Golf notes: Megan Khang into US Women’s Open
With Walshe, teen earns spot in national championship
She might be only 14 years old, but Megan Khang has qualified for the most prestigious tournament in women’s golf.
Khang, from Rockland, earned one of two spots into this year’s US Women’s Open at a qualifier on Monday at Longmeadow Country Club. Her two-round, 141 total trailed only the 140 from Westford’s Alison Walshe, and sent both to the women’s national championship, which is July 5-8 at Blackwolf Run in Kohler, Wis.
It’ll be Khang’s first appearance in the US Women’s Open, but she’s no stranger to US Golf Association events, having played in the last three US Girls Juniors.
Khang then made it 2 for 2 this week, qualifying for the US Women’s Amateur Public Links championship with a 67 at Cyprian Keyes. The WAPL is June 18-23 in Neshanic, N.J. Other locals qualifying at Cyprian Keyes were Brittany Weddell of Buzzards Bay (72), Alison Eleey of Quincy (73), and Cortney Tilley of Plaistow, N.H. (76).
Two notable players with local ties will be in action on the PGA and Champions tours this week. Peter Uihlein, a New Bedford native and winner of the 2010 US Amateur, will play in the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, his second PGA Tour start of the season. Uihlein missed the cut in Puerto Rico, and has spent most of his year playing in Europe, where he’s made four starts on the European Tour and one on the Challenge Tour (a European developmental circuit similar to the Nationwide Tour). He’s recently missed the last two cuts on the NGA Hooters Tour. At the Senior PGA Championship, the first major of the year on the Champions Tour, Kirk Hanefeld of Acton is in the field, courtesy of his victory in last year’s Senior PGA Professional national championship. Hanefeld, who has three top-10 finishes in his Champions Tour career, is the new director of instruction at Renaissance in Haverhill . . . Tom Watson won’t be able to defend his Senior PGA title this week. He’s been sidelined since April with a wrist injury, and has been limited to three starts this year . . . It’s not often that a European Tour event has a stronger field than the PGA Tour stop, but that’s definitely the case this week. The European Tour’s signature tournament, the BMW PGA Championship at the Wentworth Club, features five of the top 10 in the world rankings (Colonial has two), including Nos. 1, 2, and 3 in Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald, and Lee Westwood. Donald is the defending champion . . . All eyes at Colonial might see what Kevin Na is up to, since he’s promised a new pre-shot routine that will be without the frequent waggles that dogged him two weeks ago at the Players Championship.
There have been some low scores before, but perhaps nothing lower than the 16-under-par 55 that an Australian professional named Rhein Gibson signed for recently at River Oaks Golf Club in Edmond, Okla. When it comes to all-time low scores for 18 holes, Gibson’s round matches the 55 shot by Homero Blancas in the 1962 Premier Invitational in Texas, but that came on a course that measured less than 6,000 yards. Gibson’s came on a track that was 6,698 yards. He made a par on No. 10 (the round began on the back nine), then played his final eight holes in 10 under (six birdies, eagles on both par 5s), making the turn in 26. Gibson then had pars on Nos. 1 and 2, birdied three straight, made par on No. 6, then closed with three more birdies to come home in 29. The round was witnessed by two other professionals . . . Not as low, but no less noteworthy, was the 60 shot by Harris English in the first of two rounds at a British Open qualifier this week in Plano, Texas. English, a PGA Tour rookie who has never played in a major championship, secured his spot at Royal Lytham & St. Annes with ease, going 60-63 to claim medalist honors by four strokes. Among the seven to earn spots was Brookline’s James Driscoll, who shot 66-65 on the par-70 course, then survived a four-man playoff for the final three spots. Driscoll also advanced through the Texas qualifier in 2009, when he missed the cut in his only British Open appearance.
Rob Gronkowski and Rob Ninkovich will join other Patriots celebrities for the fourth Joe Andruzzi and Friends golf tournament at Granite Links Golf Club in Quincy. The June 18 event benefits Andruzzi’s foundation, which provides financial assistance to cancer patients and their families, and funds pediatric brain cancer research. If you’re interested in playing or serving as a tournament sponsor, call 774-284-4694 or visit www.JoeAndruzziFoundation.org . . . John Bekier (men’s gross) of Blackstone National Golf Club and Richard O’Brien (men’s net) of Highland Country Club were the winners at the Massachusetts Golf Association Member Day tournament at Whitinsville Golf Club . . . Four teams shared the victory at the New England PGA’s Acushnet Golf Pro-Assistant event at the Bay Club at Mattapoisett. Shooting 6-under-par 66: the Marshfield Country Club duo of James Antonelli and Kenneth Keefe; a pair of entries from the Milton-Hoosic Club (Todd Cook and Greg Dobbins, and Cook and Jordan Knickerbocker); and the Bay Club team of Greg Yeomans and Tracy Djerf . . . At the NEPGA’s Hudson Cup, Daniel Dwyer of Ipswich shot a 3-under-par 69 at Duxbury Yacht Club to take top honors . . . The Hopedale Country Club team of Mary Murphy and Paula Boulette won the Prunaret Cup at Cummaquid Golf Club, beating Wendy Moffat (Holden Hills Country Club) and Joyce Labonte (Green Hill Golf Course) in the championship match, 6 and 4 . . . Ron Margeson of Peabody was a double winner at the New England Golf Tour event from North Andover Country Club, shooting 73 for low gross and 69 for low net . . . Five former champions - Geoff Sisk, Kyle Gallo, Michael Welch, Scott Hawley, and defending champion Mark Stevens - are expected to compete at the Cape Cod Open, May 30-31 at Olde Barnstable and Hyannis Golf Club. Entries are still being accepted, but the deadline is Friday. To apply, visit www.ccopen.com . . . Kevin Carey (Dennis Pines) and Ray Richard (Willowbend) successfully defended their Massachusetts Senior Four-Ball title, shooting a final-round 66 at the Crumpin-Fox Club to earn a one-stroke victory. They birdied the final two holes to shoot the low round of the tournament and finish at 7-under-par 137, one better than Robert Hickman and Don Reycroft (69), and Joe Walker and Jim Horvath (70) . . . Earning exemptions into the US Kids World Championships in Pinehurst, N.C., were the following Massachusetts players of the year from the spring Boston-area US Kids Tour: Aidan LeBlanc of Beverly (boys’ 7), Alex Landry of Andover (boys’ 8), Michael Thorbjornsen of Wellesley (boys’ 10), James Imai of Brookline (boys’ 11), Andrew O’Leary of Norfolk (boys’ 12), Dante Newman of Grafton (boys’ 14), Victoria Veator of Bridgewater (girls’ 7 and under), Lily Walsh of Jamaica Plain (girls’ 8), Allison Paik of Sharon (girls’ 9), Alexandra Chicharro of Fall River (girls’ 10), Megan Mahan of North Andover (girls’ 12), Skylar Wolfe of Paxton (girls’ 13), and Mia Rapoza of Westport (girls’ 14). A qualifier for the Pinehurst tournament will be held June 2 at Hanover (N.H.) Country Club.