Below is an excerpt from a Chicago Tribune article written by Teddy Greenstein. The full article can be viewed here.
Sam Love received the phone call Saturday and was in disbelief.
He was about to print plane tickets for a flight to Pittsburgh, where he would compete in the Sunnehanna Amateur beginning Wednesday.
Instead, a reversal of fortune landed him at Pinehurst for a Monday practice round before the U.S. Open. More than 10,000 people attempted to qualify. He made it as the last man in the field.
“Sometimes some bad news for people,” Love said with a Southern drawl, “is good news for other people.”
Love made it after Jason Millard notified the USGA on Saturday — while he was driving to Pinehurst with caddie Ryan Pierson — that he would disqualify himself. This came five days after Millard qualified by shooting 68-68 at Colonial Country Club in Memphis, Tenn.
“Heartbreaking,” Millard said Monday in a telephone interview.
After blasting out of a greenside bunker on the 18th hole, Millard wondered if he had accidentally grounded his club, a two-shot penalty. He noticed a small indentation in the bunker.
Neither his caddie nor his playing partner saw anything.
“There’s no way it improved my lie because my ball was buried,” Millard said. “But it’s a rule — a rule I’ve known since I started playing when I was 5 years old.”
A two-time All-American at Middle Tennessee State who played in this year’s Honda Classic on the PGA Tour, the 24 year-old Millard wrestled with what to do.
“You dream about playing in the U.S. Open and then you finally make it,” he said. “But it just didn’t feel right in my heart.”
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Thank you to Tom H. for passing this story along to us.