Players to Watch: No. 8, Matt Ryan
December 24, 2017
By Stewart Moore, PGATOUR.COM
- December 24, 2017
- Fresno State alum Matt Ryan shot a final-round 61 at Final Stage to secure guaranteed starts in 2018. (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)
Through one round at Final Stage of the Web.com Tour Qualifying Tournament earlier this month, Matt Ryan was tied for 135th out of 144 players after a dismal 6-over 78. From that point forward, the 31-year-old played dominant golf, closing with rounds of 69-65-61 to finish T30 at 15-under par to earn Web.com Tour status for the 2018 season. Ryan’s final-round 61, which matched the week’s low round at Whirlwind Golf Club, moved the former Fresno State golfer up 37 spots on the leaderboard and into the first eight events of the upcoming year.
Top 10 Players to Watch: No. 10, Jimmy Stanger | No. 9, Jose de Jesus Rodriguez | No. 8, Matt Ryan | No. 7, Chris Baker | No. 6, Kramer Hickok | No. 5, Curtis Luck | No. 4, Wyndham Clark | No. 3, Sam Burns
To those who don’t know “the other” Matt Ryan, the epic comeback may have come as a surprise. To those who have been following his career since he turned professional in 2010, it was yet another example of the strong fortitude he possesses, which likely comes from growing up in Valencia, California, with his father as his role model.
After 29 years with the Los Angeles Police Department, Ryan’s dad went to Afghanistan as a private contractor with the 5-1 Calvary in 2011. The vehicle his group was in drove over an improvised explosive device (IED) during a mission, with all members of the team surviving. At the time, it was the biggest explosion in the war without a single fatality, and his father was awarded the Medal of Freedom at the Pentagon. The trials and tribulations of overcoming a 78 pale in comparison to his family’s heroics (his brother was in the Navy), and Ryan’s mental game has served him well throughout his career.
After turning pro, Ryan competed on the eGolf Tour in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he roomed with current PGA TOUR member Seamus Power. The lefty won an impressive four times before taking his talents to PGA TOUR Latinoamerica, where he posted three top-10 finishes in 15 starts this year, including a playoff loss at the 112 VISA Open de Argentina in November. The runner-up effort matched his career-best finish on Tour, and again validated the thought that he was ready to compete full-time on the Web.com Tour.
Dream. Believe. Achieve.— Web.com Tour (@WebDotComTour) December 14, 2017
With the support of family and friends, Matt Ryan (@MattyRyan24) played his final 45 holes of Final Stage in 22-under par.
He finished one inside the top-45 number to secure guaranteed #WebTour starts in 2018. pic.twitter.com/bskj3HCVZL