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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Keegan

Column: KU golf: Woodland withdraws, Thompson contends

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Thursday was a mixed bag on the former Kansas University golfer front.

The day started with bad news, when Gary Woodland scratched from the PGA Championship field at 5:30 a.m. because of a neck injury, three hours before he was scheduled to tee off with Francesco Molinari of Italy and Marc Warren of Scotland. First-alternate Carl Pettersson of Sweden took Woodland’s place in the tournament being played at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.

Elsewhere, former KU All-American Chris Thompson continued his hot week with a strong opening round in the Web.com tournament for which he qualified Monday.

Thompson shot a 5-under par 67 in the Price Cutter Charity Championship at Highland Springs Country Club in Springfield, Mo. He finished his round by sinking a 15-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th hole. He earned his spot in the field by firing a 64 in Monday’s qualifier.

Thompson’s consistent ball-striking enabled him to average 291.5 yards off the tee without a drive of longer than 295 yards.

Thompson, who tees off today at 2:25 p.m., carded 14 pars, three birdies and an eagle. Thompson is in a 20-way tie for 16th, five strokes behind leader Chase Wright. The winner of the event that has a total purse of $675,000 will earn $121,500.

Woodland’s chance to compete for the $1.8-million first-place prize and a career-changing first major victory died when his neck forced him to withdraw in the morning. Heading into the week, Woodland ranked 27th on the PGA tour money list with $2,448,415, 31st in the FedEx Cup standings and 37th in the World Golf Rankings.

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