FARMINGDALE, N.Y. - Drew Weaver has finished his education and golf career at Virginia Tech, but before he moves up to the pro ranks, he has one goal to achieve as an amateur - making the U.S. Walker Cup team.
Weaver, 22, began his first U.S. Open yesterday with a 1-under-par 69, which was tied for the best score among the 78 players on the course Thursday when rain forced the suspension of play.
Weaver made headlines when he won the 2007 British Amateur championship just two months after a gunman killed 32 people and wounded 25 at Virginia Tech. The victory earned Weaver berths in the British Open that year and in the 2008 Masters.
But he said his primary reason for playing this summer was to make the team that will represent the United States in the Walker Cup competition in September at Merion Golf Club.
"I've played in all the majors that I could have, and it's an unbelievable thing for me," Weaver said. "I feel so fortunate to have been able to do that.
"But to cap things off, representing your country, capping my amateur career off playing in the Walker Cup, would be unbelievable. It's every amateur's dream, and that's my motivation. That's why I work hard. That's what gets me up in the morning."
Team captain Buddy Marucci will have plenty of chances to see Weaver, who has a full schedule that includes all the top amateur tournaments, such as the Northeast and Players Amateurs, the Porter Cup, and the Western Amateur.
Weaver said that he had been working on "a lot of things I have to get better at," and that "good play is coming."
"I really want to take advantage of this summer and get as good as I possibly can for making the Walker Cup team, for [PGA Tour] qualifying school, and try to get out here next year and play for money."
Tickets, please. The U.S. Golf Association responded to criticism of its ticket policy by announcing that fans who bought tickets for Thursday's suspended round would be welcome to attend play Monday - if the Open went that far.
If there is no golf Monday, buyers will be entitled to a 50 percent refund of the price of their ticket. Officials said no refund would be offered if golf was played Monday.
Foul weather is expected to return to Bethpage today.
USGA executive director David Fay said that if 90 minutes or more of golf was played today or tomorrow, no refunds would be offered. However, if there is less than 90 minutes, ticket holders have the right to return Monday.
Fay acknowledged that New York state officials had been in touch with the USGA, trying to persuade it to rethink its policy to make the situation more fair to fans who saw play rained out Thursday.
"They were concerned that we have thought this thing through and we are acting in the best interest of the fans," Fay said. "But I would say this: This decision was wholly made by the United States Golf Association."
Yo, Rocco. The Bethpage Black crowds were as boisterous as usual, with Phil Mickelson and Rocco Mediate getting the loudest cheers.
So, Rocco, how many times did you hear your name yelled?
"About four million," Mediate said. "It was unbelievable out there today. It was great, absolutely fantastic."