The weekend would consist of the third round being played at the host course Thornblade. Getting a chance to play the third round on Saturday at Thornblade can give a guy an advantage going into Sunday. I say this because every course is different and player generates a good feel for the course. So to have a good feel for the course right before Sunday could prove to be beneficial. 

The round started solid but didn’t produce any birdies.  A terrifically played par 5 – 5th hole set up his first birdie of the round. The green is very narrow and from some 235 yards Ryan hit it on a string and two putted for birdie. The 10th hole yielded a nice birdie from just off the fringe. Birdies on 11&12 got Ryan to (-4) for his round.  At this point it was looking really good to get 2 more birdies with the upcoming back to back par 5’s. 

The 15th hole is a dogleg left with some trouble right and bunkers that are reachable. The green is more conducive to a higher lofted golf shot coming into it so it is a decent risk reward hole for Ryan. He pushed his tee shot right that ended up in a lower area in the trees. He had a look just to punch it out forward down the fairway. The shot itself was very straightforward but we miss judged the lip of some brush in front of him. So he ended up advancing it about 15 yards. His next shot ended up being similar but got back to just off the fairway. At this point it’s damage control to get the best ya can out of the situation.  We two putted for bogey 6 to give one back, which on that hole feels like two shots given back.  The 16th hole was just a bit of the same.  From short of the green we couldn’t get it up and down and settled for par on the second of the two par 5’s. 

The 17th hole is a solid par 3. It plays usually 195-215 and was a very fast green. It’s a hole location where long is no good so middle of the green is fine.  We chose a club to land just on the front and release. The ball landed and pretty much stopped leaving him about 60 feet up and over a mound dissecting the green.  It was tough to feel the shot was executed well and not get rewarded, but that’s what makes golf tough. The first putt came up about 15 feet short because it looks fast as can be. The second putt was left short on the lip to make bogey 4.

Walking off 14 at (-4) and now walking off 17 at (-2) was a decent blow to the round.  And to make it better hole 18 can get your attention real quick. Ryan hit two great shots and two putted to shoot (-2) 69. The round itself felt so solid and to only get 2 shots to par can definitely test the mind over night. The 18th hole set up and interesting situation. Walking of 17 at (-9) for the event we were now only one shot inside the cut number.  18 is a hole you can easily bogey if not double bogey.  Strange things happen but Ryan hit it on the strings right down the middle. The cut ended up being (-8) which was the second lowest I have seen over the years.  Three years ago Ryan shot (-8) for 3 rounds to miss the cut.  So nonetheless we had a payday coming and and extra round to make some birdies. 

Sunday morning was ideal for scoring. I felt like 65 would top 25 it and would be a nice ending to the week.  Ryan started out hitting a nice 9 iron to 4-5 feet for birdie. A well played 2nd hole yielded a second birdie in a row.   A birdie on the reachable par 5 put Ryan to (-3) on his round with some nice holes coming up.  We ended up taking pars on the 6-9 section of the golf course, but was halfway to the goal of 65. A drive right on 10 forced Ryan to pitch out left. A great wedge shot to a tough hole location set up about 5 feet feet for par. The putt missed just low to make bogey 5. 

Stepping up on 11 we felt the wind was hurting enough to take some yardage off a 4 iron. Ryan pulled it slightly but land a bit deep and trickled off the back.  Weather too much club or misjudge in wind, it was a tough spot. This would leave a very tough up and down.  We failed to get it up and down to make a second consecutive bogey.  At this point the round feels a bit sour but we still had plenty of opportunities left on this golf course.  Doing just that, Ryan peeled off birdies on 13-15 to get his round back to (-4). At this point if we could play the final 3 holes in (-1) I though that would be a very nice round.

The 17th hole had an accessible hole location in the front. Ryan pushed it a hair right but was just short of the green in great position.  His chip shot ran some 5-7 feet by and missed the putt. It was especially tough because the hole got the best of him both days. 

Ryan stepped up on 18 and hit it right down the middle. It was key to hit this fairway because the hole location demanded precision and control from the fairway. Based on the tee shot I felt Ryan erased the 17th hole.  Having 6 iron in hand the hole requires a shot left off the pin to take a slope that funnels down to it. He ended up pushing his iron shot right which almost carried but ultimately ended up in the bunker.  The shot was workable but the lie was so so. It came out dead and left about 15 feet up the hill. The putt just missed to card bogey 5 for the hole. He ended up shooting (-2) 69 again to finish T41.  No doubt it was a good week. It would have been nice to finish those last two rounds with some pars or birdies, but it wasn’t in the cards.  The large picture is that he added money to his season long total. Unfortunately his play dropped him to 26th on the money list.  With 12 weeks left in the regular season he is still in great position to earn his PGA Tour card.

Ryan and Rob Riggle played well together as a team.  They shot (-40) as a team to finish T7 among the top 16 teams that made it to Sunday. It was definitely fun to see Rob get around the golf course. He is a great guy with a good golf game, but I’m sure too busy a schedule to practice much. The 

Next week we head to Raleigh, NC to play TPC Wakefield Plantation.  The course is fabulous and Ryan has played well here the last few years. 

   
 Stats for the week:

GIR – 43/72 ( 59.7%)

FW – 40/56 (71.4%)

Putts – 109 (27.25/rd)

1 Putt – 33/72 (45.8%)

No three putts. 

1 chip in 😄

Sand Save % – 2/2 (100%)

Bounce Back % – 0/8 ( 0%)

Up and Down – 18/29 ( 62%)

Birdies – 22

Par – 40

Bogies – 9 

2+ Bogies – 1

Scoring – 72-65-69-69

Prize Money – T41- $2,434.82

Season Money List Rank – 26th

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