SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The skills competition to open the 2017 PGA Jr. League Championship presented by National Car Rental brought out the best of the best performances from the 80 golfers in this year’s field. The long drive competition drew the largest crowd of the day as players took aim to show off their range.
Team New Jersey’s Joshua Ryan, from Norristown, Pennsylvania, took home top honors, turning in an impressive drive of 312 yards. He edged out his teammate, Garrett Engle, who hit an equally impressive 308-yard drive.
We took a few minutes to ask Joshua about his game and get to know him a little better as a golfer.
What driver do you keep in the bag?
Callaway Epic with a Rogue Max 75 gram x-stiff shaft. I’ve had it in the bag for about 3 months. I like the control of it.
Who’s your favorite professional golfer? Who do you model your swing after?
Rickie Fowler is my favorite golfer but my swing is a little more like DJ. I like how he’s a little bit late on the top. I think that’s nice. And the power, it’s nice to hit it that far.
Your favorite memory on the golf course?
When I was 10, 2014, I was at Augusta for the Drive, Chip and Putt. I came in third and got my trophy from Adam Scott.
What’s the craziest shot you’ve pulled off?
I was in the left trees, par 5, dogleg right. I’m still behind the corner and I had to hit about a 20-yard cut. And I hit the cut, but it didn’t cut enough. Luckily, it clipped the bridge and bounced to a couple feet for a tap-in eagle.
What’s your swing thought when you’re hitting your driver?
Take it back and have it parallel. Then hips and club face at the same entry point.
What pre-shot routines on the course do you have?
The glove has to be really tight on my hand. It can’t be loose at all. And before I putt, I have a towel in my hand, squeeze it and then throw it to the side.
What course is tops on your dream round list?
St. Andrews. I like links courses. They have less water and the pot bunkers look fun. They’re not fun to hit out of, but they look nice out there.
Why do you enjoy playing PGA Junior League Golf?
The format, I like match play. I get to play with two amazing partners, meet new kids, play great courses and have fun.