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Trio hopes there's no place like home

--- Wisconsinites ready for U.S. Bank Championship

(Published July 16, 2007, 4:05 p.m.)

Despite the absence of Wisconsin's two biggest names in golf, three other Wisconsin golfers are hoping the U.S. Bank Championship will give them a little home field advantage.
Mark Wilson, J.P. Hayes and Skip Kendall have all committed to play in this year's tournament, according to Tournament Director Dan Croak.
Edgerton native Steve Stricker and Madison's Jerry Kelly will play in the British Open July 19 to 22 at Carnoustie in Scotland, missing the PGA Tour stop in Milwaukee, which is the same weekend.
Stricker finished second a week ago at the AT&T National, giving him his fifth top-10 finish of the 2007 season, along with $2.3 million in earnings.
Kelly, who finished second to winner Corey Pavin at last year's U.S. Bank Championship, had earlier committed to play in Milwaukee. But that was before Kelly earned one of 12 spots in a qualifier just before the Fourth of July.
That should be just fine with the rest of the Wisconsin contingent, scheduled to play at Brown Deer Park Golf Course.
Mark Wilson, a native of Pewaukee, earned the first victory of his PGA Tour career earlier this season at the Honda Classic.
Wilson, who finished the event at five-under-par on the difficult Champion course at PGA National, defeated Jose Coceres, Camilo Villegas and Boo Weekley in a four-man, three-hole playoff.
Wilson made three critical par-saving putts on two of the last three holes of regulation and on the first playoff hole en route to his victory.
He then sank a 10-foot birdie putt on the third playoff hole to eliminate Jose Coceres and capture the win.
A great deal of national media attention was given to an incident that occurred during the second round of play.
J.P. Hayes, a native of Appleton, is a two-time winner on the PGA Tour-at the 1998 Buick Classic and 2002 John Deere Classic.
Hayes notched a top-10 finish several weeks ago at The Players Championship, tying for sixth.
Hayes will be making his 13th consecutive and 14th overall start in Milwaukee.
He has five top-20 and three top-five finishes at the U.S. Bank Championship.
Skip Kendall, a native of Brown Deer, will be making his 13th consecutive and 17th overall start at the U.S. Bank Championship.
Playing mainly on the Nationwide Tour this season after 14 straight seasons on the PGA Tour, Kendall is looking to regain his full exempt status for next year.
He already has gone a long way toward achieving that goal.
Kendall won earlier this year at the Nationwide's Chitimacha Louisiana Open and finished second the next week at the Livermore Valley Wine Country Championship.
He currently ranks sixth on that circuit's money list.
The top-25 money winners from the Nationwide Tour earn their way onto the PGA Tour for the next season.
Information on tickets and business packages is available by calling (414) 431-GOLF or by visiting the U.S. Bank Championship Web site at
usbankchampionship.com.

Fan information
--- Gates open 6 a.m. Monday, July 16-Sunday, July 22 at Brown Deer Park Golf Course.
--- Free admission to all events Monday, July 16 and Tuesday, July 17.
--- General lot parking is free Monday-Sunday.
--- Children 12 and under are admitted free (grounds access only) when accompanied by a ticket-bearing adult.

Monday, July 16
--- Monday Pro-Am, noon shotgun start.
--- PGA tour player practice rounds.

Tuesday, July 17
--- PGA tour player practice rounds.
--- American Family Insurance Youth Clinic, 1 p.m.
--- Celebrity shoot-out, 3 p.m.

Wednesday, July 18
--- Aurora Health Care Pro-Am 7 a.m./noon.

Thursday, July 19
--- First round U.S. Bank Championship, first tee times 7 a.m., TV: Golf Channel, 3-6 p.m.

Friday, July 20
--- Second round U.S. Bank Championship, first tee times 7 a.m., TV: Golf Channel, 3-6 p.m.

Saturday, July 21
--- Third round U.S. Bank Championship, first tee times 7 a.m., TV: Golf Channel, 3-6 p.m.

Sunday, July 22
--- Final round U.S. Bank Championship, first tee times 7 a.m., TV: Golf Channel, 3-6 p.m.

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