Rookie Blair struggles in final pairing


NAPA, Calif. – A lack of experience finally caught up to Zac Blair at the Open, but the 24-year-old still has plenty of positives to take from his first start as a PGA Tour member.

Playing in the final pairing Sunday, Blair bogeyed two of his first three holes en route to a 2-over 74 at Silverado Resort & Spa, finishing in a tie for 12th, six shots behind Sang-Moon Bae. After finding 80 percent of the greens in regulation across the first three days, Blair hit just nine of 18 greens in regulation during the final round.

“Everything was just a little off today,” he said. “Just a little off off the tee, and a little off on the greens. Just little things, easy fixes. Have to take it in stride and learn from it.” Open: Articles, videos and photos

Despite the disappointing finale, Blair still notched a career-best result in just his second PGA Tour start, having qualified for the U.S. Open earlier this year. It continues a rapid ascent for a player who earlier in 2014 was playing on the PGA Tour LatinoAmerica, and Blair’s takeaway from this week is that even at 5’5” he can stand toe-to-toe with the best players in the world.

“That I have the game to compete out here, probably,” he said. “I obviously wish I had played better, but it was a good learning experience and I’ll take it going forward.”