(Image courtesy Ohio State Athletic Dept, tournament information courtesy USGA.org, lpga.com, R&A, GCGA.org, Cleveland.com, golf.com)
A fair amount of action this past weekend. Five Buckeyes teed it up, and on balance, it was a pretty good week. The dramatis personae are: Ryan Armour (PGA), Bo Hoag (Web.com), Emma Jandel (Symetra), Jaclyn Lee (Women’s British Amateur) and Will Grimmer (GCGA).
Ryan Armour was in Potomac, MD for the Quicken Loans National. Ryan overcame sweltering condition’s and a resurgent Tiger Woods to finish in second place. Ryan’s scores of 66-65-68-68-267 (-13) earned him a fairly tightly contested 2nd place, since no one was gong to catch winner Francesco Molinari. His finish also earned Ryan a spot in The Open, to be played at Carnoustie. This is Ryan’s first Open. This is a pretty big deal.
Statistically, Ryan averaged 288 yards driving (not too bad), 69% fairways hit (pretty good), 74% greens in regulation (really good) and 3.914 strokes gained putting (that’s really good).
The final round was a good example of steady, patient play by Ryan. Despite solid ball-striking, he couldn’t gain ground on Molinari, making the turn at level par 36. He was hitting greens in regulation, but wasn’t getting close enough for legitimate birdie opportunities.
Ryan had a surge, of sorts with a back nine of 34 (-2). He birdied two of the last five holes to work past Tiger Woods ( -2 over the same stretch of holes) and Sung (I’ll just drop it right here) Kang (-3 over same stretch).
Bo Hoag was in Springfield, IL for the Lincoln Land Championship presented by LRS. Bo had four solid rounds, all in the 60’s, to finish 31st. With scores of 67-68-68-66-269 (-15), Bo saved his best for last.
Bo had thing thing under control pretty much from the start. He had 19 birdies and 4 bogeys. No score was higher than bogey – Bo did not fritter away strokes with double bogeys and worse. He helped himself by keeping the ball in play. Bo hit 45/56 (80%) of the fairways and 53/72) 74% greens in regulation. He also had great touch and creativity – of the 19 greens he did miss, he salvaged par on 15 of them.
Bo had a ‘bleh’ opening nine on Thursday, making the turn at level par 35. The back nine was way different, and gave a glimpse of the rest of the event for Bo; he carded 5 birdies and a bogey for a 32 and a round of 67.
After two identical rounds of 68 (4 birdies, 13 pars, 1 bogey), Bo held a ball striking clinic on Sunday. He hit 85% of the fairways, 78% GIR and averaged 1.71 putts per green in a 5 birdie, 13 par performance.
Emma Jandel played in the Prasco Charity Championship in Cincinnati, OH. The cut line was 144 (E). Emma shot a 76-69-145 (+1) to miss by a stroke.
As the above scores indicate, Emma’s first round was the killer. She began play on the back nine with a par on #10, then things went awry for her. After double bogeying #18, Emma made the turn at 42 (+6).
Despite the bad start, things actually took a turn for the better. She played her next 27 holes in -5 to par, which is really, really good golf. This should be encouraging to Emma.
R&A Open Championships
Jaclyn Lee was in Southport, UK for the 115th Ladies British Open Amateur Championship. This event has a field of 144 golfers from 24 countries. The tournament begins with 36 holes of stroke play. The low 64 players advance to match play.
Jaclyn’s stroke play scores of 74-77-151 placed her in 39th spot. That was fine; the objective was ‘top 64’. Mission accomplished. Now, several (hopefully) matches were on tap.
In her 1st round, Jaclyn played Pauline Roussin-Bouchard of France. Jaclyn won her match with a comfortable 4&3 result.
In her 2nd round, Jaclyn defeated France’s Emma Broze, 1-up.
In her 3rd round, Jaclyn played Sara Kouskova of the Czech Republic. Jaclyn cruised to a 6&5 win to advance to quarter-final play.
In quarter-final play, Jaclyn played Denmark’s Karen Fredgaard. Jaclyn won this match, 2&1. Karen had the lone birdie on the front nine, but they made the turn with Jaclyn 2-up. Karen began the back nine with three consecutive birdies to draw the match to all-square through 14 holes. A bogey by Karen on #15 and a birdie by Jaclyn on #16 put Jaclyn dormie 2. Matching bogeys on #17 closed out the match. On to the semi-final match.
Jaclyn played Germany’s Leonie Harm in this semi-final match. In the front nine, Leonie was sharp and Jaclyn didn’t have her best stuff. At the turn, Jaclyn was 6-down. Not looking good. At all. Jaclyn rebounded a bit and won two of the next three holes to pull to 4-down with 6 to play. However, both players matched pars over the next three holes to end the match 4&3.
All in all, I’d say this was a very good week for Jaclyn. Aside from the honor of being accepted into the field, she played well enough to advance to the match play stage. She won four matches in two days. Playing well in international competition bodes well for Jaclyn’s future.
Will Grimmer won the Greater Cincinnati Golf Association (GCGA) ran their 109th Tony Blom Metropolitan Amateur Championship last week. The format is the same as the Ladies British Open Amateur Championship, above. Two rounds of stroke play qualifier, then the low 64 players proceed to the match play stage.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, June 26-27, Will put together rounds of 64-75-139 (-5) to finish stroke play in T-3rd.
In the 1st round of matches, Will faced Randall Davis. Will had a solid 3-up lead at the turn and was 4-up after 10 holes. Davis won holes #15-#17 to pull to dormie 1 as they teed of on the last hole. Will won the hole and the match, 2-up.
In the 2nd round, Will faced Ben Irvin. This was a match where Will played very well and Ben didn’t bring his “A” game. Will was 4-up at the turn, then won the next three holes to take the match 7&6.
In the round of 16, Will faced John Robertson. This was a tough match. Will trailed for most of the front nine, was two under par, yet held only a 1-up lead at the turn. Will was 3-up through 14 holes, then was 1-up with one to play. A par on the last hole gave Will a 2-up win. On to the quarterfinals.
In the quarterfinals, Will faced Jacob Poore. Both players were throwing birdies on the board and Will survived with another 2&1 win. Onward…
In the Semifinals, Will faced Alex Rodger. This match was all-square through six holes, before Will went on a tear. He birdied holes #7 – #8 to go 2-up at the turn. On the back nine, Will birdied 3 of the next five holes to go 4-up through 14 holes. Sitting at dormie 4, Will and Alex exchanged pars on #15, which closed out the match 4&3 for Will.
In the Finals, Will played Austin Squires. Will had three birdies on the front nine and held a 2-up lead at the turn. Austin won holes #15 – #16 to bring the match to all square. Matching pars on #17 kept the match A/S. Will’s par on #18, to Austin’s bogey, clinched the match 2&1 for Will, as well as the Championship.
This was a great week for Will, obviously. He had a great round (64) in stroke qualifier play. He generally got out to fast starts in each of his matches. in match play, you always want to play from the lead to force your opponent out of his/her comfort zone. Will “toughed out” some close matches, winning in the last few holes. This is only going to help Will.
Ryan is in White Sulphur Springs, WV for the A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier. Bo is in Findlay Lake, NY for the LECOM Health Challenge. Emma is in French Lick, IN for the Donald Ross Classic at French Lick Resort. Katja Pogacar is in Lugo, Spain for a LET-Access event.
Despite a pretty “bleh” scoring round on Monday, I believe the swing changes are beginning to take. I drove the ball far better than I have all summer. The iron play is starting to round into form. The chipping and putting were abominable. If it’s not one part of the game, I guess it’s another. At least I have something different to work on next week.