My column in the National Post following Michelle Wie’s inability to make it through the U.S. Open sectional qualifier has garnered a couple letters to the editor, something that golf columns rarely do. One reader thought I was off my rocker, and that if Wie had been a 16-year-old boy, I’d never be critically writing about him. The other reader felt my comments on the Wie circus were bang on.
If you want a completely different take on Wie, read this column by AP.
Speaking of up-and-coming golfers, I had the chance yesterday to tee it up at Mississaugua Golf & CC with Andrew Parr, one of this country’s top young guns. Parr, who played in the U.S. Am last year at Merion, was part of a dog and pony show yesterday highlighting the succcess the RCGA is having with its high performance program for this country’s top golfers. It was impressive and clearly is something the RCGA does well. With several of the players graduating from college this year and jumping into the ranks of professional golf, Canada has a real hope of following the likes of Jon Mills and David Hearn. Parr is clearly one of those who could crack the big leagues — he has a powerful tee ball and a nice touch with the putter. He’ll remain an amateur until turning pro in the fall. He’s one to watch and a central figure in my Post column, which can be found in the paper today.
In a strange twist, Justin Rose apparently was told at his U.S. Open Sectional Qualifier that his score wouldn’t hold up, so he left the course. Only an hour later did he receive a call to find out that he had made a playoff — but it was too late to return. That’s just one of the strange stories coming out of U.S. Open qualifying, including Steve Elkington’s weird battle over wearing steel spikes. Elkington withdrew rather than changing to soft spikes, which seems like a complete overreaction. Suck it up, Steve, and play. Apparently Elkington has a bunch of strange habits, including a golf glove fetish. Yesterday, a Titleist exec in Canada told me that Elkington is notorious for going through a dozen golf gloves a week and has to try on each one individually before determing that it is, in fact, the right glove.
Speaking of U.S. Open qualifying, check out Jim Byers’ story in the Toronto Star on Canadian journeyman Brad Fritsch, who qualified for the U.S. Open.
Brad Fritsch has had plenty of reasons to doubt himself. In six years as a pro touring everywhere from the Azores to Newfoundland to France to Mexico, the Ottawa-area resident has precisely one win — at a Great Lakes Tour event in Markham last fall.
He’s the prototypical journeyman; a guy who drives a 2000 Dodge Intrepid with 300,000 clicks, who stays with friends on the road to save money and who has won precisely $2,186 on the Canadian Tour this year.
But, after a remarkable finish Monday at a qualifying tournament, Fritsch has an unlikely shot at golf glory when he tees off at the U.S. Open a week from tomorrow.
The full story is here.
Lorne Rubenstein had an interesting column in the Globe yesterday on Ed Ervasti, the remarkable 92-year-old golfer in London, Ont.
A few days ago, 92-year-old Ed Ervasti was stamping out shot after crisp shot and holing putt after putt at the London Hunt and Country Club in Southern Ontario, his home course and the site of the CN Canadian Women’s Open in August. Ervasti will attend the event — and he could teach the players a thing or two, not that he’ll say a word.
Check out the full story here.