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Golf News: Tiger Woods drops out of U.S. Open, Dustin Johnson settles lawsuit

By
Tom LaMarre, The Sports Xchange
Tiger Woods towels off on the first tee box in the first round the 2015 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia on April 9, 2015. Woods announced on his website that he will not play in the U.S. Open this week at Oakmont. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Tiger Woods towels off on the first tee box in the first round the 2015 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia on April 9, 2015. Woods announced on his website that he will not play in the U.S. Open this week at Oakmont. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Beau Hossler

It was a bittersweet week for Beau Hossler. Hossler, a junior at Texas from Mission Viejo, Calif., was selected the winner of the Fred Haskins Award as the best men's college player in the nation, and he also underwent surgery for a left shoulder injury that might have cost the Longhorns the NCAA championship.

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"This is such an honor," said Hossler, who became the fifth Longhorn to win the Haskins Award. "I really can't put into words the work and effort I have put in, but this really would not have been possible without everyone on my team, whether in Texas or California. It's a huge honor to represent them.

"It's really special to see guys like Phil Mickelson and Ben Crenshaw, guys like that (on the trophy). Maverick McNealy (of Stanford), one of my good friends, won last year, obviously had a tremendous season and backed it up with another amazing season. To be on that list with those guys is a tremendous honor."

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Hossler claimed five victories this season and won his matches in the quarterfinals and semifinals of the NCAA Championships, but he sustained a torn labrum in his left shoulder in the latter.

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The next day, he was forced to concede his match in the finals against Oregon, and the Ducks went on to beat Texas for the title, 3-2.

"It's a relatively minor surgery, but it's something that I need to get done," said Hossler, who is expected to be out of action until early October.

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"I made a decision that is best for the 30-year career I have in front of me, hopefully.

"I'm confident that I have a lot of trust in my doctor and that he's going to do the right thing and get me on track. I promise you I will work my butt off in rehab to get back as soon as possible, but at the same time, I'm not going to be coming back until I'm 100 percent."

Longhorns who won the Hawkins Award previously were Crenshaw in 1971-72-73, Bob Estes in 1987, Justin Leonard in 1994 and Brad Elder in 1997.

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Bronte Law

Bronte Law, a UCLA junior from England, was selected winner of the third annual Annika Award, presented by the Annika Sorenstam Foundation, as the best female college golfer in the United States.

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Law won three events and finished in the top 10 in eight of her 10 tournaments. In addition to the award, Law received an exemption into the Evian Championship, an LPGA Tour major, in mid-September at Evian, France.

"It's the biggest award I've ever won; being regarded by my peers and the coaches as the best player for this year is something I've worked really hard for," said Law, a two-time WGCA All-American.

"It's such an honor to win an award in Annika's name, somebody who has been my role model since I started playing golf."

Thanks to winning the NCAA Bryan Regional, the PING/ASU Invitational and Stanford Intercollegiate Hosted by Condoleeza Rice, in addition to claiming four other top-four finishes, Law ended the season atop the Golfweek/Sagarin Women's Amateur rankings.

Law is the second Bruin to win the Annika Award, following 2014 recipient Alison Lee. The 2015 winner was Leona Maguire of Duke.

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Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods announced on his website that he will not play in the U.S. Open this week at Oakmont or the Quicken Loans National, the tournament he hosts that benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation, the following week.

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Woods, 40, has not played since undergoing a third procedure on his back after he tied for 10th last August in the Wyndham Championship.

"While I continue to work hard on getting healthy, I am not physically ready to play in this year's U.S. Open and the Quicken Loans National," Woods said in the statement. "I am making progress, but I'm not yet ready for tournament competition.

"I want to thank everyone for their continued support. The positive texts, emails and calls I have received have been incredible. ...

"I will be hosting and attending my foundation's tournament, the Quicken Loans National, at Congressional. It's the 10th year of our tournament, and we continue to support the community, the military and the programs of the Tiger Woods Foundation."

Woods, who is three victories short of Sam Snead's PGA Tour record of 82, and four short of Jack Nicklaus' mark of 18 major titles, has said he believes he can tie or break both when he returns.

His last victory came in the 2013 Bridgestone Invitational to cap a season in which he won five tournaments. His last major title came in the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, where he outlasted Rocco Mediate in an epic 19-hole playoff.

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Won Jun Lee

Won Jun Lee, a 17-year-old senior at Saddlebrook Academy outside Tampa, Fla., was in contention to qualify for the U.S. Open last week at Timuquana Country Club in Jacksonville, Fla.

Lee posted a score of 71-68--139, 5 under par, missing a spot in the national championship this week at Oakmont because of a two-stroke penalty he was assessed behind the 11th hole in the second round.

It was ruled that Lee repaired a pitch mark near his ball, after his playing partner, 37-year-old Tim Wilkinson of Australia, called in a rules official.

The repair was a violation of Rule 13-2, which prevents players from improving the area of an intended stance or swing by "creating or eliminating irregularities of surface."

"I said, 'You can't do that ... you can't tap down pitch marks behind the ball,'" said Wilkinson, a PGA Tour member who qualified with a score of 69-68--137. "He said, 'No, I didn't,' and I said, 'Yes, you did ... I just watched you do it.' Sorry, that was an admission of guilt to me. ...

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Wilkinson said he saw Lee skirting the rule "several times" earlier in the qualifier and had even warned him during a rain delay that he was risking a potential penalty.

Dustin Johnson

Dustin Johnson settled a lawsuit against a former financial adviser over a $3 million investment made by the nine-time PGA Tour winner.

Johnson sued Nathan Hardwick, who served on the board of the Dustin Johnson Foundation, in October 2014, claiming his $3 million investment was, in fact, needed to cover shortages created by Hardwick, who is accused of embezzling $30 million from his former law firm.

"(I feel) as good as I can feel about it," Johnson said of the settlement, which was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia last month.

Details of the settlement were not revealed.

According to the lawsuit, Hardwick convinced Johnson to invest $3 million in his law firm, promising a $1 million return on his investment over 30 months. When the firm failed to make the first two monthly payments, Johnson filed suit.

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