(Image courtesy Ohio State Athletic Dept, and tournament information courtesy ohiostatebuckeyes.com, pgatour.com and web.com tour)
Ryan Armour was in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL for The Players Championship. It didn’t go so well for Ryan. Rounds of 73-73-146 (+2) were just over the cut line of 141 (-1).
Thursday’s front nine was a mish-mash of 3 birdies, 3 pars and 3 bogeys for 36 (E). His back nine was pretty much the same; 3 bogeys and 2 birdies for a 3 nine of 37 and a round of 73 (+1).
On Friday, Ryan opened play on hole #10. Through four holes, he was even par, but all ell broke loose as he headed to the clubhouse. A double bogey on #14 and bogeys on #15 and #18 gave him an opening nine of 40 (+4). Ryan’s second nine, however, was stellar. He birdied holes #1, #2 and #9 for a nine of 33 (-3), but the round of 73 (+1) sent him to the airport.
Statistically, his ball striking on Thursday was excellent, based on driver distance, fairways hit and greens in regulation (GIR). The problem was his putting wasn’t too good. On Friday, his putting was much better, but his ball striking abandoned him. It was just one of those weeks.
Bo Hoag was in Knoxville, TN for The Knoxville Open. Unfortunately, he had the same fate as Ryan – he missed the cut. His two round score 68-75-143 (+1) was just over the cut line of -1.
This had to have been pretty annoying, because Bo played very well on Thursday’s opening round. Three (3) birdies (#2, #10 and #18) gave Bo an opening round of 68 (-3). He drove the ball long (315 yards), straight (hit 64% of fairways, was stellar with his iron game (83% GIR) and putted well (1.87 strokes gained).
In Friday’s play, Bo opened on the back nine with 2 birdies and 2 bogeys to make the turn at 36 (#). So far, so good. Once he turned into the front nine, the wheels fell off. Through five holes, Bo was +5 on the side and in dire need on flight reservations. A closing birdie gave him a nine of 39 (+4) and a round of 75 (+4). Statistically, he was about the same as the 1st round, but the fairways he did miss, cost him dearly; deep rough and out of bounds.
Daniel Wetterich had the honor of playing this week as an Individual in the NCAA Regional qualifier at Ohio State’s Scarlet course. There were 10 players playing as Individuals, with only one player advancing through to the NCAA Championships.
There were 10 players competing as Individuals, but only one would advance to the NCAA Championships in Stillwater, OK. Daniel’s score of 79-75-73-227 (+14) did not earn him that spot.
Daniel opened up well enough and was a solid +1 through 8 holes. The next six holes were a bit too adventurous, however, and Daniel played them in +5. Two pars over his final four holes gave Daniel an opening round of 79 (+8) and gave him a pretty steep hill to climb.
In Daniel’s 2nd round, birdies on #6 and #8 gave him a front nine of 36 (E). Through five holes on his back nine, he was +1, but three bogeys in his closing four holes gave Daniel a nine of 39 (+4) and a round of 75 (+4).
Daniel opened his final round with a birdie on #1 (always welcome!) and an eagle 3 on the par-5, 4th hole. A par on # got Daniel to the turn at 36 (E). He opened back nine play with a birdie on #10 (nothing wrong with Daniel’s starts on Wednesday) and punctuated his round with a hole hole from the fairway on the 378 yard, par-4 16th hole for an eagle 2. His back nine of 37 (+2) gave Daniel a round of 73 +2).
I’m sure Daniel was disappointed that he didn’t advance to the NCAA Championships, but I think he had a solid performance. Other than an hour and half of play on Monday, Daniel put together three well played rounds. He should be proud of his efforts.
A couple notes of interest:
- Daniel had two eagles for the tournament, tied for 1st among all competitors. He achieved this in one round. That’s amazing.
- Almost as equally amazing, to me, is that in 54 holes of tournament set-up conditions, he had only two double bogeys. That’s pretty good control of your game.
I decided to try something different this past week. After 45 years of using the interlocking grip, I decided to try the Vardon grip. Rather than extensive practice range time with the new grip, I took it right to the course. After three rounds, the results are, …interesting.
The first round score was about what I’ve been averaging (81). The next two rounds (90) were not.
- my first three nines were scores of 40-41.
- my next three nines were in mid-upper 40’s.
- there is a lot more variance in scores while I’m riding the learning curve. More birdies, but more ‘other’.
I’ll get out once more this week to “fine tune” things, then take a break for a few days. I just received my mid-month handicap update and index has moved from 8.9 to 9.3. Not a big deal, since I was expecting some ‘choppiness’ in my game for a while. Despite the recent spate of bad ball striking/scores, I’ll keep at it until it sticks.
The OSUWG team is in Stillwater, OK this week for the NCAA Championships. The event is scheduled to run May 18 – 23. Stay tuned.