Ryan Knop grinded out a win at Poppy Hills
PEBBLE BEACH, California (December 17, 2017) -- Auburn golfer Ryan Knop of Pleasanton shot a 36-hole total of 4-over 146 (71-75) for a one shot victory over four others at the AmateurGolf.com Tour Championship hosted by Poppy Hills Golf Course. The runner-up group included Alex Chin, Josh Sedeno, Connor Blick, and George McNeely.
Knop, who said he never felt comfortable on the front nine, went out in 5-over 40 that included a double-bogey on the 5th hole. He figured he had lost the tournament after bogeying No. 10 to get to 6-over on the round. But like Saturday, a solid birdie on No. 12 gave him a shot of adrenaline that helped him finish strong and post a back nine of 35 and allow Knop to be named 2017 AGC Tour Champion.
Scoring conditions were much better today compared to the windy conditions that were prominent all day on Saturday.
FIRST ROUND COVERAGE
On a long and windswept day a redshirt sophomore from the football powerhouse Auburn University showed everyone that golf can be a power game as well.
Ryan Knop (Pleasanton, Calif.) was 3-over after eleven holes on day one of the AGC Tour Championship at Poppy Hills, but played the last seven in 3-under to shoot the only score of even par or better. Knop capped his comeback with birdies on the final two holes.
His 71 gives him a two shot lead over Ashkaan Hakim (St. Mary's) and Carmel High School junior George McNeely who both fired 73. McNeely had a solid finish at Del Monte in the AGC Christmas Classic two weeks ago while Hakim was the NCJGA Player of the Year in 2016 and 2017 and was also the winner of the 2016 AGC Christmas Classic. Both players will play alongside Knop in Sunday's final group and they are in an excellent position to make a final round run.
Three others; Connor Blick (Alamo, CA), John Fracisco (Pleasanton, CA) and Chad Hambright (Lake Elsinore, CA) are one shot further back in a tie for fourth following 3-over 74's.
As for the leader, Knop, he spent a year at UC Davis but is now loving his time at Auburn. His new team is deep and very competitive but during the fall season Knop was good enough to appear in two tournaments for the ninth-ranked Tigers. Knop's best finish was a runner-up showing at the F&M Bank APSU Intercollegiate and he is expecting to carry that momentum forward into the spring.
ABOUT THE AGC Tour Championship
The Tour Championship is now open to all
players who satisfy the handicap
Join us at the completely renovated Poppy
Course in one of three fields: scratch, senior
scratch, and net.
Poppy Hills recently reopened
after a complete remodel. The course plays
firm, and fun yet retains the charm of
through the forest inside the 17 Mile Drive.
Pebble Beach Course Review.
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