Long Island native Myra Gelband Wilson was the Sports Illustrated editor responsible for the famous story of Sidd Finch, the fabricated but realistic-looking Mets pitcher who reportedly threw 168 miles per hour. Unlike Sidd, who was an April Fool's Day creation, the former editor's son, amateur golfer Cameron Wilson, is the real deal.
He was in the U.S. Open this week, which is why his mom, who grew up in Brookhaven and attended Bellport High School, was here. She also is doing online editing for the U.S. Golf Association and she had to make an important trip to Stanford.
"My parents moved me out of my dorm room," the 19-year-old golfer said after having missed the cut at 14 over. "But I had some exams and a paper that I had to turn in Wednesday morning." He got the paper done, he said, but added, "I think those demands on my time didn't let me prepare as well as I would have liked to."
So he finished his sophomore year and played a practice round with former Stanford student Tiger Woods all in one week. "It was awesome. Tiger answered some of my questions," he said. "It was really cool to see Tiger up close, and see how he goes about preparing for the U.S. Open."
Wilson will be in Bridgehampton next week, playing in the Ike Championship at Atlantic Golf Club. He will play with future Stanford teammate Jim Liu of Smithtown, with whom Wilson played when he was medalist at the Open sectional qualifier at Canoe Brook last week. Wilson has played Atlantic once, in a casual round. "I remember it was really nice," he said Friday at the Olympic Club. "Every golf course I see from here on out will be a piece of cake, compared to this."
Shinnecock's new super
The Open will return to Shinnecock Hills in 2018 and it will be greeted by Jon Jennings, Shinnecock's new superintendent. Jennings is a Connecticut native who worked outside Albany and in Fairfield before having been superintendent for the past 11 years at Chicago Golf Club. Like Shinnecock Hills, Chicago Golf Club is one of the five charter members of the USGA. It hosted the third U.S. Open, a year after Shinnecock hosted the second. Jennings prepared the course for a USGA event, the 2005 Walker Cup.
Xander McDonald-Smith, playing out of Marine Park Golf Club, shot par 71 at Great Rock Golf Club in Wading River Wednesday and was the medalist in the Long Island qualifier for the New York State Amateur Championship. Others who qualified were Peter Scialabba (Meadow Brook), Shaun Delaney (MGA e-Club), Laddie Sanford (Maidstone), Brett Cooper (Seawane), Zach Grossman (Montauk Downs), Steven Tarulli (Hempstead), Mike Buttafoco (Middle Bay), Bobby Barnes (Peninsula), James Starr (Forest Park) and John Sheehan (Pine Ridge).
All are eligible for the tournament at Elmira Country Club July 17-19.
Putting money into golf
ClubCorp has announced a $1 million renovation project to the course, clubhouse and facilities at Hamlet Golf & Country Club in Commack. Brookville and Glen Head Country Clubs have completed massive bunker renovation projects. Sandy Pond in Riverhead is under new management, which is upgrading the course. More information on all of those projects will be forthcoming here soon.