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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Jayhawk earns bid, trip to hospital

After placing 2nd at Amateur qualifier, Woodland hit hard by dehydration

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Gary Woodland celebrated his berth in the U.S. Amateur Golf Championships from, of all places, a hospital bed Monday night.

Woodland, a Kansas University junior who played 37 holes in 100-degree heat Monday morning, afternoon and early evening at Alvamar Golf Club, passed out while dining with his dad and high school coach at Henry T's Bar and Grill just 50 minutes after leaving the course.

Woodland was taken by ambulance to Lawrence Memorial Hospital, where the Topeka native was treated for dehydration and exhaustion. He checked out of the hospital with a splitting headache late Monday night.

"I told myself, 'I've got to leave everything out there.' Obviously, I did," Woodland said Tuesday, referring to his play at the Amateur qualifying tournament. "I was exhausted. I had nothing left. I had no gas left."

Woodland - who capped a 12-hour day on the course by beating KU teammate Pete Krsnich on the first playoff hole to land the berth to the Amateur, Aug. 22-28 in Ardmore, Pa. - knew something was wrong shortly after entering the restaurant.

"I started cramping up, and everything became blurry and dizzy," said Woodland. "In the ambulance I was shaking and twitching and cramping. I was sweating like crazy, but freezing. That scared me a little bit."

At the hospital, Woodland was hooked up to IV's, his body healing with the help of saline and electrolytes.

Concerned KU golf coach Ross Randall, who followed Woodland for much of the long, hot day at Alvamar, dropped by to check on his charge.

"He looked terrible and was feeling awful," Randall said, quickly adding, "The first thing he said to me was, 'How'd you like my wedge shot on the last hole?' He was still competing. That was pretty cool."

What was not cool was the fact the player was bedridden because of dehydration.

Woodland didn't wear a hat to shade himself during his qualifying rounds, which were contested without the aid of a golf cart. He thinks he knows the cause of his physical demise.

"I drank water all day," Woodland said, "but I didn't eat a lot. You've got to do both."

Doctors performed tests on Woodland's head and heart and found no abnormalities.

Woodland did, learn, however, he'd need to undergo tests after it appeared he was developing a case of kidney stones.

Overall, the golfer was relieved to hear he was OK, especially since he experienced the same symptoms as his mom, Linda.

"She had been in the hospital all last week after passing out," Woodland said. "She's had problems getting blood to the brain. I know it was hard on my dad to see me pass out after what's been going on with my mom. She's all right now, receiving medication."

Woodland has rest on his docket the next couple of days, but plans to compete Monday in the Heart of America two-man competition in Kansas City.

"I've been playing a lot, and it's been hot. It was hot as heck all last week," Woodland said. "They said I was leading up to this, that it's been building up. I'll take a couple of days off and be ready to play.

"It's not hot out right now, anyway," he added with a laugh, referring to the cold front that pushed into town Tuesday, dropping the temperature into the 70s.

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