With Ryan being a member here at Crestview we always felt that would be a big advantage over the field but over the last few years that was not the case. Going into this week we were 0 for 2 in getting to the weekend. This year Ryan is playing much better than years past so I felt it would be a different result.
The first round was in the morning on Thursday. Ryan got off to a solid start making a nice birdie on his second hole followed by one on his 5th hole. The par 3 -17th can be a tough par 3 because it can be a 4-5 iron. With a SSW wind it makes it play back into the wind. We decided on hitting 4 iron and hit it to less than 2 feet to get to (-3) pretty early. 18 plays as a converted par 4 this week so the tee shot is much different from the upper tee boxes. It makes the shot tough because if you miss the fairway right you most likely have a bad lie and are blocked by trees.
We missed it right and just tried to gouge something up near the green. His 45 yard shot came up some 6-7 feet short. His par putt actually went down in the hole and horseshoed out. It was a definitely a brutal blow after thinking it was in. Ryan sprinkled birdies in at 4 and 5 after hitting a great 4 iron to a foot on the par 3 – 5th. The 6th hole also plays down from a par 5 to a 4. It’s into the wind when it’s from the south so it can make it play very long. We had 204 in to the flag and it felt pretty firm wind into us. We both thought 3 hybrid was the play and that turned out to be the worst decision of the week. He beat it right through the wind and we air mailed the green by some 20 yards. This put us in a brutal spot because the green slopes big time away from us. His chip shot didn’t get to the green. He left the next chip about 6-7 feet short and missed the putt for double bogey 6. That definitely stung because he just made back to back birdies.
It’s easy to get down and feel like you can’t come back from it but it’s an absolute must in this game. Ryan proceeded to make about a 45 foot putt on the next hole to bounce right back. It definitely took some of the sting out of the previous hole. He closed with two pars to shoot (-3) 67 which was inside the top 10 for his wave.
Round 2 started out as hot as the sun by going birdie birdie birdie to open up. A missed 4 – 5 footer on the 4th was a jolt to the system but he came right back and birdied the 5th. The 6th hole again was not kind to us. Ryan hit it is just off the fairway in the trees and it kicked some 20 yards right and was out of bounds by only an inch or so. It was one of the worst breaks I’ve seen in some time. We made par on the second ball for another double bogie 6.
The par 3 -12 produced another great birdie with a four iron to about 6 feet. This got him back to (-2) for the round. The very next hole we were green side in 2 in the front bunker. We were inbetween clubs from the fairway and the one we choose didn’t come out as expected. The bunker shot wasn’t overly tough and Ryan hit it to about 12-15 feet. He left about 3-4 feet for bogie and missed that. Tough to birdie 5 out of your first 12 and be level par for the round, but if you keep playing anything can happen.
The par 5 – 14th is reachable and very accessible. Ryan missed the fairway left but hit a heated low running 4 iron to the front some 45 feet away. It was a great shot that was very creative. His eagle putt was slow up the hill and as it was getting closer it looked better and better. It barely snuck in the right side for eagle and we both went a little crazy. It was a huge bounce back and a huge momentum shift. He then ran a birdie putt in from just off the green on the next hole. It was a wild three holes that I haven’t seen in some time. We unfortunately bogied 18 again but his (-2) 68 put him at (-5) for the event and got him his first cut in Wichita!
His weekend was solid just wasn’t enough. He holed out from 122 yards on his 4th hole on Saturday. We couldn’t see it go in but the fans let us know. It’s definitely a great feeling when you don’t need to use the putter! The rest of the 3rd round was sluggish until 13-15 when he put up a “turkey” of birdies. Two of the birdies were about a foot each. His (-3) 67 put him at (-8) for the event and 5 shots back with 18 to go. I had 0 doubt in my mind we could shoot 65 on Sunday and get inside the top 3.
Sunday did not go as planned. It was a slow start as we again bogied the 6th hole. For the week we played that hole (+6). It was an absolute dagger on the scorecard. But much like all week Ryan bounced right back and chipped in from about 40 feet. It was definitely needed to try and get anything going. As crazy as golf is both Ryan and his playing partner chipped in on the same hole from different sides of the hole. It was pretty cool to see.
The back 9 saw us slipping away. A missed fairway and a failed up and down on 13 put us over par for the round. The next hole par 5 we could take advantage of and settled for par. The 16th hole Ryan hit a great drive but got it too close to the green. The pin was tucked over a bunker and his ball was sitting down in a firm spot. It’s pretty much a dead zone but he had lots of room behind the pin. I’m not sure if he tried to get cute and get it close or whatnot but it landed about 3 yards short in the bunker. Had the ball been sitting up more it would have been that much easier but none the less we couldn’t get it up and down.
This dropped us to (+2) for the round. At this point winning is long gone but lots of money is at stake. The 17th has a huge grandstand with what seems like a 1000+ people in it. It’s loud and it’s exciting. We had a great yardage to a back left pin. He flushed the 7 iron and it finished some 7-8 feet above the hole. The crowd went nuts and the energy level was simply awesome. We looked over the putt for a bit while his playing partner was taking a drop. Ryan asked me maybe 3 time all week about putts, which is fine by me cause this kid can read these greens great. We both felt the putt was pretty flat maybe moving a hair left. He stepped up and drained it which also made the fans go nuts. It was a pretty awesome sight to see. Not to often on this tour do we get crowds like that so to give them a reason to go nuts was a great experience for myself and especially for Ryan.
He parred 18 to close in (+1) 71. He finished T14 which is solid considering some of the big numbers made this week. The winner finished at (-13) which was higher than I thought. It tough to know we played one hole (+6) and lost by 6. Golf can be such a brutal game but I take nothing but positive out of the situations. His birdie on 17 made him about $5,000 more based on where he was going into the final 2 holes.
Ryan led the field this week in putts per green. He made 17 birdies and 2 eagles which I believe led the field also. If not he was top 3 so he ultimately had a great week even though winning was the goal. Winning is so tough out here cause there is so much timing involved in playing good at the right times.
I will update the weekly stats soon as we have a 12 hour travel day to Nova Scotia, Canada.