As Ryan Armour walked off the 18th green at Ohio State’s Scarlet Course and headed to have his scorecard verified, he heard chants of “O-H I-O.”
The Ohio native and former Buckeyes golfer nearly pulled out a win before settling for second place Sept. 3 in the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, which is part of the Web.com Tour Finals.
Armour had a one-stroke lead over Keith Mitchell heading into the final round, but Peter Uihlein rallied from four strokes back to earn the win. Uihlein shot 6-under-par 65 in the final round to finish the tournament at 14-under 270, while Armour shot a final-round 70 to finish at 13-under and Mitchell tied for sixth at 9-under.
With Uihlein’s round completed, Armour had a chance to at least force a playoff hole with a par on No. 18, but his shot from the rough sailed over the hole, forcing a 40-foot par putt. He came up 2 feet short on the attempt, settling for bogey and the one-stroke deficit.
“It was a poor lie in the rough,” Armour said. “It was sitting way down. It wasn’t very deep. It was kind of nestled into one of those holes that you get, and I didn’t have much from there. It is what it is.”
Despite the disappointing finish, Armour hoped to earn PGA exempt status for next year, as the top 25 on the money list at the end of the four-event Web.com Tour Finals earn their PGA Tour cards. With his runner-up finish, he earned $108,000 to secure a spot in the top 25.
The Nationwide event is the first on the four-tournament schedule.
“Mission accomplished,” Armour said before greeting family and friends who attended the event. “The job was to get back to the (PGA) Tour, and that’s what happened. I already have a start (at the Safeway Open next month in California), so that is something that you can take as a positive, and old Scarlet here, she’s tough. … The old girl is a really hard golf course.”
Armour was a local favorite throughout the weekend, as he returned to the course he called home before graduating from Ohio State in 1999. He was a third-team All-American in 1998 and earned all-Big Ten Conference honors in 1995 and 1998.
Armour is originally from Silver Lake, near Akron, and now lives in Jupiter, Florida.
Uihlein, who has played on the European Tour the past four years and has battled back from wrist surgery in May 2016, earned $180,000 for the win. He said he still plans to compete on the European Tour.
“I will play both,” he said. “There are so many good events in Europe.”
Uihlein is originally from New Bedford, Massachusetts, and was a two-time All-American at Oklahoma State. He is the son of Wally Uihlein, who is the CEO of Acushnet, a golf equipment manufacturer that includes Titleist and other brands.
Tournament officials announced a three-year extension that ensures the Nationwide tournament will continue as a Web.com Tour Finals event through 2021. Additionally, a three-year agreement with the Ohio State Golf Club was announced, with the Scarlet Course continuing as host.