Stinnett Gains 5 Strokes to Win CVIGT

APPOMATTOX - When Ryan Stinnett chipped in a shot from 50 feet away to seal a victory in the Central Virginia Invitational Golf Tournament (CVIGT), he said, "It was like watching [Virginia] Tech beat [Virginia]. It was a really good feeling."

It makes sense he would make a comment like that since he once played golf for the Hokies.

Stinnett entered the final round at Falling River Country Club trailing Lynchburg's Frankie Smith, Jr. by three strokes but closed the gap to one entering the final nine holes and then virtually clinched the tournament with the long birdie chip on the 17th hole.

"If I could have hit it within eight feet I would have been happy but I found a line that I liked and I backed off because I adjusted the line and ultimately I hit it exactly where I wanted to and then I heard a friend of mine, Bobby Layne (who won the senior division), say 'That's a perfect speed' when it was about half way [to the hole] so I thought it's got to be good because if anybody knows Bobby would, and it went in and it was perfect so it was a little bit of luck but it was a good shot," he said after receiving his second CVIGT trophy.

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Stinnett, who now lives in a house on the Poplar Grove course in Amherst County, hasn't played as much golf this year as he normally does. "I was going to go get a lesson from my old swing coach [on Thursday] but wasn't able to do that. I kind of figured something out on the range at Poplar Grove and it really helped me," he said.

Stinnett has been traveling a lot for his job and when he has been able to play it has usually been after a long day of driving which is not conducive to good golf. "Your legs are gone and you get into some bad habits," he explained.

The victory was also special because it was Father's Day. Stinnett, who is a father, credited his dad for teaching him the game of golf and said "it means the world" to have had him there to watch him play. Sunday morning Stinnett gave his dad a gift and his dad told him, 'Just go have fun' and that's exactly what he did on the course.