Young’s ‘scrappy day’ still good enough for one-shot lead with 18 to play
March 12, 2020
By Laury Livsey, PGATOUR.COM
- March 12, 2020
- Young fired a 69 to take the lead into the final round in Alabama. (PGATOUR.COM)
DOTHAN, Alabama — During the second round of the Mackenzie Tour Qualifying Tournament at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Highland Oaks, Cameron Young hit his second-shot approach on the par-5 11th hole to about three feet, a putt he made for an eagle. Thursday during the third round, Young hit a 6-iron approach from 225 yards, the ball settling eight inches from the cup for another eagle. His dominance on that hole explains why Young will take a two-shot cushion over Michael Nagy and amateur Garrett Reband into the final round. The winner walks away with an exemption into every 2020 Mackenzie Tour tournament, with those finishing in the second-through-14th positions exempt for the season’s first half.
Besides his two par-5 eagles, Young can claim one other—an ace on No. 13 in the first round. Even with his eagle heroics and his 3-under 69, Young described his day as his worst round of the week. “I was happy with the score, but my golf was a little iffy,” the Wake Forest graduate said. “It was good to get it in under-par today. It was tough, and I didn’t quite have it. I was kind of grinding all day. It felt like I had three-and-a-half, four-feet on every hole for par.
“Hopefully today was my scrappy day, and I’ll clean it up [Friday] and make it easy on myself,” Young added.
Young made eight pars and a bogey (No. 8) on his front nine and was bogey-free on the back, with birdies on Nos. 10 and 18 to go with his eagle.
Nagy had to work for his 2-under 70, a solid front nine that saw him make two birdies on Nos. 7 and 8 to go with seven pars. A bogey and a birdie on the back put him in the tie with Reband.
“The front nine was solid. It would have been nice to get a couple of [birdies] on the backside. I had opportunities,” Nagy said. “I felt like anything under-par today was a solid score. I would have liked to be 3- or 4-under, but all in all it was good. I plodded around.”
Young and Nagy will play together for a second consecutive day, this time joined by Reband as they make up the final threesome of the afternoon. They will tee off at 12:50 p.m.
Did you know amateur Garrett Reband picked up his first college title this season, shooting 30-under at the Rio Mar Country Club’s River Course in February, tying for first at the Puerto Rico Classic? Reband shared top honors with Georgia Tech’s Bartley Forrester and the College of Charleston’s Logan Sowell.
- University of Oklahoma senior Garrett Reband took something of a gut punch right as he walked off No. 9 (his 18th hole of the day) Thursday afternoon. He checked his phone and saw a text from his coach, Ryan Hybl, who notified him that the NCAA had canceled all winter and spring championships, including the Division I golf tournament. This week, the Sooners were ranked No. 2 in the top 25, 78 points behind Big 12 Conference rival Oklahoma State.
- After walking to the clubhouse following his round, Garrett Reband called his father to inform him of the NCAA’s decision. “My college career is over,” he said.
- Garrett Reband had six birdies and two bogeys Thursday. Every one of his birdies came on putts in the 10-to-15-foot range. He bogeyed No. 8, three-putting from 25 feet. “That was a careless bogey,” he said. He also bogeyed the sixth hole, missing the green long, unable to get up and down for par.
- Three amateurs are currently in the top-five, led by Garrett Reband. He is tied for second, two shots out of the lead. The University of Georgia’s Trent Phillips is tied for fifth with Oklahoma’s Quade Cummins. They are tied with pro Hays Moreland for fifth, seven shots off the pace.
- Mason Overstreet, a University of Arkansas senior who also had his college year short-circuited by the NCAA’s decision, made the second hole-in-one of the tournament, acing the par-3 17th. Cameron Young made a hole-in-one in the first round, on No. 13.
- Joshua Holling has had an up-and-down three days, Thursday’s third round a definite up as he improved his score by eight strokes, shooting an even-par 72 after opening with a 3-under 69. Holling is tied for 52nd.
- Derek Bard shaved seven strokes off of his second-round 69, the best improvement from the second to the third round. Bard is tied for 42nd with one round remaining.
- Shintaro Ban and Blake Pugh had six-shot turnarounds from day two to day three. Ban overcame a second-round 76 to shoot a 2-under 70. He’s tied for 15th. Pugh shot a 68 the day after posting a 2-over 74. He’s tied for 27th.
- There were three 68s Thursday, the low 18 of the day. They belonged to amateur Garrett Reband (tied for second), David Tepe (fourth) and Blake Pugh (tied for 27th).
- For the second consecutive day, there were 24 under-par scores.
First Round: 30
Second Round: 24
Third Round: 24
“I would say it played the hardest today of the three days. Having the par-3s on the front nine back a little bit made those holes play tough.” – Michael Nagy
“It will be good playing with Cameron. It will be good to keep an eye on him, and maybe we can have a battle amongst us to see who is medalist.” – Michael Nagy
“I was hitting a lot of greens but just in the wrong sections and out here that makes a huge difference because you’re putting up and down really big slopes.” – Cameron Young
“I had very few tap-ins all day, and I worked very hard for what I had.” – Cameron Young
“You’re going to have a day or two here and there that aren’t your best. At least today I managed it pretty well.” – Cameron Young
“It’s sad. I don’t want it to be true, but if it is it is. We were looking good with a shot to win it all.” – Garrett Reband
“I honestly have to let this sink in for a couple of days and figure out what the next step is. It’s an unfortunate situation.” – Garrett Reband
“Everything’s been good. I’ve been playing well this week. I just need to make a few more putts.” – Garrett Reband
“I was just never in a bad spot, and I put myself in all the right positions to be successful today.” – Garrett Reband
“I knew this week was going to be solid. The back nine is pretty gettable. The greens are a lot softer over there, and I had to take advantage of that.” – Garrett Reband
“I’ve been playing good all semester.” – Garrett Reband
“If you get in the wrong spot on some of these greens, you get short-sided. On the front nine, those greens are a lot firmer. You just have to have control of your ball.” – Garrett Reband