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The final 72-hole leaderboard for the 2015 Frys.com Open at Silverado Country Club in Napa, CA is in. The Frys.com is the first tournament of the wraparound Tour season, and this year there were plenty of big names in the conversation. Emiliano Grillo, age 23, shot a solid 3-under 69 in the final round and ended up winning in a playoff with runner-up Kevin Na. Here are my thoughts on the champion and some notable golfers near the top of the leaderboard:
Winner: Emiliano Grillo (-15) – A young pro golfer from Argentina who started out on the European Tour. Aside from the win this week, he has one win on the Web.com Tour and lost in a playoff at the Puerto Rico Open earlier this year. He also finished T10 at the Barbasol Championship, so he has definitely been in pretty good form as of late.
Today: 6 birdies, 3 bogeys, and a clutch 23-footer at the last that which evidently won him the tournament. Looking at his history and past performance, this guy really shows promise. It will be interesting to see what he does on Tour going forward.
Kevin Na (-15) – Kevin, Kevin, Kevin… he’s been in the mix so many times over the past couple of years, but he’s just never been able to close. The one and only time he did it was at the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open (which happens to be held next week) in 2011, where he won by 2 strokes. He has generally played well this year (a T2, a few top 10s) but has also missed several cuts. He finished T3 at the Frys.com in 2013, so it’s safe to say that he tends to play well there.
Today, a great pitch and 6-foot putt for birdie got him into a playoff, but he couldn’t get it done. He hooked his driver off the deck during the second playoff hole. I’m reluctant to say that he “choked” but I’m not sure if there’s a better word to use. Does he get nervous? Do worse under pressure? Whatever the reason, he’s one of my favourite golfers on Tour right now; I hope he can continue to play well into 2016 and maybe even get a win or two.
Justin Thomas (-14) – Another young golfer with a ton of talent. Him and Jordan Spieth are good friends, and I’m sure he’s trying his best to get out of Spieth’s shadow and find his own success. He nearly pulled it off today; in fact, I believe this is his best finish (T2) on the PGA Tour. His previous finishes at the Frys.com were CUT, T72. His performance last season was a bit spotty, with seven top 10s, plenty outside the top 50 as well as numerous missed cuts. It seems like he’s gradually trending upward, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he notched a win some time very soon.
Justin Rose (-12) – He certainly had a chance going into the final round, but an even-par 72 sealed his fate. He had plenty of birdies today but also plenty of bogies, and he just couldn’t gain any momentum. I guess it isn’t surprising that he was in contention given that he did have a fantastic 14-15 season — a win and an impressive 8 top 10s, with awesome performances at three of the four majors (T2 at the Masters). A T6 this week is pretty good for his first appearance at the Frys. He has stated that he’s committed to the gym and the work he’s doing with coach Sean Foley, and he’s longer off the tee than ever before. As for his prospects, it doesn’t look like Rose, age 35, is going away any time soon, and I expect him to make plenty of noise in 2016.
Have any congratulations for Emiliano, or any other thoughts about this year’s Frys.com Open? Discuss in the comments below!
Here I thought golf season was over. Great to see some names I recognized & how these are Spieth’s competitors.
Well, it was over for all of three weeks. With this wraparound schedule (starting with Frys.com), there is practically no off-season on the Tour.
Yeah, Na and Rose (as well as others I didn’t discuss that were up there in the results) have been around for a while. There is plenty of talent chomping at the bit on Tour right now and it’s going to be very difficult for Spieth to dominate in the coming years.