Local pros Ellis, Justesen optimistic after first round at Frys.com Open

John Ellis

SAN MARTIN — Thursday’s opening round of the Frys.com Open at
CordeValle Golf Course was was rough at times for Live Oak High
graduates John Ellis and Erick Justesen, but the local pros sounded
optimistic going forward.
Erick Justesen tees off in second round at 8:50 a.m. Friday;
John Ellis follows at 1:20 p.m.
Mediate holds one-shot lead after Round 1 at Frys.com Open
SAN MARTIN — Thursday’s opening round of the Frys.com Open at CordeValle Golf Club was was rough at times for Live Oak High graduates John Ellis and Erick Justesen, but the local pros sounded optimistic going forward.

Ellis, 30, rebounded from an ugly start with an eagle and three birdies in his final 15 holes to finish 2-under-par 70. He was 4-over after his first four holes, opening with back-to-back bogeys on the 10th and 11th holes and a double bogey on the 12th. He saved par on No. 13.

“I’m really happy to be at 70,” he said. “I definitely got away with playing poorly today.”

Ellis stayed patient and regained his form quickly. He shot par or better the rest of the way.

Ellis birdied the par-4 14th, the par-3 16th and the par-3 fourth before ending the day with an eagle on the par-5, 555-yard ninth.

“There wasn’t any wind today, so the course was very hittable,” he said. “I’m just going to go out and try and do the same thing tomorrow. If I can carry this over, I should be in good shape (to make the cut).”

He tees off in the second round with Chris Tidland and Martin Flores at 1:20 p.m. Friday on No. 1.

Justesen struggled with his driver and putts all afternoon and finished 1-over 72.

“It was frustrating,” the 25-year-old said. “I couldn’t hit a driver off the tee; just flaring it all day. … The putter just closed too much. The lines and speed were a little bit off. I couldn’t make anything.”

Playing in the last group didn’t help, though, Justesen dismissed any notion of that affecting his play.

“I hit a bunch of greens but didn’t finish. The conditions really didn’t matter.”

Justesen liked everything about the picturesque 7,333-yard course, including the modifications for the tournament.

“It would just be a shootout if they didn’t change anything. I love this course.”

Justesen’s strategy will be simple Friday when he tees off with David Lutterus and Isaac Weintraub at 8:50 a.m.

“Fix putter. Fix putter. Have fun.”

NOTE: Both players had several friends and family in attendance Thursday.

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