Green Valley Country Club is a solid little track. Greens here are very small compared to other courses this tour plays. It’s an old school golf course that has a collection of tough holes along with some very score able holes. The main defense on this course is the slope in some of the greens. Traditional back to front greens can yield some difficult putts if out of position on the hole.
We started on the back side of the golf course. Number 10 is a short down the hill par 4. A good drive yielded a pushed wedge shot right of the green. A very good up and down kept the round going even though it was the first hole.
The next hole was driver wedge to about 8 feet for birdie. The 12th was driver wedge to about 3 feet. The 13th hole was driver 3 iron to reach the par 5 in 2 shots. The putt was some 40 feet with lots of break down the hill. Speed was not judged overly well and left about 5 feet short back down the hill. He cashed it right in the center for a nice turkey of birdies. 14-15 had some struggles to make par. Ryan made a nice 5 foot par putt and a very nice 12-15 footer. Those putts are huge for momentum especially after coming off three birdies in a row.
The 16th was a longer par 5 but it gives you the option to run a shot up. Ryan did just that hitting driver-3 wood to the back edge of othe green. Two putts later he got himself to (-4) for the round. We finished the back 9 with two pars after having two decent looks. Nonetheless it was a great opening 9 to get some momentum going.
After par on the first hole Ryan hit wedge into the par 5 – second hole to about 2-3 feet for a 5th birdie. The 3rd hole is one of the toughest on the course. It plays 195-220 down the hill with a 3 tiered green and sand left and right. The pin was in the front and anything just short pitching back up would be just fine. I definitely felt like the wind was helping and based on the yardage I felt a smashed 5 would either be perfect or just short. Anything landing too far in the green leaves a tough putt back down the hill. Ryan hit 5 and for whatever reason came up 5 yards short to the right just missing the sand.
We thought it would be a simple up and down but there was much more slope then we thought. The first chip shot came up short. The second one he nearly chipped in but would yield bogey 4 to drop back to (-4) for the round. It was definitely tough to be a little sloppy but sometimes it’s just unavoidable. Leave it there and move on to the next hole.
The 5th hole was a driver wedge that put a 6th birdie on the card. It was a nice length putt of some 20 feet to get back to (-5) on the round. The 6th hole was a reachable par 5 but had a very fast back to front slopped green. Ryan hit a nice drive and had a perfect 3 iron yardage to just flush it. He did and reached the green leaving him some 25-30 feet for eagle. It’s always nice having that for eagle, but the only issue was this putt was incredibly fast and broke some 10 plus feet from left to right. Ryan had a great read and actually left it a foot short which would have surprised anyone. Nonetheless his 7th birdie got him to (-6) for the round.
The next hole was 3 wood – wedge to about 5 feet. This putt was down the hill breaking at least 4 inches. I call it a great birdie length but was a sneaky putt. It was perfectly read and went in dead center to get to (-7) for the round. The 8th hole was a par 3 playing 225 up the hill with some wind into us. This is one of the tough holes, especially since they had the pin all the way back on top of a steep slope. The green is relatively narrow for the length of shot and Out of Bounds is very very close to the right side. This was the hole that personally scares me the most. I knew this would make or break the round right here. Under the circumstances Ryan hit 3 iron dead straight and finished about 20-25 feet up the hill for birdie. It was a huge sigh of relief to be on the green putting for birdie. We missed the putt but all things considered 3 is a fine score on that hole.
The finishing hole for us is is good little hole. Fairway slopes significantly right to left and so does the green. The pin was back right which is pretty flat all around. Anything left of the pin takes a big slope away from the pin. The wind was right to left. Ryan over drew his driver and it ended up right under a tree that basically eliminated a full swing. We had green to run it up which was a big help. He had wedge and switched to 9 iron. The shot was only 120 total so there wasn’t much yardage into the hole. He hit a perfect punched shot that went just over the back but was perfect. A putt from off the green and a putt on the green saved a great par to shoot (-7) 65.
This round definitely got us back into the event…..so we thought. Knowing that we shot 65 we felt we would gain some strokes on the lead. Little did we know we actually lost two shots to the lead. The leader shot (-9) again and was at (-18) for two rounds! It was crazy to think but these guys are great when given opportunities. Regardless it was the score we needed on this course. The third course Thornblade is the host course. We will play the next two days there. Thornblade is one of the best on this tour. It’s score able when you are playing well but can also bite you if you are not. We shall see…