LOS ANGELES - San Clemente native Ryann O’Toole is no stranger to teeing it up in the shadow of the Hollywood Sign. The 35-year-old played collegiate golf at UCLA and has fond memories of Wilshire Country Club from her time spent here as a student-athlete, waking up at dawn to dew sweep before class. All those early mornings paid off then and are paying off now at this week’s DIO Implant LA Open with O’Toole firing a pair of 70s on Thursday and Friday in Los Angeles.
“Going to UCLA, we played out here every Wednesday morning, so I'm used to teeing off at 7:00 a.m. out here, no warmup, just playing,” said the former Bruin who notched twelve top-10 finishes during her college career. “Even to this day I'll still say what I did in college: these greens are hard. It was then, it is now. Putting was very hard today. Morning round and Poa annua and the slopes of these greens, it was very fast. As bummed as I am from my two-bogey finish because I three-putted, I'll take the positives into this weekend.”
Day three saw O’Toole make four birdies and three bogeys, hitting 12 of 14 fairways and 15 of 18 greens at Wilshire, no easy feat considering winds were gusting up to 22mph during the morning wave’s final few holes. As she heads into the weekend a few shots back, O’Toole certainly will have the support of the local crowds propelling her forward, but the most important thing for her will be staying patient on the slick Poa annua greens on Saturday and Sunday.
“Just to be able to come back to stomping grounds is fun,” O’Toole said. “Four years of driving up at 6:00 in the morning to this golf course, that brings back a lot of memories of traveling around so it's nice. I'll just stay patient. Typically I know how to make putts so that's not a problem. I'm putting well so I'll just let it be from there. There are a couple of shorter holes which you can try to take advantage of to put yourself into position, but for the most part, it's playing smart on quite a few holes.