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Golf notebook: Janzen spiked from U.S. Open qualifying

The SportsXchange

--Lee Janzen is a two-time U.S. Open champion, but that cut him no slack at a qualifier for the national championship last week.

Janzen, who captured the second major of the year in 1993 at Baltusrol and in 1998 at the Olympic Club, had finished his first of two rounds at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Md., when he was approached by an official and asked if he was wearing metal spikes.

"He said, 'You can't wear metal spikes,' and I was disqualified," Janzen sad. "I have never not worn metal spikes. I've played in U.S. Open qualifiers every year since 2009 in Memphis (Tenn.) and Columbus (Ohio), and always wore metal."

All players in the qualifier were informed of the ban on metal spikes in a May 20 letter from Michael Cumberpatch of the Mid-Atlantic Golf Association, the official in charge of the Woodmont qualifier.

Only two sectional qualifying sites allowed metal spikes for the qualifier, Columbus, Ohio, and Memphis, Tenn., where the majority of PGA Tour players were competing.

Metal spikes are allowed on the PGA Tour and the major championships, even at the U.S. Open.

"It never entered my mind," Janzen said. "Considering I've played professional tournaments every week for 24 years now, I had no reason (to look at the rules sheet) to see if I was conforming."

Janzen probably was not going to qualify anyway, as he shot 75 on Woodmont's North Course in his first round and would have needed a 61 on the South Course just tie the eighth and final qualifier, Matt Bettencourt.

Another two-time U.S. Open champion, Retief Goosen, withdrew from the tournament because of a back injury.

--They call the 36-hole qualifier a week before the U.S. Open "The Longest Day in Golf."

For Zack Fischer and Ryan Palmer, it was much more than that.

Fischer, a 23-year-old from Texarkana, Texas, holed 12-foot birdie putt on the 12th hole of a playoff with Palmer the day after they started to earn a berth in his first U.S. Open this week at Merion.

A graduate of Texas-Arlington, Fischer grabbed the fourth and final spot available in the qualifier at Lakewood Country Club in Dallas.

"It was really exhausting," said Fischer, who became the second player from Texas-Arlington to qualify for the U.S. Open (Greg Gregory missed the cut in 1999 at Medinah). "I was really restless last night because I knew I had to come back out here. All these emotions are running through me. I've got adrenaline going. That's pretty much what I'm running on right now."

Fischer and Palmer, who has won three times on the PGA Tour, played eight holes after finishing in a tie for the fourth qualifying spot before darkness forced them to wait until the next day to finish.

Palmer, 36, from Amarillo, Texas, won the 2004 Funai Classic at Walt Disney World, the 2008 Ginn sur Mer Classic and the 2010 Sony Open in Hawaii. He opened the door for Fischer when his approach shot spun off the green on the final playoff hole.

"It's a crapshoot; what are you going to do?" said Palmer, who left the course and caught a flight to Memphis, where he played in the FedEx St. Jude Classic. "What's really frustrating is that it carried over to today."

In another playoff that carried over to the next day, John Nieporte, head pro at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Fla., holed an eight-foot putt on the third extra hole, and the first of the second day, to beat 15-year-old David Snyder.

Nieporte earned the third and final qualifying spot available at Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club in Bradenton, Fla.

--Paul Goydos, one of the real good guys on the PGA Tour, played his first event in nearly 16 months last week when he teed it up in the FedEx St. Jude Classic.

In his first tournament back, he shot 73-72--145, very respectable after the long absence, to miss the cut by four strokes. Goydos plans to play again next week at the Travelers Championship.

Goydos, who will turn 49 next week, was sidelined because of an injury to his left hand and wrist that required two surgeries.

"I need to figure out where (my game) is at," Goydos said beforehand. "You really can't simulate a tour event."

Goydos, who has had to deal with tendinitis in his left wrist throughout his career, had a bone spur that was irritating a tendon removed from the wrist in March.

In October, he had another procedure to remove a bone spur from his left index finger.

"From a pain-management standpoint, I'm fine," said Goydos, whose two victories on the PGA Tour came in the 1996 Bay Hill (now the Arnold Palmer) Invitational and the 2007 Sony Open in Hawaii. "But I want to give my hand a test, hitting balls seven straight days and all the rigors that go with playing a tournament.

