Damin Strydom Leads Texas Cup by One Stroke at 4-Under-Par
FORT WORTH – Kingwood’s Damin Strydom played his game in the windy conditions for Saturday’s first round of the Legends Junior Tour Texas Cup Invitational. Strydom made three birdies and an eagle en route to his 4-under 67 at Ridglea Country Club.
Ridglea Country Club is hosting the Texas Cup for the first time. The tournament is being contested on the club’s North Course, which is playing to 6,477 yards on the par-71 layout. The tournament was previously held at Mira Vista Country Club for the past four years. The bermuda greens at Ridglea CC were rolling great on Saturday, giving the field fits with its subtle breaks and hilly terrains.
Strydom, who started his round on No. 10, got off to a hot start with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 11 and 12, which played into the wind with gusts upwards of 30 miles per hour. After a par on No. 13, the 2017 Bluebonnet Champion walked up to the 280-yard par-4 14th and piped a driver on to the green. He snaked in his 12-foot eagle putt to get to 4-under through his first six holes.
“I’m usually a good player in the wind and today I just played my game,” said Strydom after his round. “The eagle putt on No. 14 was huge for my confidence as well as the birdies on 11 and 12.”
A bogey on No. 17 was his only blemish of the day, but a bounce-back birdie on No. 1 got him back to his mark of 4-under, which would be his final score for the day.
“Tomorrow I’m going to look to keep playing my game,” replied Strydom about Sunday’s final round. “Winning the Bluebonnet Championship gave me the confidence to trust my game heading into the final round.”
Sitting one stroke back of Strydom is Austin’s Matthew Denton, who won the Lanny Wadkins Junior Championship earlier this year. Denton started off his round with a bogey on No. 10, but got back to even-par on No. 18 with a birdie. After making the turn, the 2019 graduate played the next nine holes at 3-under, making birdie on the par-5 first, the par-3 fourth and the par-3 seventh.
Padraic Sim of Spanish Fort, Ala. sits tied with Fort Worth and Ridglea Country Club’s own Brandon Massey and Prosper’s Matthew Griggs. All three players shot 2-under 69 on Saturday and are two strokes back.
Sim is competing in the Texas Cup by virtue of the invitation he received for winning the 72nd Boys State Junior Championship in Alabama earlier this year. Sim is coming off a fourth-place finish at South Carolina Junior Golf Association’s 23rd Bobby Chapman Invitational.
“I like playing in Texas because my golf ball goes further,” replied Sim when asked about the difference between playing in Texas versus Alabama. “I have to adjust some of the lines I take and account for the ball rolling out in the fairways.”
Sim made six birdies on the day, but started with three bogeys in his first five holes. He said that No. 6 was where he turned it around and played the final 13 holes at 4-under. Massey made three birdies to one bogey in his first round, taking advantage of the 530-yard No. 9 and the 385-yard No. 10. Griggs made the turn with three straight birdies on Nos. 16-18 after starting his day on No. 10.
Nathan Petronzio of Bee Cave sits in sixth place heading into Sunday’s final round at 1-under, while League City’s Andre Jacobs, Austin’s Trey Bosco, Frisco’s Dawson Ovard and Austin’s Brandon Hoff are in a tie for seventh at even-par.
Jack Randle, Tommy Boone, Hanseung Chang and Trace Martin are tied for 11th at 1-over, while nine other players are tied for 15th at 2-over.
Saturday’s first round saw 179 birdies by the 78-player field along with 12 eagles to just 187 bogeys. No. 18 saw six eagles on the 500-yard par 5 along with 30 birdies to only eight bogeys and one double bogey. The 430-yard 13th hole played as the toughest of the day, seeing only three birdies and 24 pars to 51 scores over par.
The Texas Cup Invitational is a boys-only event and the last major event on the LJT schedule. This is the last event that boys have a chance to earn player of the year points, which determine the teams for the Jackie Burke Cup. This year’s Jackie Burke Cup is being contested at The Cascades Club in Tyler on Nov. 11-12.
Tee times for the final round of the Texas Cup Invitational are scheduled to begin at 7:30 am on Sunday, Nov. 5. Players will tee off the No. 1 and 10 tees in the morning until 9:30 am. For more information about the Texas Cup Invitational, click here.
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