One Week in June:  The U.S. Open

    Leah Eagel
    Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.
    [email protected]
For Immediate Release
The U.S. Open is generally considered the preeminent golf championship in the world.  From decades-old newspaper accounts to first-person memoirs, ONE WEEK IN JUNE:  THE U.S. OPEN (Union Square Press / May 2010/ $19.95) takes fans behind the scenes, giving them a rare and privileged peek into the tournament:  its glorious history, finest moments, and even its quirkiest happenings.
Filled with great putts, heart-stopping comebacks, and dramatic defeats of unforgettable players, ONE WEEK IN JUNE:  THE U.S. OPEN includes:

Some of the nation’s finest courses-from the rolling hills of Winged Foot to the famed fairways of Baltusrol to the stunning holes of Pebble Beach that overlook Carmel Bay
Pieces by many of our best-known sportswriters, from Grantland Rice to Dan Jenkins, Rick Reilly, Dick Schaap, and Jim Murray
Words and memories from some of the golf legends themselves including Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, and Phil Mickelson
A fascinating look at the "U.S. Open Setup" (the meticulous preparation of the courses)
A first-hand recap fro mfan favorite Arnold Palmer, who brings you onto the course with him at Cherry Hills in 1960 where he shot his sixty-five in the round
Tom Callahan’s description of "Tiger Slam" held at Pbble beach in 2000 from the Washington Post

ONE WEEK IN JUNE:  THE U.S. OPEN lets us relive great milestones in the game and ivites us to witness the kind of moments, both touching and hilarious, that could only happen at what Jack Nicklaus ranks as the number one major – a hole-in-one you won’t want to miss!

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Kim wins 2nd AZ Stroke Play Championship title

Chan Kim of Gilbert, shot a final round one-over 71 en route to his second Arizona Stroke Play Championship at TPC Scottsdale-Champions Course posting a four-day total of seven-under 273.  Andrew Medley of Phoenix, Takaya Fuji of Tucson and Kyle Jones of Taylor finished tied for second at two-under  278. Brandon Moore of Peoria was alone in fifth at one-under 279. There was a three-way tie for sixth with Kyle Kallan of Surprise, Bob Burton of Scottsdale and Darren Hupfer of Edmonton, Alberta who finished at two-over 282.
The victory is the fourth consecutive year that the tournament has been won by a golfer from Hamilton High School.  Andrew Yun, a former teammate of Kim’s has the other two victories.  The championship also makes Kim one of only four players with multiple wins including Billy Mayfair who won back-to-back titles and 10-time AGA Player the Year Ken Kellaney, who has four championships.
Kim,  who started the day with a six-shot lead, struggled off the tee, but never was in serious jeopardy of losing his lead.  The closes it got was Medley narrowing the gap to four shots after the 13th hole.
“It was a battle during the weekend and I’m definitely happy to have one, especially here at TPC Scottsdale,” Kim said.  “I love this golf course and the staff.  It’s just a great place.”
Kim, who played the front nine at one-under par 34 had three birdies and two bogeys to start the day and was not able to fully capitalize on the par five opportunities that had proved to be such good scoring opportunities the first two days.
“Starting off the day I look to the par fives with the expectation to birdie each of them during the round and then an occasional birdied on the 359-yard par four 15th hole and those would be solid rounds,” he said.  “But, I couldn’t putt for the whole week and was missing them left and right.  A few dropped in, but for the most part, they were lagged or I would tap in for a birdie.  I’m probably going to take a couple of days off, have a lesson on Tuesday, and focus on putting. My coach is out here, hopefully get that straightened out. 
With trouble lurking on most holes, Chan made a big par saving putt on the fifth hole after his tee shot landed in the junk and he flew the green with his approach shot.  On the 145-yard par three sixth hole, he was lucky to escape with a bogey four, after hitting the ball nearly out of bounds to the left with a near impossible shot to the green.
On the back nine, which Kim says presents him with many birdie opportunities he could only post one sub-par score with a birdie three on the 446-yard 12th hole.  Three bogeys including one on the 18th, left Kim feeling a bit frustrated, but fortunate that he had escaped without too much injury.
“I could have played a lot worse today,” Kim said.  “I had a lot of lucky things happen this week.  Defiantly one of the reasons I won, was I got some lucky bounces.  Overall I’m very excited and very pleased on how I played this week and hope it will carry on this summer.”
Medley, who started the day seven shots back said it would take a miracle to win the championship, but gave it his best shot and was four under after the front nine.
“I did everything I needed to do to put myself in a good position on the back nine,” he said.  “My whole outlook was to stay aggressive.  If I was going to go down, I wanted to go down swinging.  At the turn, I thought I was in a good position to pull of that miracle.”
The aggressive play didn’t pan out and Medley couldn’t close the gap posting a three-over 35.
Fuji, 23 who attends the University of Arizona, played in the last group with Kim and really never gave it a strong run.
“I wasn’t hitting the ball well this week,” he said.  “Today I really needed to put the pressure on  Chan to have a chance.  I didn’t give up and was waiting hit the ball better and I was lucky to shoot even par.  Overall I was really excited with the way I played on the back side and didn’t give up mentally which kept me in there.”


