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Consistency leads to target on O'Riley

by Frankie Frisco | July 7, 2019 at 2:41 a.m.
Zack O'Riley (left) tries to point his tee shot in the right direction after teeing off on the 15th hole during the second round of the Fourth of July Classic on Saturday, July 6, 2019, at War Memorial Golf Course in Little Rock.

Zack O'Riley has been consistent through two rounds of the Fourth of July Classic.

The Jonesboro native matched Thursday's first-round 2-under-par 62 with another one Saturday in the second round to lead the tournament at War Memorial Golf Course in Little Rock by two strokes over Rodrigo Rivas and Ryan Spurlock. O'Riley had 1-under 31s on both sides of the course Saturday, which included a slam-dunk eagle putt at No. 12, the course's only par-5 hole.

O'Riley drove his tee shot left on 12, leaving him with a lone tree partially blocking his path to the green. He rolled a 7-iron about 160 yards onto the front of the green. With the flag cut in the back left, he put so much steam on his eagle attempt that it banged off the back of the cup and fell to the bottom.

"It was a very boring round, but the eagle helped make the difference," said O'Riley, whose best finish in seven years playing in the tournament is sixth. "It probably would have gone by about 6 or 7 feet by if it hadn't hit the hole. I tried to get some momentum after that, but I couldn't find any."

The eagle left him at 5 under at the time, four shots ahead of Spurlock and five ahead of Beau Glover, his playing partners.

Glover, who has four second-place finishes in the tournament, was a stroke behind O'Riley coming into the second round, but he suffered a 1-over 65 that included several nice irons shots, including one he nearly holed out at the par-3 9th. But similar to his birdie attempt there that found a seam and drifted off line, Glover's putter failed too many times Saturday.

"I really didn't hit that many bad shots," Glover said. "I hit two perfect shots on 18 [and made bogey]. I've got to get something to fall [Sunday] to have a chance."

Spurlock, the tournament's 2017 runner-up, got off to a rough start in his second round, bogeying three of his first five holes before rallying with three consecutive birdies to make the turn at even-par 32. Another birdie at No. 12 put him 1 under, where he finished over the final six holes.

Spurlock's 63 put him at 2-under 126 along with Rivas, who shot an even-par 64 in the opening round and a 2-under 64 Saturday that included a bogey after an errant tee shot on No. 7 went out of bounds. A 2018 graduate of the University of Central Arkansas and a native of Chile, Rivas will be in today's final grouping with O'Riley and Spurlock.

Despite the bogey on No. 7 and another on No. 5, Rivas -- who finished runner-up in last year's Fourth of July Classic to Chris Jenkins -- was 3 under on the front nine with three consecutive birdies on Nos. 2-4, and two more on Nos. 6 and 9. Rivas went 1 over on the back nine, which included consecutive birdies on 12 and 13, consecutive bogeys on 14 and 15, and a closing bogey on the par-4 18th.

"I hit the ball great, some very good second shots, especially on the front nine," Rivas said. "I was within 10 feet on 2; 3 feet on 3; 4 feet on 4; 5 feet on 6; then had had a very good up-and-down on 7 to save bogey.

"Where to put the ball is very important here. It's also good to have a little dose of luck."

Jenkins -- the 10-time tournament champion, including the past five in a row -- tied O'Riley, Rivas and Grayson Martin for Saturday's low round of 62, which included a 3-under 29 on the back nine. He is tied for fourth with Glover and Martin at even-par 128.

Wes McNulty's lone bogey came at the 18th, leaving him with a 1-under 63. A two-time tournament champion, McNulty sits five strokes behind O'Riley with a 1-over 129.

Fourth of July Classic scores

War Memorial Golf Course, Little Rock

Par 64

Second of three rounds

OPEN DIVISION

Zack O'Riley 62-62--124

Rodrigo Rivas 64-62--126

Ryan Spurlock 63-63--126

Beau Glover 63-65--128

Chris Jenkins 66-62--128

Grayson Martin 66-62--128

Wes McNulty 66-63--129

Joey Nichols 64-66--130

Derek Bailey 67-65--132

Cameron Reesor 68-65--133

Scott Crisco 69-64--133

Devon Whitaker 67-69--136

Jay Lester 70-66--136

David Connell 66-71--137

Josh McNulty 69-68--137

Nick Crisco 69-68--137

Bradley Barnes 70-69--139

Jake McNulty 68-72--140

Rob Brown 65-76--141

Russell Wrentz 75-69--144

E.Timmins Jr. 68-77--145

Jack Lester 68-78--146

Rivers Bryant 69-77--146

Jamie Barker 73-74--147

Jim Balch 71-76--147

Bill Burkhalter 73-79--152

Colin Osment 78-76--154

Andy Biernat 77-78--155

Mastin Frazer 75-81--156

Eddie Talburt 81-84--165

Jim Woods 84-95--179

MID-SENIOR DIVISION

Kyle Thompson 63-66--129

Trey McIntosh 65-64--129

Wes Daniels 68-67--135

R.Neighbors 65-71--136

Jason Neidhart 71-69--140

Jamie Barker 70-71--141

Timo Anderson 72-71--143

Sean Chaney 77-90--167

SENIOR DIVISION

Bev Hargraves 64-64--128

John Tetens 64-64--128

Tracy Harris 68-61--129

Barry Davis 63-68--131

Kirby Webb 71-63--134

Greg Connell 68-67--135

Wally Landrum 69-67--136

Dane Glover 66-71--137

Curtis Savoy 69-69--138

Jeff King 69-69--138

Greg Norris 69-73--142

Mike Pickens 80-WD--WD

SUPER-SENIOR DIVISION

Dill Gunn 68-64--132

Bill Wrentz 70-66--136

Cal Campbell 69-69--138

Jim Smith 70-68--138

Gary Whitt 69-70--139

Ogugua Uchendu 69-71--140

Vic Fleming 74-66--140

Clark Fitts 71-72--143

Keith Browning 70-76--146

Jack Brodie 81-67--148

Mark Healy 72-78--150

Dan Hill 75-76--151

Tim Larkin 75-76--151

Wally Erwin 72-81--153

Byron Freeland 82-73--155

Jim Fowler 80-86--166

John McCarty 82-86--168

MASTERS DIVISION

Charlie Angel 67-66--133

Dan Young 72-69--141

Sam McAllister 70-71--141

Charly Jones 67-76--143

Fred Robertson 73-70--143

Grant Hall 78-70--148

Wendell Owens 74-74--148

Steve Buford 79-74--148

Floyd Hickerson 83-75--158

MATCH PLAY

1st flight

Andrew McCarty def. Bruce Henley, 19 holes

Cade Hanson def. Sam Cooper, 7 and 6

1st flight consolation

Justin Wittenberg def. Willie Mergenschroer, 2 up

Fred Brown def. Mark Griffin, 1 up

2nd flight

Kevin O'Malley def. Skip Lemke, 6 and 5

C.L. White def. Robin Wynne, 19 holes

2nd flight consolation

Vincent Marks def. Scott Smith, 2 and 1

James Thomson def. Carl Hines, 4 and 3

Photo by Thomas Metthe
Jonesboro’s Zack O’Riley shot his second consecutive 2-under 62 on Saturday and holds a two-shot lead entering today’s final round of the Fourth of July Classic. For more photos, see arkansasonline.com/77golf.
Photo by Thomas Metthe
Ryan Spurlock fired a 1-under 63 on Saturday and is two shots out of the lead entering today’s final round of the Fourth of July Classic at the War Memorial Golf Course in Little Rock.

Sports on 07/07/2019

Print Headline: Consistency leads to target on O'Riley

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