Arron Oberholser Updates His 2008 Season

Oberholser, no longer among top 50, won't play in U.S. Open


DUBLIN, Ohio - Arron Oberholser already has had a tough time this year with a hand injury. He was dealt another blow Monday when he was knocked out of the U.S. Open by the tiniest of margins based on tournaments held on three continents.

Oberholser, a former San Jose State standout from San Mateo, was losing a spot or two each week in the world ranking while recovering from injuries to his left hand, falling to No. 45. But he dropped six more spots to No. 51 at the worst time - the cutoff for the top 50 being exempt to the U.S. Open.

He wound up .004 points behind Soren Hansen, who already was eligible.

"It's a goofy system - we all know that. But it's the system we have," Oberholser said at Muirfield Village, site of this week's Memorial Tournament. "I probably deserve it. I haven't played but five events because of my hand. And when I have played, I haven't played well."

The U.S. Open will be held June 12-15 at Torrey Pines in San Diego.

How did Oberholser, who hasn't missed a U.S. Open since 2004, fall six spots in one week? It took good results from six players on three tours who were behind him in the ranking going into last week:

Toru Taniguchi tied for fifth on the Japan PGA Tour.

Tim Clark birdied two of the final three holes and tied for second at Colonial, along with Rod Pampling, who moved from No. 69 to No. 47.

Oliver Wilson moved into the top 50 with his playoff loss at Wenworth, while Hansen birdied the 17th hole to tie for 34th, earning enough points to hold down the 50th spot in the ranking.

Jeff Quinney birdied the final hole at Colonial and tied for seventh, moving from No. 52 to No. 49.

"The perfect storm," Oberholser said.

Seventy-two players were exempt from qualifying through various categories, including the top 50 in the world ranking, past major champions, and PGA Tour and European money-list leaders. That leaves 84 spots available at 36-hole sectional qualifiers Monday.

Oberholser said he will not go to sectional qualifying because he doesn't think his tender hand can take 36 holes in one day.

He had not played since a tie for 25th at the Masters, taking six weeks off for rest and therapy and returning last week at the Colonial, where he tied for 59th.

He said the grip pressure in his left hand was 30 percent weaker than his right hand after the Masters, but therapy has reduced that gap to about 5 percent. But doctors also found a bone spur in the top of his left hand. If it gets too painful, he might face surgery.

"I've kind of written this year off," he said.