Former U golfer ties for second at U.S. Open

Matthew Cross

Former Gophers golfer Tom Lehman shot a five-under-par 65 on Saturday at Oakland Hills Country Club in the U.S. Open. He had the lead going into the final round on Sunday but lost it on the back nine.
Lehman still had a chance until his drive on the 18th hole bounced in the bunker. Steve Jones, who finished two strokes under par, watched Lehman miss a 15-foot putt that might have forced a playoff and promptly tapped in a one-footer for the win. Lehman finished in a tie for second place with Davis Love III. Both golfers were one under.
Lehman, a 37-year-old from Alexandria, Minn., was tied going into the final round of the U.S. Open last year with Greg Norman but shot 74 and ended up third.
“I know I’ve gone through a lot in the last few years, a lot of pressure situations,” Lehman said. “You learn a lot, and you just really hope that you can go into Sunday and have your game.”
Oakland’s Gates on the DL
Former Gophers second baseman Brent Gates sustained a hairline fracture of his left tibia Saturday night when he fouled a fastball by Milwaukee’s Brian Givens off his shin in the first inning.
Gates, the brother of former Gophers women’s tennis player Tiffany Gates, stayed down for several minutes before being helped off the field.
The Oakland Athletics initially thought he had a bruised shin, but X-rays at Sinai Samaritan Medical Center revealed the fracture.
Gates, who went on the 15-day disabled list Sunday, is expected to miss four to six weeks.
“It hurt, it hurt bad,” Gates said. “Then it went numb. I sort of lost my breath. If felt like somebody shot me.”
Gates was hitting .263 with two homers and 30 runs batted in. He was hitting .308 in June.
Backes misses Olympic cut
Former Gophers shot putter Ron Backes placed sixth at the U.S. Olympic Trials on Saturday with a throw of 64 feet, 6 inches. But only the top three contenders compete at the Games in Atlanta.
In 1986, Backes competed with Minnesota in the shot put and won the indoor NCAA championship. Over his college career, he was a five-time All-American and a six-time Big Ten champion.
Randy Barnes, a native of West Virginia, won the event with a throw of 70-1.
— This story contains information from the Associated Press