Ryan O'Rear (Texas Golf Association)
Eight shots. That’s how many strokes former University of Baylor standout Ryan O’Rear had to overcome when he teed off Sunday at Oak Hills Country Club in San Antonio, Texas.
“Going into the day I thought if I could something five, six under and the top guys stumbled I might have a chance,” O’Rear told AmateurGolf.com. “And then I bogeyed the first four holes so at that point I was just trying to get it back to even par for the day and have a decent finish.”
Although dropping four bogeys to begin the day which featured two three-putts, O’Rear actually picked up a shot from where he began the final round. Seven shots back, things began to click for the 29-year-old from Leander, Texas.
A birdie on the par-4 5th got things back into motion before back-to-back birdies closed out O’Rear’s front nine at 1-over 36. Finding his groove, O’Rear hit his best shot of regulation; a fairway metal to six feet on the par-5 10th for an eagle.
One of his best friends Will Alford was on the bag for O’Rear this week and was able to keep him focused and positive as the day progressed.
“He’s caddied for me a hundred times probably,” O’Rear said. “He knows my game, kind of knows what to say and when to say it. He just kept me in it… After nine he was like ‘Let’s go’.”
O’Rear kicked it in gear following the eagle on No. 10 with birdies on Nos. 12, 13, 16, and 17 before making a clutch sand save on the 18th to get to five under on the day and three under for the tournament.
Knowing he posted what he thought he needed to to get into contention, O’Rear had to wait for over 90 minutes before knowing he forced a playoff between him and two-time Texas Mid-Am champion (2017, 2018) Colby Harwell.
“We took it way longer than either us would have hoped,” O’Rear said laughingly. “We were both playing good golf. I think I was three under in the playoff and he was two under. He did a good job of hanging in there.”
The two dueled their way through seven holes of sudden-death golf, matching each other shot for shot until O’Rear banged home a six-foot birdie on No. 17 after Harwell just missed a 10-foot birdie opportunity of his own.
O’Rear, who played professionally on the Adams Tour and made a couple of starts on the Web.com Tour, attributes the perseverance on his past experiences.
“Playing a lot of big college events and even pro events, getting into contention every time you’re there, I think it makes it easier the next time you’re in that position,” said O’Rear. “The back nine was really fun just being under the gun and having to hit shots, it’s fun.”
O’Rear’s round of 73/71/66 totaled for a 3-under 210 and was unofficially six under for the event following the seven hole marathon playoff. 36 hole leade Padden Nelson finished in solo third with a final round 75 and a tournament total 2-under 211.
View results for Texas Mid-Amateur
ABOUT THE Texas Mid-Amateur
Eligibility: Entries are open to male golfers
USGA Handicap index of 8.4 or less, and who
25 years of age or older by the first day of
Format/Field Size: 54 holes of stroke play. At the
completion of 36 holes the field is cut to the low 54
players and ties. The field is limited to 132 players.
Mid-Master Recognition: In addition to the overall
champion, an award will be given to the low Mid-
Master finisher. (Mid-Master – any player 40+ years
View Complete Tournament Information