Golf notes: Dustin Johnson to return for Memorial
Five-time PGA Tour winner Dustin Johnson has been limited to six events this year with a back injury, but said this week that he’ll return May 31 at the Memorial.
Johnson last played at Doral in March, and missed the Masters when he aggravated the injury a week before Augusta.
In a statement this week, Johnson said, “I came into this year with some big goals, including making our Ryder Cup team, so I’ve got some serious ground to make up this summer.”
Memorial will also be the next start for Tiger Woods, who announced that he’ll be playing in Jack Nicklaus’s tournament for the 12th time. It’s an event he’s won on four occasions (1999-2001, 2009). Woods also said he’ll play in the Greenbrier Classic July 5-8, adding it to his schedule for the first time.
The Volvo World Match Play Championship dates to 1964, and counts Arnold Palmer, Nicklaus, Tom Weiskopf, Hale Irwin, Bill Rogers, and Corey Pavin among its champions. Mark O’Meara, too, who beat his buddy, Woods, in the 1998 final. Just one American saw fit to try his hand this year, though. Brandt Snedeker faces Thomas Bjorn in Thursday’s first round . . . Sixty-four of the best female professionals will compete in this week’s Sybase Match Play Championship in New Jersey, where Suzann Pettersen is the defending champion. She beat Cristie Kerr in last year’s final, the tournament’s second year . . . The CVS Caremark Charity Classic will once again feature LPGA stars in its field this year, including Yani Tseng, the current top-ranked player in women’s golf, and a pair of former No. 1s in Annika Sorenstam and Lorena Ochoa. Others putting the June 18-19 event at Rhode Island Country Club on their schedule include Lexi Thompson, Juli Inkster, Mark Calcavecchia, Pavin, Peter Jacobson, and the tournament hosts, Billy Andrade and Brad Faxon. More names will be announced as the tournament gets closer, but tickets are already available at www.cvscharityclassic.com or by calling 866-287-9441 . . . The average ratings and number of viewers for last week’s Players Championship gave Golf Channel its best numbers ever for the tournament. Ratings and viewers were up 15 percent from 2007 and 2010, and between 38 and 44 percent higher than a year ago.
Ken Campbell, the longtime head professional at Ponkapoag Golf Course and Newton Commonwealth Golf Course who was inducted into the New England PGA Hall of Fame in 2006, died May 9 at age 80. A PGA of America member for more than 50 years, Campbell always had a soft spot for junior golfers, conducting clinics, overseeing programs, and serving as director for many years of the New England Junior Open. He could play a little, too, winning the NEPGA Senior Championship in 1983. A memorial service is planned for 3 p.m. Saturday at Newton Presbyterian Church.
Braintree Municipal Golf Course, Granite Links in Quincy, South Shore Country Club in Hingham, and Oakley Country Club in Watertown are just some of the Massachusetts golf courses offering free 10-minute lessons as part of Welcome to Golf Month, an initiative developed by the PGA of America. More than 3,000 PGA and LPGA professionals nationwide are offering their teaching services in an attempt to introduce newcomers to the game. For a list of participating golf course facilities, or for more information, visit www.playgolfamerica.com/wtg . . . A Get Golf Ready clinic, specifically for women, will be held from 5:30-8 p.m. on Tuesday at Norton CC. The event will include instruction (full shots, chipping and putting, on-course management), equipment rentals, prize giveaways, and a cocktail reception, and costs $25. For details, call 781-769-5880 . . . If you’re in the Hartford area Saturday and know of a girl 5-17 who is interested in golf, bring her to TPC River Highlands, which is hosting a Girls Golf Fair, part of the LPGA Junior Golf Days. Cost to attend is $10 per junior, with the day split into two sessions: 7:15 a.m.-1 p.m., or 11:15 a.m.-5 p.m. To register, go to www.cobragolf.com/girlsgolffair.
College students with a valid school ID can purchase sharply-reduced grounds tickets for any of the four competition days at this year’s Deutsche Bank Championship. Students can purchase up to two, for $25 each (a savings of $30 per ticket), for the tournament, which is Aug. 31-Sept. 3 at TPC Boston in Norton. Tickets are available at www.dbchampionship.com . . . Applications for tickets to the 2013 Masters – which will be awarded in two upcoming lotteries – are now being accepted. For those interested in daily Thursday-Sunday tournament tickets, the deadline to apply for the lottery is June 30. Those who want to enter the lottery for practice round tickets (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday) must get their entries in by July 31. Information is available at www.masters.com . . . Entry deadlines are also approaching for two US Golf Association tournaments. Anyone wishing to play in the US Amateur Public Links (July 9-14 in Midway, Utah) has until May 23 to apply. Handicap index can’t be higher than 4.4, and there are two local qualifiers: George Wright Golf Course on June 19, and Bretwood Golf Course in Keene, N.H., a day later. Entries for the US Senior Open (July 12-15 in Lake Orion, Mich.) are also due on May 23. Vesper CC is the site of the lone area qualifier, on June 20, and entrants must be at least 50 by July 12 and have a handicap index of 3.4 or better. The only way to enter either event is online at www.usga.org.
Kirk Hanefeld of Renaissance Golf Club and Rich Berberian of Hoodkroft Country Club shared first place at the New England PGA’s Ahead Stroke Play tournament at Charles River Country Club. Both shot 4-under-par 68, one better than Marc Spencer of Windham. Hanefeld teamed with Steve Bramlett of Kernwood to win the pro-pro competition with a 7-under 65 . . .
Winners in the first Massachusetts Golf Association Member Day tournament, held Monday at Oak Hill Country Club, included Allen Chase of Westminster Country Club (men’s gross division), Robert Marchionne of Marshfield Country Club (men’s net), and Val Cassella of Sagamore Spring Golf Club (women’s net) . . . Andrew Luther of Bedford shot a 72 at Trull Brook to win low gross at a Tour of Greater Boston event. Low net went to Adam Podzka of Needham, who shot 64 . . . Defending champion and three-time winner Kevin Carey will be among the 146 players expected to compete in the Norfolk County Classic, which starts Friday at Presidents Golf Course in Quincy. The 36-hole tournament features many of the best amateurs in the state . . . The 16th Scott Riklin Memorial golf tournament is scheduled for June 8 at Juniper Hill Golf Course in Northborough, and benefits the Aids Action Committee of Massachusetts. Cost of the tournament is $150 per player, and includes golf, cart, dinner, souvenir golf shirt, and golf balls. For information, call Jeff Riklin at 617-719-1136 . . . Once again, Shining Rock Golf Club is offering a special seasonal full membership with reciprocal playing privileges at five other courses: Quidnessett CC in North Kingstown, R.I., Hopkinton CC, Sterling CC, Norton CC, and Cape Neddick Golf Club in Ogunquit, Maine. For details, visit www.shiningrock.com . . . Barry Friedman of Watertown used a 7-iron to make a hole-in-one on the 155-yard eighth hole at Green Harbor Golf Club in Marshfield recently.
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