(Image courtesy statejournalregister.com, tournament information courtesy, PGA Tour and and Web.com Tour)
We had two Buckeyes take to the course this past weekend. They were Ryan Armour (PGA) and Bo Hoag (Web.com).
Ryan Armour was in Texas for the Houston Open. Ryan opened with two sub-par rounds (66, 70) on the par-72 course, but couldn’t gain any more strokes over the weekend (72, 72) and finished T-43rd. He dropped two places in FedEx Cup points and now sits in 38th place.
In his opening round, beginning on the 10th hole, Ryan clustered birdies on holes #14, #14, #16 and #17 to make the turn at 34 (-4). (It would take me about 4-5 rounds of golf t get 4 birdies; which is why Ryan is on the PGA Tour and I’m blogging about it). That’s a pretty damn good start. His back nine consisted of two birdies and seven pars for a 34 (-2) and a round of 66 (-6).
Ryan started his second round with a birdie and was -2 through three holes. He would make the turn at 34 (-2). So, after 27 holes, Ryan is -8 to par. That’s impressive. His back nine had 2 birdies/2 bogeys and a score of 36 (E) and a round of 70 (-2). Not much could be sustained on the back nine, but still a good score.
Ryan’s third round was quiet. On his front nine, he had a bogey and eight pars to make the turn at 37 (+1). He got that stoke back with a birdie on #10, then another birdie and a bogey gave him a back nine of 35 (-1) and a round of 72 (E).
Ryan’s final round was pretty much like the third round. He opened and closed his front nine with bogeys and made the turn at 38 (+2). Not the Sunday start he wanted. He got those stokes back with birdies on #10 ad #12, then barred his way into the clubhouse for a back nine of 4 (-2) and a round of 72 (E).
Statistically, Ryan performed at a consistent, high level, except for two anomalies. These may have indicated something was amiss with his iron play. In round 2, despite hitting 93% of the fairways off the tee (13 of 14) Ryan managed to hit only 61% (11 of 18) greens in regulation. That’s not too good. He putted reasonably well, but when you have to get up & down for par for nearly half your round, low numbers are going to be hard to come by.
In his final round, despite hitting 72% of the greens in regulation (GIR), he lost over 2.6 strokes to the field putting. In the second round, despite being in the fairway, he was missing too many greens. In round four, he was hitting a respectable number of GIR, but wasn’t close enough to the hole to give himself scoring opportunities.
Bo Hoag teed it up in Savannah, GA at the Savannah Golf Championship. Bo’s rounds of 74-66-66-72-278 got him to -10 for the event and a T-27th place. His finish dropped him down a spot, to 39th, in the Web.com Tour money rankings.
In his opening round, Bo didn’t have too many issues with an 8-par, 1 birdie front nine that got him to the turn at 35 (-1). He sailed though the next four holes in even par before things got dicey. He tripled-bogeyed the par-5 14th hole, then went bogey-par, then parred out to shoot a back nine of 39 (+3) and a round of 74 (+2).
Bo started his second round on the back nine with a bogey, then on the next five holes had 3 birdies and an eagle. He played the next three holes in +1 for a nine of 33. His back nine consisted of a bogey and four birdies, two of them on his last two holes of play (always a nice finish to a round). This was his second consecutive nine of 33 (-3) and a round of 66 (-6).
Bo’s third round was eye-wateringly good. After opening with two pars, Bo ran together four consecutive birdies to go to -4 through 6 holes. He played the last three holes in -1 to make the turn at 31 (-5). If you’re keeping score at home, Bo just had a 27 hole stretch that he played in -11 to par. His back nine was less exciting, 2 birdies and a bogey for a nine of 35 (-1), and Bo has back-to-back rounds of 66 (-6). That’s damn fine golf.
Bo’s final round had the magic going early; through eight holes, he was -3 on the day. A double-bogey 6 on #9 speed-bumped Bo to a 35 (-1) at the turn. Things were pretty ‘meh’ with bogeys on #10 and #11 until a late birdie (#17) helped him shoot a 37 (+1) and a round of 73 (E).
Statistically, Bo performed at a consistent, high level, except for two glitches. He drove the ball well; he averaged over 80% fairways hit in the event, but when he missed, he missed badly. Two of these misses led to a triple bogey and a double bogey. Ouch.
The other glitch was in his putting. In his opening and closing rounds, he averaged over 1.8 putts per GIR. He could not break par in either round – no coincidence. In these rounds, he totaled 6 birdies. In rounds two and three, he putted much better (average 1.54 per GIR). In these two rounds, he totaled 14 birdies and an eagle. When the flat stick does well, so does Bo.
We had another “outing” at the golf dome late last week. Based on Thursday’s ball hitting, it looks like I’m rounding into mid-season form. Of the Large bucket of balls (75 or so) the ball striking is falling pretty consistently into 3 categories:
- “I can’t believe it hit that!” – A handful of balls that are grotesque miss-hits by any definition.
- “That’s exactly what I want” – A handful of balls that are hit at the singularity of center of club face, third groove up. Not perfection, but just about as good as it gets.
- ” Okay, I guess that’ll play” – The vast majority of shots, that are fairly solidly hit but mostly are playable misses.
The realistic goal is to move the number of hits from category #1 into #3.
This past weekend had to be a thrill for the participants of the Drive Chip & Putt national finals held at Augusta National Club. A young lady from Buffalo, NY did very well in the 7-9 age bracket; Lily Zhang placed 5th. Lily won the Northeast Region qualifier to get the opportunity to play in the national finals. Congratulations, Lily. Good luck next year!