Live Oak High graduate sank an 18-foot birdie putt on the 18th
hole to finish tied for 26th with a 4-under 138 (70-68). With two
birdies to finish the day, he gained a little momentum going into
the final rounds.
John Ellis was all smiles Friday as he joked with friends and family after the second round of the Frys.com Open at CordeValle Golf Club. The Live Oak High graduate sank an 18-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to finish tied for 26th with a 4-under 138 (70-68). With two birdies to finish the day, he gained a little momentum going into the final rounds.
“We were trying to hustle the last few holes to beat the clock and get as close to the lead as possible,” said Ellis, who was in the last group to start play at 1:20 p.m. “Maybe I can move up in the next few days with a couple good rounds. The greens got a little beat up toward the end of the afternoon, but they do a good job keeping it up.”
Ellis is among the top 73 players who will compete for a portion of the $5 million purse. And he will be doing it front of many family and friends. He estimated that he had 30 to 40 family members and friends out to support him Friday.
While he doesn’t call the course his home course, Ellis has played the CordeValle numerous times and knows how it plays.
“I have been fortunate enough to come out here and play it a few times,” he said. “I have probably played it more than anyone else, which is an advantage over the other guys.”
But it wasn’t all smooth sailing for Ellis.
After hitting an eagle in the opening round Thursday, Ellis was either hit-or-miss for the first half Friday, recording either a birdie or a bogey until he parred the 8th hole.
“That’s never a good sign, but fortunately I mixed in a couple birdies to offset some of the bogeys,” he said. “Besides that little hiccup in the middle of the round, it was pretty solid. I hit a bunch of good shots. I just got to keep grinding. I’ve been doing this enough so I know I’m going to make a bunch of bogeys. And I know I am going to make a bunch of birdies. So hopefully I just make more birdies than bogeys.”
One of the holes he struggled on during his back-to-back bogeys was on the par 4 6th hole, which the PGA number crunchers determined was the toughest hole of the day with a scoring average of 4.359 (9 birdies, 69 pars and 45 bogeys).
Ellis, grouped with Chad Campbell and Paul Goydos, tees off at 9:10 a.m. Saturday. The trio are all nine strokes behind leader Rocco Mediate.
“This is what I practice for every day,” Ellis said. “I expect to be here. I know I can do it. So we’ll see if in the next couple days I can prove it. This is probably the best position I have been at after the first couple days in one of these tour events.”
For more on John Ellis, go to www.pgatour.com/shottracker/#/current/r464/2/player/27447