Ryan Cote performing well on the links in South Carolina

  • Greenfield’s Ryan Cote competes at Thomas Memorial Golf Course in Turners Falls during the fall 2020 season. Staff FILE Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 4/4/2021 6:49:26 PM

Playing in big-time golf tournaments is becoming the new norm for Ryan Cote.

Cote — who attended Greenfield High School in the fall — moved with his family to Pawleys Island, South Carolina just a few months ago and  competed in the Palmetto High School Golf Championship at Myrtle Beach against players from all over the country over the weekend.

After the first two rounds, Cote found himself tied for second overall in the 71-player field, but a tough third day of the tournament slid him down a bit and he ultimately tied for 13th with a score of 15-over.

“I felt really good about the first two days,” Cote said. “[Saturday’s Round 3] I struggled. You win some and you lose some. Today I had a blow up day. After two rounds I was sitting well, just one shot back but I fell apart in the last round.”

The junior finished the first round on Thursday — which was played at the True Blue Golf Club in Myrtle Beach — with a 71, leaving him tied for second overall.

The second round at the Caledonia Golf and Fish Club in Myrtle Beach was more of the same for Cote, as he shot a 75 to remain tied for second headed into the third and final day of the tournament.

The final round took place on Saturday at True Blue. Cote had an early tee time and had to deal with the ever-too-familiar frost delays that take place in New England. He was unable to find his rhythm on the course and shot an 83 over the 18 holes.

Cote found that each round he was able to put one part of his game together but was never able to post a perfect round.

“My first round and second round couldn’t be any different,” Cote said. “My first round I hit 16 greens in regulation. The second round I hit maybe four but the first day I couldn’t putt and the second day I made everything and ended up with a similar score both days. [Saturday], neither of them were there. To string three really good round together is difficult.”

Between the difficulty of the courses and the level of competition, Cote said he believes this was one of the most competitive tournament he’s ever played in.

“It was the best field of a tournament I’ve every played in,” Cote said. “You had kids from all over the place to play in these difficult courses. Some of these holes you have to be perfect. Southern golf, there’s water on every hole, you have to carry water. I feel spoiled to be able to play. They’re really difficult courses but fun to play.”

Cote now attends Waccamaw High School in Pawleys Island, and while his school played in the tournament as a team, he was forced to participate as an individual. South Carolina has strict transfer rules, so Cote isn’t able to play on the school’s golf team this spring.

Instead, he’s been practicing with his new teammates and trying to play in as many tournaments as he can qualify for.

“I’m still new to what tournaments to play in,” Cote said. “I’m trying to play in as many as I can and get more experience and do well in a few more of them.”

Though he’s only been in South Carolina for a few months, Cote said he has already seen a noticeable improvement in his game.

With the warmer weather, he’ll be able to play year-round and continue to grow his skillset as he hopes to compete in college in a few years.

He’s excited to showcase his improvements when he returns for tournaments in Western Mass., as he hopes to play in the Club Championship at the Country Club of Greenfield in addition to other events.

“I’ve been playing basically since I got here,” Cote said. “It’s already starting to help me. Practicing down here has been very helpful because the courses are a lot harder. When I go back to Greenfield and play the courses up there again I’m sure they’ll feel easier.”

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