Mesquite, Nev. (Aug. 30, 2016)–Las Vegas’ Ed Fryatt is making a habit out of winning golf tournaments in the summer of 2016. Fryatt added another victory to his belt–his third in the month of August–with an 11-shot victory over another Las Vegan, Brady Exber, in the 2016 Nevada State Mid-Amateur Championship held in Mesquite, Nev. To say the least, Fryatt is “En Fuego” as Dan Patrick used to say on ESPN SportsCenter. –By Bill Bowman.
The tournament, played at Conestoga Golf Club on Aug. 28-30, 2016, saw Fryatt lead from start to finish. For the three days, Fryatt posted a 14-under-par total of 202.
“I got off to a good start with a birdie on the first hole all three days,” Fryatt said. “Doing that certainly helps your confidence.”
In the final round, Fryatt, representing TPC Las Vegas, fired a bogey-free, 7-under-par 65 to pull away. Exber, representing TPC Summerlin, had a one-under-par 71 to finish second.
“After the birdie on one, I made another birdie on three and then a nice par on four so I got off to a good start,” he said. “You can put up some big numbers early so getting off to the good start was great and with seven birdies and no bogeys it was just a good, solid round.”
Exber was quick to agree. “To be honest, it was fun watching (Fryatt) play,” Exber said. “He had some birdie putts that were so short he could have backhanded them in.”
As for his tournament, Exber said it was his putting that proved costly. “I played pretty well, but I just didn’t convert with the putter for birdies.”
Fryatt, on the other hand, did. “I putted very well,” he said. “I didn’t put a lot of stress on myself. There’s a lot of grain on these greens and if you leave yourself 3, 4 or 5 footers, you’ve got a good chance to miss them.”
It was the first round that added to Fryatt’s confidence. “I plotted my way around the course well and I just tried to feel my way into the round and the tournament,” he said. He opened the event with a five-under-par 67 on the par-72 layout and held a five-stroke lead over Exber who carded an even-par round of 72. Todd Roberts (Southern Highlands) and Darrell Lutey (Legacy GC) were another shot back at +1.
After the second round, Fryatt still held a five-stroke lead as he and Exber each carded 2-under-par 70s. Third, two strokes back was Roberts. Fourth was Erik Matthewson, also from Las Vegas and a senior in the UNLV PGM Program.
To say Fryatt’s on a roll would be an understatement.
On Aug. 9, Fryatt won the 2016 U.S. Mid Amateur Qualifier held at Coyote Springs Golf Club, beating Lutey by one stroke. He followed that up with a victory in the 2016 Nevada State Match Play tournament, beating Steve Sear 2-1 at Somersett Golf & Country Club in Reno.
“It’s just the small things,” Fryatt, a former All-American at UNLV, said of his recent success. “It’s keeping the ball in play and hitting greens. If you do that, you can’t help but shoot a decent score.”
But he does know the success can certainly be fleeting. “Golf’s a funny game,” he said. “You watch guys on the Tour and you figure the top guys will do well every week. That’s just not the case. You take the success you have and build on it. When you struggle, you keep your chin up and battle back. My main goal is to enjoy the good times and persevere through the bad times. It’s been a good three or four weeks.”
Next up for Fryatt is the U.S. Mid-Amateur the week of Sept. 10-15 at Stonewall Links in Elverson, Pa. “It would be nice if this little run would keep going through the Mid-Am,” he said. “My goal is to get into match play and see what happens.”