Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Longwell fails to advance in Open qualifying

Posted by: under Vikings, Vikings off the field, Ryan Longwell Updated: May 10, 2010 - 5:00 PM

Ryan Longwell failed to advance in U.S. Open qualifying on Monday but that doesn't mean the Vikings kicker did not have a good time in his first experience of this type.

Longwell had only one birdie en route to shooting an 83 at MetroWest Golf Club near his home in Orlando, meaning he was not among the top five players from that course who will move to the 36-hole sectional qualifying in Hobe Sound, Fla. The low score at MetroWest was the 65 posted by Phillip Choi. That put Choi at 7-under par.

"It was a blast and a great experience," Longwell said in a text message. "I'll be much better next time just having gone through it."

Longwell, an avid golfer who lives in the Isleworth golf community in Windermere, Fla., had spent extensive time this offseason working on his golf game in hopes of advancing.

Longwell was among 9,052 golfers who filed entries to play 18 holes at 111 courses in an attempt to qualify. The U.S. Open will be held June 17-20 at Pebble Beach.

Longwell wasn't the only NFL kicker trying to qualify for the U.S. Open. Jacksonville's Josh Scobee shot an 81 at Timuquana Country Club in Jacksonville and did not move on. Scobee, like Longwell, made only made one birdie. 

Former big-league pitcher John Smoltz -- 6-over-par at the Marietta (Ga.) Country Club -- also was eliminated from possibly qualifying.  

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