LOS ANGELES – When Wesley Bryan began his final round at the Genesis Open he was six strokes behind front-runner Dustin Johnson and more than an hour ahead of the would-be champion. He was in second place.
Because of numerous weather delays, officials didn’t re-pair for the final round and Bryan’s third-round 63 had vaulted him into the hunt. But distance, in strokes and time, was between the two.
Although Bryan struggled late Sunday at Riviera Country Club, finishing with a 72, his tie for fifth place gave the rookie a boost in his quest to qualify for the WGC-Dell Match Play and the Masters.
Bryan’s finish will move him into the top 100 in the world ranking. The top 64 on March 13 qualify for the Match Play, and beyond that the top 50 in the world after the Match Play earn a spot at the Masters.
“Growing up in Columbia, S.C., it’s just a couple of hours down the road, it would be super special,” said Bryan, who would be a Masters rookie. “I know I’m going to get there at some point; if it’s not this year it’s not the end of the world. It’d be great to get in there.”
“I remember Billy Andrade gave me a golf ball and introduced himself to me,” Bryan remembered from his first trip to the Masters. “For some reason Billy Andrade was my favorite golfer.”