Golf

Up-and-down Honda Classic for Blaum

Ryan Blaum looks over a putt in the final round of PGA Honda Classic
Ryan Blaum looks over a putt in the final round of PGA Honda Classic Miami Herald

The Honda Classic did not exactly end the way Ryan Blaum anticipated or wanted, but he still had a smile on his face.

Blaum, a Miamian who is in the slightly unusual position of being a PGA Tour rookie at age 33, shot a 74 on Honda’s final day, quashing his plans of finishing much higher up the leaderboard.

“I hit the ball pretty good in this final round,” he said, “but sometimes they just don’t go in.”

Blaum’s week turned into alternating good and bad rounds as he went 67-73-65-74 for a 1-under 279 total.

Playing in the Honda and on the Champion Course at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens for the first time, Blaum said, “I’m going to be excited to come back next year. Making the PGA Tour has been a long time coming, but it has been worth the wait. I love the crowds and the people.”

Blaum was born in Coral Gables and attended Westminster Christian School and has spent much of his career as journeyman golfer, playing on the European Tour, Canadian Tour, Latinoamerica Tour, Web.com Tour, the Challenge Tour and finally — at last — the PGA Tour.

Playing nearly every tournament this year and with the Honda behind him, Blaum will take this week off.

“Feel like it’s much-needed and deserved,” he said with a smile.

“I would have liked to finish in the top 10 at Honda and had a chance to do it, but it didn’t happen,” he said, “but I’m pretty happy with the state of my game.”

START YOUR ENGINES

Many tournaments give away cars for anybody making a hole-in-one on a designated par 3, but the Honda Classic does not.

This week, Scott Stallings on Thursday and Jhonattan Vegas on Sunday made aces on the 179-yard 15th, the opening hole of The Bear Trap.

Honda put its no-car policy in reverse and said both would receive cars. Hondas, naturally.

SPLASHDOWN

As usual, The Bear Trap — the par-3 15th, par-4 16th and par-3 17th — took its toll on the the field with balls in the water.

Fifty went in on the 15th, 15 went in on No. 16 and 27 water balls were hit on No. 17.

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