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Schultz closes in on PGA berth

Grier's effort comes to end

June 28, 2004|by TIM KOELBLE

NASHPORT, Ohio - Hagerstown's Dirk Schultz is one good round of golf away from being a participant in the 87th PGA Championship in August.

The Black Rock professional carded a 36-36-72 on Saturday to jump into a tie for 15th place in the 37th PGA Club Professionals Championship at Longaberger Golf Club. Over the first three days, Schultz has posted rounds of 73 and 69 to go with Saturday's effort that left him at 214, 2-under par over the 7,225-yard course.

The top 25 golfers receive exemptions to the 2004 PGA event at Whistling Straits Golf Club in Kohler, Wisc., August 12-15.

"We're just havin' some fun here," Schultz said. "I really haven't played as well as I can, but my drives have been straight and they're getting me close to the greens."

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Schultz had eight of his drives put him close enough to use a wedge into the greens and ended with two birdies and two bogeys. Both birdies were on par 4s and he bogeyed a par 5 and 3.

"My putting and mid-irons were not as good as I would have hoped," Schultz said.

With no less than 11 other golfers behind Schultz within reach of having great rounds pushing them into contention for an exemption, the focus is simple for today's final round.

"I really haven't thought much about the top 25," said Schultz, who had missed a previous opportunity two years ago in Bend, Ore., when he finished 26th. "I'll search for some improvement, and if the driver is working, I'll be OK."

Jeff Coston, of Blaine, Wash., was the leader after three rounds at 12-under par-204 following a 2-under 70 Saturday.

The Mid-Atlantic PGA was well-represented in the top six as Chip Sullivan, of Troutville, Va., was in fifth place at 4-under 210 and Mark Evenson, of Ellicott City, Md., was in sixth place at 3-under 211.

Grier's effort stopped

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - Hagerstown's Ashley Grier went two extra holes Saturday morning in the fifth round of the 28th USGA Women's Amateur Public Links tournament and was brushed aside from reaching the quarterfinals of match play competition.

Grier, after qualifying through two rounds of medal play and winning two match play tests, was all square with Ya-Ni Tseng, of Chinese Taipei, through 20 holes Friday when play was suspended.

The two returned with a quarterfinal berth at stake and each parred the 21st hole, the 342-yard par-4 third hole at the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club Green Course.

Grier nearly drilled a 50-foot putt for birdie to win the match but had to settle for a tap-in par.

On the following hole, Grier had a shorter-than-normal drive,was forced to chip into the green on her third shot and recorded a par from eight feet out.

However, Tseng hit a wedge that settled two feet from the cup and promptly went on for the winning birdie.

"This was the greatest golf I've ever played," Grier said. "I really didn't expect to get this far and my dad (Dave) was a great help as my caddie."

Grier, who will next try to qualify in July for the U.S. Women's Amateur, played 94 holes in the Publinx tournament in 5-under par.

"This was such a great experience," Grier said. "I even signed an autograph."

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