Kim poised to capture 2nd Stroke Play title

Chan Kim of Gilbert, shot an even par 70 to take a commanding six shot lead over Takuya Fuji of Tucson and Juan Fernandez of Phoenix going into the final round of the Arizona Stroke Play Championship at TPC Scottsdale-Champions Course. Kim, who captured the title in 2008, the first year the event was at TPC Scottsdale, is eight under-par 202 through 54 holes.  Both Fuji and Fernandez carded one-under 69s to move into a tie for second place. Brandon Moore of Peoria, shot a two-under 68, the low round of the day to move into a tie for fourth place with Andrew Medley of Phoenix, who posted a three-over 73 and stands at one-under for the championship.
Chris Kessler of Scottsdale, who started the day just three strokes off the pace and was the runner up to Kim in 2008, shot six-over 76 and is tied with 2008 AGA Player of the Year, Paul Welle, of Scottsdale at 1-over 211.
Kim, who breezed through the first two days of competition had a very up and down round with four birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey.
“It was a struggle today,” Kim said.  “It was an emotional round.   On the front nine, I had good a good birdie on four and then three putted on five to give it away, but I came back and birdied six which is a tough hole, then bogeyed nine, which isn’t good on a par five.”
He finished the front nine at even-par 35.
Struggling off the tee most of the day, he drove into the right fairway bunker on the 446-yard par four 12th hole.  His shot from the bunker hit the lip with the ball landing behind him in the rough.  His third found the greenside bunker and he two putted for the rare double bogey.
With his lead over Kessler down to two strokes, Kim had to find his composure and not let the round get away from him.
“I was a bit worried and there were a lot of thoughts running through my head,” he said.  “I knew there were some more birdie holes coming up and there was still 18 holes to play tomorrow, so that was comforting.”
Two holes later, Kim found himself in a similar predicament, this time under the lip of the bunker on the 429-yard par four.  With an easier wedge shot to the green the result was a 12-footer for birdie, that he just missed, but was happy to take the par and potentially lose more ground.
The drivable 359-yard par four 15th hole could have had potential for a lead change.  Kim, flew the green and landed in the hazard, but fortunately had a good lie, while Kessler in the front bunker knocked his sand wedge to within three feet.
With Kessler staring at a birdie putt, Kim says he just wanted to land the ball on the green and not have it roll back down the hill.  Kessler missed his putt and Kim was able to two-putt from about 25 feet.
With Kessler’s bogey on the 16th, Kim increased his lead to three and then carded birdies on the 17th and 18th to finish the round.
“I didn’t expect to make birdies on the last two holes,” Kim said.  “Just finishing even, I will take it, as long as I don’t lose strokes. Tomorrow, I just need to stay patient, the same strategy of playing conservative and be aggressive when I can.  I sure would like to make a whole bunch more putts than I have the last three days, hopefully they’ll drop for me tomorrow.”
Medley, who regained his amateur status 18 months ago, said “it would take a miracle” to pull off an upset and win the championship after a disappointing round today.
“It was a circus out there today,” he said. “I don’t know where I was for the first 10 holes. I was five over after seven and didn’t know what was going on.  I told myself when I was making the turn, if I could try to get a few down the stretch.  It was unfortunate the start I got off with and it was nice to birdie three of the last five and to turn a really bad round into a mediocre round.  If the course is set it up hard and they make it play challenging tomorrow anything can happen.”


