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U.S. OPEN DAILY REPORT : NOTES

Walchers' Par at 18 Is Finishing Blow

June 20, 1998|THOMAS BONK and RANDY HARVEY | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

SAN FRANCISCO — The cut of seven-over 147 at the U.S. Open claimed Tom Watson, Nick Faldo, Davis Love III and Ben Crenshaw, but some big names survived: Tom Lehman, David Duval, Colin Montgomerie, Phil Mickelson, John Daly, Casey Martin, Tiger Woods, Justin Leonard, Mark O'Meara, Jack Nicklaus, Jim Furyk and Fred Couples.

Montgomerie had seven bogeys and still shot a 74. He is at 144, seven shots behind Payne Stewart.

There were exactly 60 players who made the cut, which hasn't happened since 1977 at Southern Hills, and it wouldn't have happened this time if not for Rocky Walcher.

The 36-year-old Nike Tour regular playing in the next-to-last group of the day made an up-and-down on the 18th hole for par that kept 15 players--including former champions Watson, Corey Pavin and Hale Irwin from getting in at 148.

By the numbers:

* 311,000--individual items for sale in the merchandise tent;

* 90,000--expected number of cash register transactions in the merchandise tent;

* $25,000--fee for golf privileges at Olympic;

* 12--years it takes to clear the waiting list to join Olympic;

* 2,614--feet the Olympic is from the Pacific Ocean.

Ann McNamara is the chief of the staff at Will Call, which is the place where fans pick up their tickets. Since U.S. Open tickets are a hot commodity, she has heard just about all the excuses possible for scamming tickets.

"I remember one year when a man told us his dog ate his ticket," McNamara said. "We told him to bring in the pieces, and he did."

Tickets that are mistakenly sent through washing machines are replaced if the pulpy remains can be identified. On Thursday, the Will Call staff helped out a chef who was having problems with his credentials. He was so grateful, he sent over some fried chicken.

The Will Call office may often be unappreciated, but it's also battling an identity problem. Jeanne Paparelli of the office crew said some people don't even know what Will Call is.

"They expect us to call someone for them or call us a cab," she said. "One man wanted us to drive him to the clubhouse."

*

Matt Kuchar, the 19-year-old amateur from Georgia Tech, finished tied for 21st at the Masters, but he's tied for fourth after 36 holes of the U.S. Open and is sort of enjoying this whole major tournament thing.

"It's exciting," said Kuchar, who chipped in for birdie on No. 15 after a double bogey on No. 14. "It's exciting when you get that twinge in your stomach. That's what golf is really all about."

*

No one was happier to miss the cut Friday than Ken Peyre-Ferry.

The 49-year-old club pro from Marlton, N.J., had mixed emotions about qualifying earlier this month for the U.S. Open because his son's wedding was scheduled for today.

Further complicating matters, his son, groom-to-be Kenny, is his caddie.

Ken considered withdrawing, but Kenny talked him out of it.

"He has been adamant, very adamant about it," Ken said.

Still, both father and son were relieved when Ken shot a 79 in the second round to go with Thursday's 80. They caught a red-eye flight together Friday night.

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