The Toyota Tour Cup headed down Interstate 15 into wine country for the two-day event at Redhawk Golf Club, one of the more challenging courses in the TTC Series this year. It was a long, challenging test, requiring precision to navigate the severely undulated greens that are the courses primary defense. Case in point, the second hole which has a three tiered green sitting perpendicular to the approach shot, which proved to be the most difficult hole of the week for both divisions. The second hole would set the tone for the entire week, turning par into the proverbial “apple” of each player’s eye.
With tough pin locations, round one yielded only 3 scores in red figures. Alyaa Abdulghany and Taisei Negishi shot a one under par 71 and Norman Xiong continued his hot play and carded a three under par 69. Players found it difficult to navigate the greens with several reports of four putts and overall exhaustion after the round from having to grind over lengthy putts to save par or worse. The players were resilient though, sticking to their routines, heading to the practice area after round one to work out the kinks in hopes of finding something that would improve their scores in round two.
Sure enough, many of them found just what they were looking for. The boys turned in seven scores under par in round two including a 69 from Andrew Baek, good enough to win him second place honors due to his 3 under back 9 which broke the 3 way tie at 145. Daniel Son had one of the more dramatic turnarounds beating his round one score by 11 strokes and firing a tournament best 4 under par 68 on day two. Norman Xiong however, refused to relinquish his lead and followed up round one with another under par score to finish the tournament at 4-under par 140 to win his second Toyota Tour Cup title in the month of May.
The girls had one of the more exciting finishes in recent memory, needing seven extra holes to determine a champion. Alyaa Abdulghany and Carolyn Zhao traded pars back and forth as they each holed a number of gritty par putts to keep their hopes alive. Just when you thought one had the upper hand, tides would change, and one of them would hit a beautiful recovery shot or hole a “must make,” putt. Carolyn Zhao finally made it over the hump though as she holed a 12 foot par putt on their 43rd hole and Alyaa failed to get up and down from the greenside bunker. Carolyn has been playing terrific as of late and was finally able to break through and get her first win on the Toyota Tour Cup, congratulations Carolyn!
We would like to thank…
Redhawk Golf Club for hosting our event.
Our terrific officiating crew, Ron O’Connor, PGA, Terry Startzel, Gary Wilson, Dianne Wilson, and Lee Wortman.
Our tournament sponsors, Toyota, Arrowhead, and Antigua.
And our field staff, Reid Yamane, Chris Bartholomew, and Corey Rand.
This week the Toyota Tour Cup will head back to the desert where they will find another daunting challenge at the Classic Club.