Kim has 3-shot lead after round 2

Chan Kim of Gilbert, shot a five-under 65 Friday to take the lead by two strokes at eight-under par over Chris Kessler of Scottsdale, after two days of play at the Arizona Stroke Play Championship at TPC Scottsdale – Champions Course.  Kessler who opened with a four-under 66 and had the lead following Thursday’s round posted a one-under 69.  Andrew Medley, of Phoenix, matched Kim’s 65 and is in third at four-under par 136 for the two days after posting a one-over 71 on Thursday.
Brent Baylon, of Phoenix, remains in fourth place besting his opening round score by one shot posting a two-under 68 Friday and is at three-under par 137 for the two days.  Paul Welle, of Scottsdale, the 2008 AGA Player of the Year and Bob Burton, of Scottsdale, are tied for fifth at two-under 138. Takuya Fuji, of Tucson and Juan Fernandez are the only other players under par and are tied for seventh at one-under 139.
Kim had a flawless round with two eagles and a birdie. Over the first two days he has played the three par 5s at seven-under par.
“My ball striking was pretty solid, but my putting was a little off and everything else was good,” Kim said.  “I’m not too worried about it. I saw my coach, Jeff Fisher this morning and will see him again tomorrow.”
His first eagle came on the 556 yard par five fourth hole.  After a solid drive he had 200 yards to the hole that was behind the bunker. Not wanting to end up in the sand, he used his six iron and hit out to the right landing on the fringe.  Faced with a tricky putt because of the slop and not totally sure of the line he wanted to get it close, but read it right and sank the 25-footer and he says, “got lucky.”
On the 575 yard ninth hole, he hit another solid drive to the left side of the fairway and left himself 270 yards to the hole.  Not wanting to fly the green he took a hybrid and the ball went straight to the hole and nearly went in, rolling just five feet by and a setup a successful eagle putt.
The back nine that proved to be a strong stretch in Chan’s final round that lead him to victory in 2008, did not prove to be the same birdie holes that they were yesterday.  In Friday’s round he only carded the birdie that came on the 189 yard par 3 16th hole when he was finally able to sink a 15-footer that gave him great relief after missing a number of eight – 10-footers.
“It was getting kind of frustrating,” he said.  “It was a relief to finally make that putt.”
Just half way through the tournament, Kim, is happy to be in the position he is in, but knows there is more work to be done.
“There is still a lot of golf to be played,” he added.  “I’m going to have a conservative strategy and play aggressive to that. I feel comfortable and overall I’m playing well and if I can get my putts to roll I think I’ll be fine, but there is some holes left to play.”
Kessler, 38, the runner-up to Kim in 2008, who shot an opening round four-under 66 continued to struggle off the tee and had difficulties on the greens carded three birdies and two bogeys.
“I really putted poorly and misread some of the greens today,” he said.  “Today, I had more legitimate chances for birdies, but just couldn’t putt.  I need to have confidence off the tee, because this is a course you can get into trouble on.  Tomorrow I’m going to go to the range and try and work that out.  On the tee box you have to confident in your swing or you pay for it.  I’m a fairly consistent putter and usually don’t have two bad days in a row.  I’m going to go home and work on my putting a bit. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.”
Medley, 30, regained his amateur status 18 months ago and turned in a stellar bogey-free performance. Starting on the back nine he notched birdies on the 10th and 13th holes and on the front nine carded back-to-back birdies starting on the third and fourth holes and finished with a birdie on his last hole to punctuate the perfect round.
“It was one of those flawless days of golf and I made a couple of par putts that I needed to make to establish my round and keep the bogey free round going,” he said.  “The golf course was playing difficult depending on where you hit it and you had to respectful of the hole positions. My game plan today was to hit a lot of greens and was fortunate to make the putts for birdies. “ Medley, who played his final year of golf at the University of Arizona in 2003, turned pro and retired after five years.  Now in the commercial real estate business and shortly expecting his first child, was reflective on the decision to return to the amateur ranks. “If I had the feeling I have now when I played pro golf, I probably wouldn’t have quit playing.  I seem to have gotten a lot better since I don’t have to rely on six-footers for money.”
While Medley does not have to time to play as much golf as he would like, he has made the most of his outings and reached the Sweet 16 last year at the U.S. Mid-Amateur.
With two days of golf left to play and four shots off the lead, Medley is in contention to take home the Kachina. “Tomorrow, I’m just keep going to keep doing what I’m doing and stay aggressive,” he said.  “The guys in front of me are doing a great job.  I have go out and try to make as many birdies as I can and I’d sure like to win it.  I will have to play a lot of good golf to put myself in that position.”


