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Thornberry ties for 13th at Scratch Players event
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Ryan Thornberry was 5-over 221 and tied for sixth at the end of three rounds at the 2004 Scratch Players Championship, held at Bayonet Golf Club near Monterey, June 30-July 2.

The 2002 Ceres High graduate and current member of the Cal State Stanislaus men's golf team struggled to a 5-over 77 in the fourth and final round on Friday and finished in a three-way tie for 13th in a field of 90 with Somis' Kyle Dowden and Concord's Scott Hardy. The trio carded 10-over 298s.

"I didn't play very well the last round," Thornberry said. "I got into a little trouble. I had a ball stick in a tree. I made a few bogeys. That hurt.

"I felt like I should have done better."

Thornberry tied for ninth at the 2003 Scratch Players Championship, held at Stevinson Ranch, July 1-4.

"I think I probably played better because I was familiar with the course," he said.

Thornberry played in a college tournament at Bayonet two years ago. The course was set up differently for the Scratch Players Championship.

"That was probably the hardest course that I have ever played," he said. "I hit some good shots out there and didn't get rewarded. The greens were also very hard."

Thornberry tied for ninth with seventh other players heading into the third round.

He shot a 72 and 75 in the first and second rounds, respectively, for a 3-over-147 on Wednesday.

Thornberry wound up 18 strokes behind the winner, Elk Grove's Spencer Levin.

Levin, low amateur and the winner of the California State Amateur during the last two weeks, took first with an 8-under 280.

"He's on a roll," Thornberry said.

"He just doesn't make any mistakes. He just hits it straight and makes a lot of putts and that's what you got to do. He won by 10 strokes. Obviously, he's doing something right."

The Scratch Players Championship is primarily an exempt player event for top amateur golfers from the United States, western Canada, Mexico and the Pacific Rim although any exempt player worldwide is welcome to enter.

Thornberry was exempt from qualifying because he placed in the top 15 at the 2003 Scratch Players Championship.

"A lot of the big college players were there," Thornberry said.

Thornberry will play at the Sahalee Players Championship, today through Friday, and the Pacific Northwest Amateur Championship at Overlake Country Club next week in Washington state.

"I'm traveling more and playing against better competition this summer," Thornberry said.

"Last summer, I played in more local tournaments." - By DALE BUTLER /

Staff Reporter of The Ceres (Calif.) Courier