NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. — Jack Ritchay has played a lot tough golf courses during his four-year collegiate career at St. Thomas (Minn.).
He saved the toughest for last.
The Green Bay native put his patience to the test again Thursday and handled the Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club the best of any of the Tommies. He shot 77 and, at 8-over-par 224 after 54 holes, is tied for 22nd place, 11 shots behind leader Sam Goldenring of Williams College.
"This course is for sure probably one of the hardest courses we’ve played just because of the way it’s set up," Ritchay wrote in a Twitter message to Wisconsin.golf of a facility that hosts the PGA Tour's Barbasol Classic.
"I’ve played in much tougher conditions, like wind and sleet, but never in this tough of a setup. Going out there, you have to grade on a curve because you know that average for the day is going to be higher than par and (Thursday) it was just above 77 so you grade it on a curve but you also want to be better than the average."
Middleton's Emmet Herb shot 78 and Matt Mellin and Miles McCarthy each shot 79 as St. Thomas shot 313 and took over sole possession of 17th place at 933. The Tommies are 53 shots behind co-leaders Illinois Wesleyan (302) and Huntingdon College (290) and four shots out of the top 15.
"it was firm and fast and the rough is super thick so you have to get off the tee to score," Herb wrote in a text message to Wisconsin.golf. "I got two really bad kicks off of two tees which probably cost me three shots. Overall, I was decently pleased with my game but the result didn’t show it.
"(I'm) looking to move up in both the individual and team leaderboards (Friday) and get some momentum in my game for tournaments to come."