Notebook: Former PGA champ Elkington withdraws
Steve Elkington the biggest name of several players to pull out so far, putting Bob Estes and Billy Andrade, among others, into the field. Plus, Colin Montgomerie supports drug testing, Nick Dougherty is driven to distraction, and more.
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MEDINAH, Ill. -- Steve Elkington, who won the 1995 PGA Championship at Riviera, withdrew from Medinah, citing personal reasons. He is replaced in the field by Billy Andrade.
Elkington, who tied for second in the 2005 PGA Championship at Baltusrol, was hoping to continue his return to major championship form at Medinah. He has made only 11 PGA Tour starts so far in 2006, earning $185,000 to sit 182nd on the money list. Andrade has a second-place finish and a third-place finish to his credit in 19 starts so far this season, and he ranks 61st on the money list with earnings of $972,147.
INS AND OUTS:
Also withdrawing on Wednesday were Wayne Grady of Australia, who won the 1990 PGA Championship at Shoal Creek, fellow Aussie Mark Hensby and new daddy Bo Van Pelt. Charles Warren is taking Hensby?s spot, while Jonathan Byrd replaces Grady and Bob Estes subs in for Van Pelt.
Estes has amassed $922,826 in 17 PGA Tour starts so far this season and ranks 64th on the money list. Warren ranks 87th on the money list with earnings of $752,824 in 21 starts this season. Byrd has three top 10s in a dozen starts so far this year, and ranks 85th on the cash chart with winnings of $759,137.
Hensby, who has been struggling with lower-body injuries this season, has two top-25 finishes in 12 PGA Tour starts in 2006, and ranks 175th on the money list with slightly more than $204,000 in earnings.
TAKE THE TEST: Count Colin Montgomerie among those who believe professional golfers should be tested for performance-enhancing drugs.
"I'm all for it," said Montgomerie on Tuesday. "With the doping that has been going on in athletics and cycling, it's a great shame that people have to resort to that. But if they want to dope test us, that's fine. Why should we be one of the few sports that isn't tested?"
Montgomerie was quick to state, however, that he believes none of his competitors is using drugs that would be banned by other sports.
"I can say there is no one out here who uses performance-enhancing drugs," he said. "I can speak for the tour and know it is clean, and if they want to test us that's fine."
DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION: Nick Dougherty of England has a new driver in his bag this week. He had no choice -- his last one, as far as he knows, is still stuck up a tree in Hamburg, Germany.
Dougherty was playing with European Ryder Cup Captain Ian Woosnam in the second round of the recent Deutsche Bank Players Championship when he experienced a moment of madness on a back-nine tee box.
"I had what I can only describe as like a yip with the driver," he said. "I flipped and as I walked off the tee after hitting a provisional I reacted" by flinging the driver skyward.
"The next minute I'm looking at the driver going in the tree," he added. "It stayed there and I walked on. Nobody made an attempt to get it down and either somebody has a nice new driver now or it's still there.
Dougherty has had two weeks off since that incident. He was intending to go on vacation, but his grandfather died and he acted as one of the pallbearers.
"Sad circumstances obviously, but it was good to spend some time with the family. It brought everybody together and that was amazing to see," he added. "Hopefully now I can play well and get my confidence back. It's not been my game. It's just the way I've been thinking."
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