Courtesy of LA Tech Athletic Communications
SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Louisiana Tech assistant golf coach Ryan Alford will be spending the week in California … and hopefully the weekend as well.
The former Bulldog golfer is one of two players who received an exemption to play in the 2022 Farmers Insurance Open along with Kamaiu Johnson. The event will run Wednesday through Saturday at Torrey Pines Golf Course. It will be Alford’s first career start on the PGA Tour.
Alford will tee off at 9:50 a.m. on Hole No. 1 with Joshua Creel (US) and Mito Pereira (Chile).
“First PGA Tour start,” said Alford. “It’s a dream come true. It’s surreal right now. Tomorrow I will tee it up. My debut. Very excited. Grateful. Thankful for the opportunity.”
Alford played a practice round on Monday with Johnson, Sam Burns and Ricky Fowler.
“We played nine holes; just a little game,” said Alford. “It’s always good playing with my high school teammate and my childhood friend. Having the opportunity to play with (Sam) and having the confidence that I grew up with him and played a lot of golf with him. I’m just moving forward. It keeps the dream alive. I know I belong out here. That’s the biggest thing for me.”
The exemptions support Farmers® ongoing commitment to the Advocates Professional Golf Association (APGA) Tour and its work to grow diversity in golf. Helping to remove the financial burden associated with the game and providing playing opportunities are top priorities for both Farmers and the APGA.
The organizations are also focused on ensuring players have access to the tools and support they need, allowing them to better focus on their career path and development in the game.
“Both Ryan Alford and Kamaiu Johnson have their own stories of perseverance, and each has shown they can compete and win on the APGA Tour this season,” said Marty Gorsich, CEO of the Farmers Insurance Open. “Ryan has enjoyed tremendous success with two victories on the APGA Tour this season and we felt Johnson deserved his chance to return and finish what he wasn’t able to start in January 2021. Not only are they great golfers on the course, but they also both give back and work to grow the sport in the communities where they learned the game.”
Alford, 25, grew up learning the game with his father and through First Tee Northwest Louisiana in Shreveport, La., eventually representing the chapter at the Pure Insurance Championship Impacting First Tee in 2011.
He was a standout player for the Bulldogs and on the APGA Tour. During the 2021 season, Alford had back-to-back victories at TPC Scottsdale and Valhalla Golf Club. He also finished runner-up in the final event of the APGA Farmers Insurance Fall Series at Wilshire Country Club in Los Angeles. Alford was a teammate of PGA TOUR standout Sam Burns at Calvary Baptist Academy where he was part of a string of five consecutive Louisiana state championship titles.
Alford talked about his mindset heading into Thursday’s first round.
“I’m trying to keep it simple,” said Alford. “One shot at a time. Stick to my routine. Stick to what got me here.”
Alford is the second Bulldog to play in a PGA event in the past 12 months after Sam Forgan competed in the British Open last year. He said representing his University is special.
“It’s great,” said Alford. “I’m sure you will hear more from Louisiana Tech golf in the very near future. But for me to be out here is a dream come true, and I am very thankful for it.”
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