Winnipegger sets sights on return to U.S. Open

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 6:57 AM ET

Adam Speirs is gearing up for another run at the U.S. Open.

The 26-year-old Winnipegger, who failed to retain his Canadian Tour card last season, is in Memphis, Tenn., this week practising for U.S. Open local qualifying next week.

Speirs stunned many in 2002 when he qualified for the U.S. Open at Bethpage Black just 11 months after winning his second Manitoba men's amateur championship.

Today Speirs is older and wiser, but he finds himself basically in the same position he was three years ago -- without a tour to play on and in a group of about 8,000 players who will attempt to snag one of just a handful of spots in the PGA Tour's second major of the season.

"It's either play in the Open or come back home," Speirs said yesterday from Memphis. "Ideally, I'd prefer to play in the Open."

Speirs will play in a local qualifier in Kansas City next Wednesday, and if he plays well enough there, he'll move on to sectional qualifying on June 6.

On May 23, Speirs will attempt to Monday qualify for the PGA Tour's FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis.

FROGS FRIED: The weekend didn't go as planned for Stacey Bieber and the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs.

TCU finished 19th at the NCAA Division I Central Regional women's golf championship in Lubbock, Texas. Only the top eight teams advanced to the NCAA national championship in Oregon.

Bieber, a 20-year-old Winnipegger, shot 79-86-82 and tied for 98th. It was a disappointing finish for the sophomore, who placed second in the Conference USA championship three weeks ago.

The Horned Frogs were 10th after the first day, but they were 29 strokes worse in heavy winds on Day 2 and plummeted to 18th.

They dropped one more spot on the final day and finished 22 strokes out of eighth spot.

TOUR TALK: The Canadian Tour remains in Mexico this week for its second event in as many weeks.

The Michelin Morelia Classic tees off tomorrow in Morelia, Mexico, on the 7,254-yard Tres Marias Residential Golf Course.

The purse for the brand new event is $125,000 US, and play is being conducted from Wednesday to Saturday so players can get back to the States for U.S. Open local qualifying next week.

Rob McMillan and Glenn Collins of Winnipeg, along with Jason Hrynkiw of Dauphin, are in this week's field.

McMillan is 14th on the CanTour money list with $10,148.

CHIP SHOTS: Selkirk's Glen Hnatiuk is in the field for this week's PGA Tour stop, the EDS Byron Nelson Championship, in Irving, Texas. Hnatiuk, who is playing on a major medical exemption, needs to win more than $420,000 in his next 11 events to keep his card ... The dates for this year's Manitoba women's amateur championship have changed. The event, being held at Bel Acres Golf and Country Club, will now be played July 12-14 ... The National Post recently named Winnipeg's Derek Ingram among the top 10 golf teachers in the country. Another Winnipegger, Garth Goodbrandson, cracked the top 50.


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