In the end, he gave it everything he had. Sometimes, being good isn't good enough. Such was the case for Ogden golfer Zac Blair, who faced an impossible task: finish second at the WinCo Foods Portland Open this weekend to earn his PGA Tour card for next year.
If you asked most people who knew Blair, they would probably have said he had as good a shot as anyone in not only finishing near the top in Portland--but winning. But Blair was playing the Witch Hollow course at Pumpkin Ridge--aptly named for the spells it cast on the Ogden resident's golf game on Fri. Aug. 22.
Blair came into the Portland Open ranked in the top 10 in most statistical categories on the Webcom Tour--including best stroke average--but it mattered little this weekend.
Blair was among those cut on Friday, ending his hopes of earning a PGA Tour card for yet another year. Not even Blair himself would have wished the misery he suffered in the wilds of Oregon on his worst enemy.
Here's the thing though: the weather couldn't have been any better, or clearer, for Blair to work his magic at this Webcom Tour stop. While Carlos Ortiz of Mexico slayed his competition by shooting a first round 66 and a 63 on Friday to finish at 15-under, Blair's Portland Open experience was quite different.
In true Blair fashion, he played well on his first several holes in the first round--until the fifth hole came around. Blair bogeyed the par-3 No. 5 to finish the front nine with a 36 score. On the back nine though, Blair cracked on holes 12 and 14, bogeying each. He wrapped up his first day solidly down the stretch--but by that point, other golfers had 10-plus stroke leads.
On Friday in the deciding second round, Blair again was blessed with great weather--but a terrible game. He bogeyed the fifth hole once again--and bogeyed the par-5 No. 7 to finish with his worst nine hole performance at the Portland Open: a 38.
Still shellshocked by this witches brew' that the Witch Hollow course had cast upon him, the former BYU star who just turned 24 this week bogeyed No. 10--and again bogeyed No. 14--to finish with a 1-over 72, knocking himself out of the tournament in the early rounds and out of the PGA Tour card picture for 2014.
Blair wasn't the only Utah golfer to have had issues in Portland. Tony Finau of Lehi made the cut but sits 40th overall going into the final rounds at Pumpkin Ridge.