Ryan Kennedy is right where he needs to be with one round to play at the NGA Hooters Tour event being played in Calabash, North Carolina.
The young pro (he turned professional in September last year) is in a four-way tie for second place after 36 holes after shooting 69 and 72 at the Brunswick Plantation Golf Course. At a total of three under par he only trails leader Jared Wolfe of Louisville, Kentucky who sits at five under par.
Kennedy, a familiar face at the Amherstview Golf Club just west of Kingston where he honed his golfing skills, had two birdies and two bogies during his Wednesday round, one he filled out with 14 pars. “I hit it great today but just couldn’t seem to get the putts fall,” he told Flagstick.com by phone Wednesday evening . “I was expecting more guys to go low today but it seems a lot of them are having a problem reading the greens just right.”
Ryan said his second round had a lot of promise with a number of short putts; he just could not seem to convert them. He is hoping that will change tomorrow with a few adjustments. “I am excited for tomorrow. It’s the best I have been hitting my driver in a long while and this course gives you lots of opportunities if you can hit fairways. I just need to keep giving myself the same chances to make birdies and get a few of them to drop.”
A year ago, the young pro also played well at a Hooters Tour event at Brunswick Plantation and he admits he has a lot of positive thoughts when playing the course. “I’m not sure what it is but I felt comfortable right away here. The course just seems to suit me.”
Normally a fun-loving guy known to chat with his opponents, Kennedy says he is a little more focused this week and beyond the normal courtesies he is pretty much keeping his attention on his own game. “This week I have stayed within myself a little bit more. I’m trying to stick with the process and my routine a little more and it’s worked out pretty well.”
On Thursday Kennedy will have his hands full in the final round; he is scheduled to play with Wolfe and Tadd Fujikawa of Hawaii. Fujikawa is known to many golf fans for his excellent play during the PGA Tour’s Hawaiian Open in 2007 when he made the 36-hole cut at the age of 16. He also qualified for the United States Open at the age of 15 in 2006.
“I’m excited for tomorrow, to play with Tadd and just to be in the final group. I’ve seen him (Tadd) on the course and he looks like a nice guy. It should be a good experience and I am feeling pretty good about it.”
As for his final round strategy Kennedy says he will pretty much follow the script of the last few days. “In the practice rounds I saw where the pins will be and they look pretty accessible. I’m pretty comfortable with all the tee shots here and I can play driver off almost every tee. I’m a pretty aggressive player normally and I am not expecting to do anything different tomorrow.”
Kennedy, Fujikawa, and Wolfe will tee off at 8:20 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.
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