(Photo courtesy ukgolfguy.com, tournament information courtesy the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour and Ohio State University Athletics Dept)

(Editor’s note: Updated to reflect two round scoring and weekend status of Ryan Armour and Bo Hoag)

 

PGA Tour

Update

The cut line moved to 10 points after two rounds and Ryan hit the number exactly. Relatively lackluster play in his 2nd round had Ryan edging closer to the airport, but clutch birdies on #16 and #18 got him 4 quick, and needed, points to qualify for weekend play.

On the 220 yard, par-3 16th, Ryan  hit his tee shot to 20′ from the hole, then drained the putt for birdie. On the 616 yard, par-5 18th, Ryan ripped a 325 yard tee shot followed by a 265 yard fairway wood to land within 30′ of the hole. Two putts later he had his birdie and his spot for the weekend. That is some clutch play. Well done, Ryan.

 

Ryan Armour is in Reno, NV this weekend (hopefully) for the Barracuda Championship. This is a little different in scoring format – the tournament is using the Modified Stableford scoring system.

After the 1st round, Ryan sits at +7 with a cut line projected at +6. The 2nd round is in progress at the moment.

Ryan got his round off to a great start with birdies on the first two holes, garnering 4 points (see below) in about a half hour. He held serve with seven consecutive pars on the front nine to earn 4 points at the turn.

He bogeyed the par-3 11th hole to lose a point, but rebounded nicely with birdies on #14 and #18 to gain 3 points on his back nine.

Here’s how it works:

Unlike traditional scoring methods, where the aim is to have the lowest score, the objective in a Modified Stableford tournament is to have the highest score.

POINTS STRUCTURE

Modified Stableford awards points based on the number of strokes taken at each hole. Scoring at the 2017 Barracuda Championship will look like this:

• Double Eagle: 8 points
• Eagle: 5 points
• Birdie: 2 points
• Par: 0 points
• Bogey: -1 point
• Double Bogey or more: -3 points

PLAYING STRATEGY

The strategy in Modified Stableford formats can, in most instances, be summed up in three words: “Go for it.” This scoring format will reward risk-taking on the golf course.

For instance, if the professional is facing a carry over water that he normally wouldn’t try, the Modified Stableford format presents an incentive to go for it. A birdie is worth twice as many positive points (2) as a bogey is worth punitive points (-1). Eagles offer huge payoffs (5 points) and the worst a player could possibly do would be a double bogey (-3 points) at which point he could pick up his ball and carry on to the next hole.

Those golfers who make a few bogeys but also make a lot of birdies or eagles are more likely to be atop the leaderboard.

This format encourages some aggressive, entertaining play.

Web.com Tour

Update

Bo Hoag matched Ryan Armour’s sense of drama with his own clutch finish to advance to weekend play. Bo had a “not much happening” even par front side to not really help his status. With a double-bogey on #12 Bo was heading for the exits.

Not so fast…  Bo birdied 4 of his last 5 holes including consecutive birdies on holes #16 – #18 to sprint across the finish line. This is a pretty big deal for Bo for a couple of reasons. First, by qualifying for weekend play, Bo goes home with a paycheck of some denomination. Second, the more tournament experience (think ‘playing time’) he gets, the sooner and better his game develops for the PGA Tour. Nice job, Bo.

 

Meanwhile, Bo Hoag is in Hayward, CA August 3 – 6 for the Ellie Mae Classic. At the end of his 1st round, Bo shot a 69 (-1) to end the first day in T-61st place.

Bo got his round to a nice start with a birdie on the 1st hole, then scored 2 more birdies and  bogey to make the turn at 33 (-2). Play flattened out a bit on the back nine, however. A birdie on #15 was plopped between bogeys on #12 and #18 for a back nine 36 (+1).

Up Next

Both events at in Pacific Time Zone, so our Buckeyes were about to tee off as I’m “going to press”.  I’ll update this article either late tonight or tomorrow to see how Ryan and Bo stand for weekend play.

 

Local Golf

I got in three “practice nines” this week in preparation for a Sunday golf match.  It’s sort of a family golf outing in that my niece’s boyfriend’s father is the match host at his club, Fox Valley Country Club.  I assume we’ll be playing the blue tees, so it’s not tha long of a course (< 6,200 yards) but it is tight with a lot of trees and a lot of water. I’ve never played this course before, but I understand from those who have that it is a “shot-makers “course. We’ll see. In my upcoming recap (probably Monday) I’ll let you how much of the trees and water I experience.

I ran across something interesting while compiling my handicap for the upcoming Nassau. I don’t have an official handicap, but I use the USGA’s handicapping formula with my accumulated scores, etc, etc. As it turns out, my handicap index is 9.9. The most recent year (2008) when I had an official handicap it was – 9.9. On one hand, my handicap hasn’t improved in 9 years. On the other hand, as I’ve trudged into my mid-60’s, it hasn’t gotten any worse, either.

Speaking of trying to preserve what I have, as I mentioned above, this was a practice week. In an effort to help me to get a fuller rotation through the ball, I’ve been working with a more open set-up. So far, it looks promising; my ball contact has improved quite a bit resulting in more distance and straighter trajectories. I’ve found that I do need to square the shoulders at address or the result is a pretty nasty pull-hook. I also need to “stay with” the swing or suffer a push fade way off line.

Again, I’ll have updates on Ryan and Bo late tonight or tomorrow. Thanks for stopping in. Stay tuned.