Originally created 05/27/06

Woods will miss first Memorial



Still coping with the death of his father, Tiger Woods decided Friday to skip the Memorial Tournament for the first time, meaning he will be coming off the longest layoff in his career when he goes to the U.S. Open.

Woods had until 5 p.m. Friday to enter the Memorial, and tournament officials held out hope until the final minute.

"We're respecting his decision to come back when he's ready," tournament director Dan Sullivan said. "There's always disappointment when a top player doesn't come to a tournament. Hopefully, he'll come back next year."

Woods has not played since he tied for third at the Masters Tournament on April 9. His father, Earl, died May 3 in California.

It was thought he would play the Memorial to give him one tournament before the U.S. Open on June 15-18. Indications late this week from Woods' camp are that he will play at Winged Foot.

U.S. OPEN QUALIFYING: Rick Hartmann will go from anonymous club pro to sweating in the national spotlight when he tees it up against Michelle Wie.

The 47-year-old Hartmann, the club pro at The Atlantic Golf Club in the ritzy Hamptons section of Eastern Long Island will be in a threesome with the teenager aiming to make history in the U.S. Open qualifier at Canoe Brook Country Club in Summit, N.J.

The 16-year-old Wie will attempt to become the first woman to qualify for the U.S. Open. The qualifying starts June 5.

The USGA selected Hartmann and David Gossett to be paired with Wie in what is sure to be the most watched threesome.