Kessler takes 1st round lead at Stroke Play

Chris Kessler of Scottsdale, shot an opening round four-under 66 to take a one shot lead over Chan Kim of Gilbert, the 2008 champion and Mike Lopez of Phoenix at the Arizona Stroke Play Championship at TPC Scottsdale – Champions Course.
Only three other players broke par and are tied in fourth place; Brent Baylon of Phoenix, Greg Halvorson of Scottsdale and Jordan Lowery of Gilbert. Paul Welle of Scottsdale, the 2008 AGA Player of the Year, who is returning to competition in the Grand Canyon State after a year in Minnesota, shot a two-over 72. Four-time past champion and 10-time AGA Player of the Year Ken Kellaney, of Phoenix, carded a three-over 73.
Kessler, 38, the 2006 Arizona Mid-Amateur Champion, who finished alone in fifth place last year, bested his opening round from last year by a full nine strokes.  His 66 was just one-shot off the tournament low last year, shot by champion Andrew Yun in the final round.  Although pleased with his score, he had a very realistic assessment of the round.
“There is no doubt this round was better than last year,” he said.  “Overall I drove the ball poorly, but I was able to keep it in play enough and made a couple of decent birdie putts,” he said.  “There wasn’t anything fancy out there and it was a non distinguishable round.  I got up and down when I didn’t drive real well.  Last year was really windy and I drove it horribly and this year there wasn’t so much wind.  Once you get off the fairways there is a lot of trouble.”
Kessler posted five birdies and two bogeys in the round.  He avoided a bad start after a three-putt bogey five on the second hole, with back-to-back birdies.  On the 174-yard third hole, he drained a 20-footer to start the rally.  He had again had back-to-back birdies on the seventh and eighth holes to finish the first nine at three-under 32.  On the back nine, he carded two more birdies and one lone bogey to finish that side at one-under 34.
“If I could just drive the ball better, I would feel really good,” said the banking executive.  “I just don’t get too far off with my irons and I’m not a streaky putter, but rather solid.  “If I can drive it well, I think I can put up some good numbers.  It’s not a good course to not have your driver working well, at least not for me.”
Kim, who drives the ball over 300 yards took advantage of the three par 5s with birdies on all of them.  Overall he carded six birdies and three bogeys. 
Starting on the back nine, he felt right at home.  When he captured the title two years ago, he finished strong with birdies on four of the last five holes and this year he had four birdies and one bogey on the last six holes of the side. “Overall I’m pretty happy with the round,” Chan said.  “There were a couple  of bad shots and it could have been better, but I’ll take three-under. There is still a lot of golf to be played.”
Although he notched a bogey on the 456-yard par four 11th hole, he turned it around with three-consecutive birdies starting on the 13th hole carding a two with a three-foot putt on the par 3.  Flying the green on 429-yard par four 14th hole, he chipped in from 30 feet and then on the 359-yard 15th hole, he barely missed a 30-foot eagle putt to settle for a three.  Another bogey on the 189-yard par 3 16th hole was followed  by another birdie four when he missed a 25-foot eagle putt to finish his first nine a two-under 33.
On the front nine, he had birdies on the fourth and ninth holes and one bogey on the fourth to finish the side at one-under 34. 
For Chan, the key will be his putting for the remainder of the championship.
“As long as I can roll the putts on my lines and I feel comfortable then I can shoot lights out, but today, I had some poor putts and those don’t help the round,” he said.