By Russ Owens
STEVENS POINT (WAOW)- It's not every day that your local golf pro gets to play in a PGA event, but for Ryan Helminen who's the assistant pro at Sentry World in Stevens Point, it's now happened three times, most recently playing in the US Bank Championship down in Milwaukee.
Says Sentry World Assistant Pro Ryan Helminen, "First day I was a little nervous, Saturday I just had the adrenaline going to play on the weekend. I made the most of the opportunity and I'm looking forward to the experience again."
Helminen last played in the event back in 2005, but this year he made the cut, after firing a 73 on Thursday, he came back with a two under 68 in round two.
Says Helminen, "Friday I just came out and had a great back nine, hit a shot close and made a great putt on 17. To shoot 68 under those circumstances and at that time, it's a round I'll never forget."
It takes a lot of hard work to play on tour, but Helminen tried to approach the tournament this year like any other local event he's played in.
Says Helminen, "I've had success with preparation for a lot of other events and I tried to keep this just the same as a state event or anything other event, whatever it would take to get me to do my best."
But sometimes it can be hard when you have tour regulars like Madison native Jerry Kelly hitting the course with you.
Says Helminen, "First and second time I played in the event, I felt like I was a little intimidated by the other players. This time I just went about my own business and acted like I had been there before."
Helminen fell victim to the tour's secondary cut on Saturday after not being in the top 80 after round three, but now he sets his sites on his next tournament, the Wisconsin State Open in August.
Says Helminen, "Gotta go back to fundamentals and work on the setup, just everything anyone needs to do to shoot good scores."
Online Reporter- Russ Owens