"I've gone as far as I can go at home. It's time to go out and evaluate my game. The second thing I need to evaluate is if I'm ready to compete inside the ropes, and that will be based on how I handle it more than what I shoot."

Goydos, who became one of five players in PGA Tour history to shoot a 59 when he did so in the first round of the 2010 John Deere Classic, made only six starts in 2012 before being sidelined for the rest of the season.

--Ariya Jutanugarn, a rising star on the LPGA Tour even though she is not yet an official member of the tour, was forced to withdraw before the start of the Wegmans LPGA Championship last week at Locust Hill Country Club in Pittsford, N.Y., because of a shoulder injury.

The 17-year-old from Thailand wrote on her Facebook page that she was injured during a practice round on Monday.

"Thanks again to everyone who is worried about (me), but now I know what it is today," she wrote.

Jutanugarn, 17, injured her right shoulder when she fell while jogging off an incline at the 12th tee during a practice round and had difficulty moving her arm. Jutanugarn thought she might have broken the arm or dislocated the shoulder, but an LPGA trainer onsite found no breaks.

She later saw an orthopedic specialist, who said X-rays showed "my bone moved" in the joint. She said the specialist advised her to rest the shoulder for between two and four weeks.

Jutanugarn said the X-ray and MRI exam disclosed no broken bones.

"It's tough," said Jutanugarn, who has risen to No. 15 in the Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings. "My world ranking came up to the top 20, and it makes me real confident."

Jutanugarn, who captured the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco on the Ladies European Tour this season, has finished in the top 10 five times this season on the LPGA Tour, including second in the LPGA Thailand.

In her five starts this season through sponsors' exemptions and Monday qualifying, she has earned $447,772, which last week would have put her sixth on the LPGA Tour money list if she were a member.

Jutanugarn hopes to return for the U.S. Women's Open on June 27-30 at Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y.

--Jarrod Lyle of Australia, who received the devastating news in March 2012 that the leukemia he beat as a teenager had returned, apparently is free of the disease and hopes to begin working toward a return to the PGA Tour.

"Got results from my 12 month tests and there is NO sign of leukemia! Been a tough road but things are looking up. Couldn't be happier!!" Lyle wrote on his Twitter page.

Lyle was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 1999 at age 17 and was confined to his bed for nine months while undergoing chemotherapy. It took 12 months before he had the energy to walk a golf course again.

He got his game together and turned pro in 2004, earning his PGA Tour card in 2007. He didn't make enough money to keep it, but he made his way back to the big circuit by winning the Mexico Open and the Knoxville Open on what is now the Web.com Tour in 2008.

Lyle, from Shepparton, Victoria, Australia, posted his best finish on the PGA Tour when he tied for fourth in the 2012 Northern Trust Open at Riviera, finishing two strokes out of the playoff in which Bill Haas turned back Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley.

After tying for 37th in the Mayakoba Golf Classic a week later in Mexico, Lyle was not feeling well, so he flew home to Australia, where tests showed his leukemia had returned.

Before Lyle started chemotherapy, his wife, Briony, gave birth to their first child, Lusi Joy, and he was able to hold his daughter before beginning chemo, because once the process began he could not have contact with her.

When Lyle returns to the PGA Tour, he will be granted a medical exemption.

--Peter Kostis, a CBS Sports analyst and golf instructor, announced that he recently was diagnosed with colon cancer.

Kostis, 66, has missed the last several PGA Tour telecasts on CBS, with lead announcer Jim Nantz saying only that he had not been feeling well lately.

Kostis said he was going to keep his illness private until he heard John Kruk, the former major league outfielder who is an analyst on MLB Channel, talk about his testicular cancer on television.

"I decided to share my situation in hopes of spreading awareness of colon cancer," Kostis said in a statement. "I am currently home recovering from successful surgery for colon cancer. It was detected early during a regular physical and colonoscopy.

"My great team of doctors in Phoenix will be putting me through preventative chemotherapy. Because of early detection the prognosis for a full recovery is excellent. I had zero symptoms or family history. I urge everyone, if you are over 50 get a regular colonoscopy exam whether you think you need one or not.

"I thank all of you who have sent messages, thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery. I also want to thank my CBS Sports family, CBS management, the whole golf crew, and announcers have been fantastic in their support. I'll be back as soon as humanly possible. In the meantime, please get checked out!"
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