This week on the Web.com tour was a unique event for this tour. It’s an event that consisted of playing on three different golf courses among two other amateurs. Each of the first three days consisted of two pros and two amateurs in a foursome. There was an individual pro leaderboard much like every week and also a team leaderboard. The team format was a team best ball. This means that each player players out the current hole and whoever has the best score is what counts for the team.
Ryan played again with Rob Riggle this year. Rob played to an 18 handicap which meant each hole he received a stroke. So if Rob made a par 4, he would actually take a 4 net 3 for birdie. So it worked out perfectly if he could just make pars throughout the event.
Our opening round was at the Reserve at Lake Keowee. This was a good starting course because it just so happens to be a full hour away from where the host course is. The course is a mountain course which has great elevation changes.
This course can definitely yielded some low scores due to the fact that it’s a pretty generous course off the tee. The course puts a bunch of wedges and scoring clubs in your hands on most of the holes. So if you can get the putter going you can definitely post a score.
Ryan started out hitting wedge to less than 2 ft for birdie. The next par 5 played as a 3 shot hole which left him with about 10-12 feet for birdie. The putt didn’t break much and he rolled it in for back to back opening birdies. Even though he got off to a hot start, the pace of play was awfully slow. It took nearly 2 hours to play 5 holes which to me makes it hard to keep any kind of rhythm.
The 6th hole we hit a 9 iron long over the back of the green but had plenty of green to work with. He chipped it up to about 5 feet and missed the putt low to drop a shot. Very tough to have 9 iron to PW in and make bogey but that’s golf sometimes. The 7th hole was playing 225 down the hill 20 yards. It was over a medium forced carry. It was hard to determine wind but we decided whatever way it was going it was still 4 iron.
Ryan didn’t hit the best 4 iron and it came up 15-20 yards short in the hazard but still playable. It was playable but had a stick behind it. In a hazard those items can’t be removed and it’s considered tough luck. He played it but came up short in the front bunker. From there it came out to about 20 feet for bogey. He missed the putt for double bogey 5 to drop to (+1) for the event. It’s definitely tough to birdie your first two and be over par for the event after 7 holes. With 11 left there would still be plenty of opportunities left.
The next birdie came on the 11 hole where Ryan hit two great shots just to the right of the green in two. A chip and a putt put birdie on the card to get back to (even) for the event. The 17th hole was the longest par 5 on the course. Ryan hit driver – 3 iron – wedge to about 15 feet short of the hole. We knew this was a good opportunity to get one back. The putt was a bit confusing to me because from one side it looked like it was breaking hard, but flat from the other. Ryan choose the line and knocked it right in to get to (-1) for the event which was great.
The 18th hole is a good hole which requires a right to left draw off the tee. Ryan hit a great drive that left him between 7-8 iron into the green. The pin was in the front and just short of the green was fine. The wind was in and we choose a 7 to keep it flighted down into the wind. It surprisingly came up a few yards short, but was ok. The pin was on a bit of a tricky slope. The chip traveled past much more than wanted, some 8-10 feet. Ryan missed the come back putt to take bogey 5 which dropped him back to even for the 18 holes.
It’s always a stinger to end with bogey especially after making a nice birdie on the previous hole. We bogied 18 last year also which was sour then too. As much as 72 feels like a high score, it doesn’t sink you in this event since it’s a 3 round cut. Someone shot 63 on the same course so walking off we were 9 shots off the pace.
Round 2 is at Green Valley Country Club. It’s a solid little track that produces birdies because it’s shorter and the greens are tiny. You can be in the middle of some greens and have 20 feet to any pin location. So with that in mind I’m confident he can post a nice low one and get back in the event.