Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – John Ram He faced and tackled the wind as well on Friday at the Mexico Open, making eight birds on his way to a 5-under 66 which the No. 2 player in the world bet on was a two-piece lead. Alex Smalley.
Ram arranged all four of his 5s, including the 18th hole at Vallarta Vidanta with a 4-iron from rough-to-short light green, 6-foot pitch and one final stroke.
He was 12 under 130 on the weekend.
Smalley was playing on the other side of the course, doing most of his work. The highlight was hiding from 165 yards on the third hole of Eagle. He had eagle chances on back-holes late in his run, hitting 35 feet on the fifth and driving the 291-yard seventh hole 30 feet for another two-hit.
He finished with a score of 66 and would be in the final group with Ram.
Ram was twice as high on his opening round as the Spaniard didn’t have to deal with the wind until the last four holes. This was a better feeling.
“I feel I could be somewhat more satisfied with today’s result than yesterday,” Ram said. “Yesterday I felt like I was really in control and talking relatively freely. Today was a lot tougher, but still a good round of golf.”
Patrick Reed Two birds ran late and he was ready to close his run with a third in a row to a pedestrian field at close range from the green at 5 18. He had to settle for a par 66, leaving him in a big group that had three shots behind.
Cameron Champwho played alongside Ram and tackled the wind with his breakthrough football trip, had 66 points to hit 9 under 133. He joined Champ and Reed Tree Moulinex (69), Adam Long (66) and Andrew Novak (67).
Ram played a great shot from a waste area to the right of the green in Part 5 from 14th position to about 3 feet. What really pleased him was a 6 iron in class 9, over the water while trying to navigate storms.
“The 6-foot iron was perfect,” Ram said. “Having a 3-foot iron over there, it’s a huge bonus.” “I think my iron game was really good today. It was really in control and in those windy conditions I was shooting really hard. Good attitude.”
Smalley, a Duke University graduate in his rookie year on the PGA Tour, finished second in the Dominican Republic a month ago. Both courses have the same type of turf on the greens, and Smalley said he gained a lot of experience playing in the final set at the weekend, starting with the belief that he could be competitive on the Tour.
It was also a quick study of the wind, which made hitting some of the four spots more difficult than some of the 600-yard 5s.
Smalley had a 5-iron for his second shot at 608 yards for the sixth. After two holes, he had a 3-wood on his second shot on the 515-yard eighth hole, barely making it to the front of the green. This resulted in a nice lag of 65 feet for comparison.
“This is what happens when you have winds of 25 years,” Smalley said. “I’ve been able to keep the ball in play and have been able to get out of those holes that have been in play for a very long time, and I’m glad I’m done with it.”
The cut was at 2-under 140. Among those to make it to the weekend were the Ortiz brothers from Guadalajara – Alvaro shot 69 and was in 5-under 137, while PGA Tour winner Carlos, was 69 and was at 3 Less than 139. Abraham Anserpart of the 10 Mexican players on the field and 20th in the world rankings, had 69 and set the record.
Everyone’s job is to chase Ram, on his way to his first win of the year.
“I was playing really well,” he said. “I can’t really complain about anything I’m doing right now so hopefully I can keep hitting the ball well and keep rolling it the way I have.”