AUBURN, Ala. - Most college students use the winter break between the fall and spring semesters as a time to recuperate, visit family and generally just enjoy their few weeks of not having to worry about anything school related. Auburn men’s golf junior Ryan Knop had different ideas about how to spend his break.
Knop used those weeks to improve his golf game on the amateur circuit, making stops in California, Florida and Arizona in a cross-country trip that saw him rack up two wins and a third-place finish.
“Ryan played outstanding golf over the holiday break and we are very proud of him,” Auburn head coach Nick Clinard said. “He’s done a wonderful job with his overall golf game and bought into some of the changes he needed to make from a big picture perspective.”
Knop began his journey in mid-December close to his Pleasanton, Calif. home with a stop at Poppy Hills in Pebble Beach for the AGC Tour Championship where he battled rough conditions for a one-stroke win. He finished at 4-over 71-75—146 and was the lone member of the field to card an even-par or better on the first day of play.
Next on the agenda was a 2,760-mile trek across the U.S. to Orlando, Fla. for a chance to pick up his second win of the month at the Orlando International Amateur held at the Magnolia Course at Walt Disney World Golf Complex. Knop trailed after the first two rounds despite carding consecutive rounds in the 60s, but started the final round with a trio of birdies and carried his hot start to the end of the day where he finished with a 66 and a four-stroke win at 69-65-66—200.
With two titles under his belt, the junior planned to make one more stop before heading back to Auburn for the start of the spring semester, only it required him to crisscross the country once again for the Saguaro Amateur in Maricopa, Ariz. Knop finished third at the event, just two strokes behind champion Blake Hathcoat at 10-under 71-67-68—206.
Knop now returns to The Plains to resume his junior season and will look to continue the level of success he had in the fall portion that included two top-10 finishes, as well as his outstanding success on the amateur tour.
“All his hard work is starting to show and he has a bright future in the game,” Clinard said. “We are excited to watch him compete and continue his success.”