Grider Clinches Texas Cup Invitational with Birdie on 18th Hole
FORT WORTH – Lewisville’s Ryan Grider stood over his 20-foot birdie putt on the final hole of the Legends Junior Tour’s Texas Cup Invitational knowing if he made it, he would become the 12th name added to an already impressive list of past champions.
He jarred it, gave a fist pump and gave his caddie, Chris Martinez, General Manager of The Lakes of Castle Hills, a big hug.
“We both saw the exact same read on that putt,” Grider said. “I knew if I hit it hard enough and on the line we saw, it was going in.”
It went in, alright, hitting the center of the back of the cup firmly and dropping into the hole for a 5-under 66 final round. Grider needed that birdie to clinch the victory, though.
Carrollton’s Kyle Cox was on Grider’s heels the entire final round. They started tied atop the leaderboard after both players posted a 4-under 67 in Saturday’s first round. Cox took the early lead after a birdie on the first hole, but gave it back on the difficult par-3 3rd hole. Grider then made a birdie on the 618-yard, par-5 sixth hole to take a one shot lead.
“I made five straight pars on the opening holes, but that birdie on six really got me going. It gave me some momentum after the weather delay,” said Grider.
Play was suspended at 11:55 am due to inclement weather in the area with the leaders in the fairway on the sixth hole. The delay lasted one hour and 40 minutes and play resumed at 1:35 pm. There was a mix of rain and cool temperatures but that didn’t stop the players from playing superb golf.
Grider, the 2014 LJT Player of the Year, and Cox continued to battle throughout the back nine, and after a bogey on the long par-3 15th hole by Cox, it looked like Grider might win with a cushion. Cox responded with heart, making back-to-back birdies on 16 and 17 to get back to 8-under for the tournament, tied with Grider heading into the 18th hole.
Cox had a birdie putt as well, just outside of Grider’s ball, but left his putt a foot short. That left the door open for Grider, who felt he needed to win to get into next weekend’s Jackie burke Cup.
“My goal is to play in the Jackie Burke Cup at the end of the year, and I felt that the only way I was getting into it this year was winning the Texas Cup,” he said. “Hopefully this win gets me in.”
Next weekend’s Legends Junior Tour’s Jackie Burke Cup is a Ryder Cup style format, pitting 12 players from north Texas against 12 players from south Texas. The Texas Cup was the final event that awards points towards the LJT Player of the Year Points List, which is how the 12 players are chosen for their respective teams. The event will take place November 12-13 at Escondido Golf & Lake Club.
Another impressive note from Grider’s 9-under par 133 tournament total was that he didn’t have a single bogey on his scorecard. In 36 holes, he had nine birdies, including five in his final round 5-under 66.
That wasn’t even the low round of the tournament, though. Plano’s Pierceson Coody, reigning LJT Player of the Year, fired a red-hot 6-under 65 in Sunday’s final round. He carded four straight birdies on holes six through nine, and then finished his round birdie, eagle, birdie. His 65 vaulted him all the way up to third place, four shots back of Grider.
Austin’s Trey Bosco fired a 4-under 67 in Sunday’s final round to jump into fourth place. Crosby Guercio, Landon Ernst, and Parker Coody finished tied for fifth place, eight shots back of Grider. Luke Dossey, Reid Davenport, Brandon Massey, and Matthew Denton finished in a tie for eighth place.
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