A Monday qualifier winning this week’s Honda Classic? That would be music to Ryan Gerard’s ears

Justin Su, 36-hole Honda Classic leader, wore a guitar polo at the PGA National on Friday.

One of the players chasing him is playing the violin. Or at least got used to it.

Ryan Gerard, who qualified for this week’s PGA Tour on Monday, admits he hasn’t picked up an instrument since high school. He notes that they are expensive, which is why he only rented one when he was in elementary school.

“But if I win this week, I might buy one,” he added with a smile.

Speaking of the violin, Gerard better keep cleaning the bow and playing the violin hard. Only five times in the history of the Tour have a Monday qualification ended with a win in this week’s tournament. Corey Conners was the latest player to accomplish this feat, doing so at the 2019 Valero Texas Open.

So far, so good.

With a swing that makes Matt Kuchar look tough, Gerard shot Friday with a 7 to 63 score, a round marked by a 22-foot eagle in third place with a par of 5, and moved to third with a score of 8 below. It’s only a stone’s throw away from Su.

“I think I’m in a good position,” Gerard said. “Something I really wanted to be in was competing on a PGA Tour event. I had to go through a lot just to get to the tournament and then get to this place.”

After spending five years in North Carolina, Gerard, now 23, turned pro last summer and immediately qualified for the US Open. He then won the PGA Tour Canada with two other top 4 finishes to advance to the final round of the Korn Ferry Tour Q-School where he earned eight guaranteed No. 1 starts.

Gerard finished third at the KFT event in Colombia a couple of weeks ago, and he kept the momentum going by scoring 6 under to qualify for the playoffs in Monday’s qualifying tournament at Tesoro Golf Club. He had to return early on Tuesday morning to play extra holes and then, after punching his ticket, had to run to the PGA National to get through a practice round. (Fortunately, Gerard played the championship field several times during his AJGA days.)

“It was a little stressful… a little hectic,” Gerard said. “There is such a big difference just in the infrastructure, the number of people and everything else that is associated with the PGA Tour tournament, which does not take place at the Korn Ferry tournament – or at least in the international tournaments that I played. But I feel like I did a really good job just trying to get rid of all the distractions and make sure I’m ready to play golf when I get the chance.

“… I’ve definitely been running since the playoffs on Tuesday and am very happy to get some rest here this afternoon and hopefully be a little later tomorrow.”

Gerard’s wish will come true.

And he will most likely be in the final group, as he intends to have two more solid rounds – if not to get a trophy and this new violin, but at least to get into the top 10 and earn a place in the next open tournament. Tour field.

He feels prepared. At the end of the day, whether it’s turning conditional status in Canada into a ticket to the KFT Q-School finals, or using just four of his eight starts to secure a full KFT schedule, or getting his first non-prime start on the tour through the playoffs on Monday Gerard, at least since turning pro, has always answered the call.

“When my back was kind of against the wall – it’s never really happened before, but when it was close to the wall, I did well, and this is something that I consider important to me and that I am very proud that you you don’t realize how good you really are or how much you really believe in yourself until you run into difficulties,” Gerard said. “I’m not really there yet, but I felt like every time I had the opportunity to be in a position where I could change my life, I have done it so far.

And I would like to continue to do so.

Play, young man.


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