Ridings making most of last-minute start


NAPA, Calif. – Late Wednesday afternoon, Tag Ridings was the third alternate into the season-opening Safeway Open.

By lunchtime on Thursday, things weren’t much better. He’d moved to second on the waiting list but was running out of time.

“I figured I had to leave at 1:30 [p.m.] to make my flight [in San Francisco] comfortably,” he said.

At 12:30 p.m. (PT), Ridings was informed he would be replacing Billy Hurley III in the field with a 12:50 p.m. tee time.

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“That’s the closest I’ve ever had it happen,” Ridings said.

Ridings has made the most of his last-minute start, opening with a 68 and weathering the worst of the day’s weather on Friday on his way to a 2-under 70 and a 6-under total, which left him tied for ninth place when he completed his round.

Although it was getting close to his self-imposed deadline to make his flight home, Ridings said he never lost focus on the chance he’d get a spot in the field.

“I was prepared, I was still in it mentally,” he said. “I played well in the [Web.com Tour] playoffs and my putting has been good, which isn’t always the case, so I was excited.”