There were a multitude of reasons why a Kelly Whaley appearance in the upcoming U.S. Women’s Open (June 2-5) would have generated layers of feel-good stories.
For the native of Farmington, Conn., it would have meant a return to Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club in Southern Pines, N.C., where Whaley won a U.S. Kids Golf World Championship years ago. It also most likely would have meant an opportunity to have her mother, the former PGA of America president Suzy Whaley, on the bag. And, oh, the footsteps angle.
Alas, the saga will need to be tabled, because at a 36-hole qualifier in Fort Myers, Fla., Kelly Whaley (with mom on the bag) shot 71-73 – 144 and missed the playoff by five.
But we needn’t dismiss the stories quite yet, because at 25, Kelly Whaley is still navigating her way through professional golf and showing enough promise to keep those feel-good stories percolating. She worked all winter as a caddie at Seminole GC in Juno Beach, Fla., but the jumpsuit has been stored away and the clubs are out full time.
Also in Jim McCabe’s weekly notebook: Updates on local New England qualifiers for the U.S. Open and the U.S. Women’s Open, how the local schools fared in NCAA Division 2 playoffs and a wild week for Mass. Four-Ball champion Ryan Riley.