at Shadow Hawk and missed out by 25 strokes. That was still better than 1998 U.S. Amateur champion Hank Kuehne, who withdrew after opening with an 81. Kuehne's brother Trip, who lost to Woods in the 1996 U.S. Amateur finals, also failed to qualify.

Former PGA and U.S. Open champion Larry Nelson, now on the Senior PGA Tour, failed to qualify in his home state of Georgia.

The biggest sectional qualifier Tuesday was at Canoe Brook Country Club in Summit, N.J., where players such as two-time Masters champion Ben Crenshaw, former Masters and U.S. Open champion Fuzzy Zoeller and former Masters champion Craig Stadler — along with his son, Kevin — were trying to qualify.

They will return to the course Wednesday morning to finish their rounds.

Knollwood Club, Lake Forest, Ill.

Kyle Blackman of North Mankato, Minn., grabbed one of three spots available by finishing as medalist at 141. Danny Green, the '99 Mid-Amateur champion, is an alternate.

The qualifier was continued from Monday because of rain.

Woodmont Country Club, Rockville, Md.

At the course where Shigeki Maruyama shot a 58, 13 players returned Tuesday in a playoff for 12 spots. Among tour players who got in were Gogel, John Cook, Scott Verplank and Andy Bean, who had to qualify at the local level. The odd man out was Don Pooley.

Butler Country Club, Butler, Pa.

J.L. Lewis, who won the John Deere Classic last year, and Rick Stimmel of Cranberry, Pa., tied at 138 to claim both spots.

Shadow Hawk Golf Club, Houston

Sanders said he never came close to a bogey in his round of 62 to qualify. The other spot went to former University of Oklahoma player Jeff Lee. Among the alternates is Peter Jacobsen, who hasn't played in a U.S. Open since 1996.

Settindown Creek, Roswell, Ga.

Javier Sanchez is returning to the U.S. Open after a three-year absence. Sanchez, who took up the game while working as a cook in a local golf club, was medalist at 141.

Along with Nelson, others who failed to qualify were tour players Franklin Langham and Skip Kendall, and Georgia Tech teammates Bryce Molder and Matt Kuchar.

Boone Valley Golf Club, St. Louis

Tiziani had an afternoon round of 67 to finish at 135. The other spot went to amateur Craig Lile.

Pumpkin Ridge (Ghost Creek), North Plains, Ore.

Taggert Riddings of Tulsa, Okla., won medalist honors by three strokes at 137 to take one of two spots. One of the alternates is Tommy Stankowski, brother of tour player Paul Stankowski, who failed to qualify Monday at Woodmont.