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Published: Saturday, 6/15/2002

U.S. Open: Tolan, 16, has time of his life

BY DAVE HACKENBERG
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Derek Tolan, the 16-year-old from Colorado, had the time of his life in the U.S. Open, just not the round of his life.

Tolan carded an 88 yesterday for a 26-over-par total of 166 that sent him packing after 36 holes.

“It was probably the hardest round of golf I'll ever see in my entire life,” he said after playing in a day-long rain. “It beat me up. Making the turn, it was like, `This course is killing me. No way I can play out here now.'

“When you have to hit every shot perfect and your grips are soaking wet, it's tough. It's like, `What am I doing out here?'

“But I still had a lot of fun. I got to see what it was like, how tough it really is. I got to meet a lot of great people.”

SPEED KILLS: Tim Herron teed off in heavy rains expecting soft, slow greens. Somewhere en route to 75 shots he realized otherwise.

“We've never seen a course like this,'' he said. “With all this rain, you think you'd see the speed of the greens slow down, but it seems like they're faster. “

TOSS-UP QUESTION: Tony Soerries is a professional golfer currently working as a caddie at the Medalist Club in Hobe Sound, Fla. Would he rather play or caddie in nasty weather?

“On this course, that's a toss-up,'' he said, laughing, after shooting 76 and finishing two rounds at 20-over.



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