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August 10 2018

Garner Defends Utah Women's Open Championship

Jesse Dodson

Two Siegfried & Jensen Utah Women's Opens, one champion. Lea Garner, former Brigham Young University Women's golfer returned to East Bay Golf Course August 8-9 in Provo, Utah, and is once again leaving with the ABC Good 4 Utah Trophy.


Garner fired off rounds of 68-67 for a two-day total of (-9) 135 to successfully defend her Women's Open title from 2017. Last year, a playoff between Garner and Sirene Blair was necessary to determine the champion, but Garner's 2018 final round left no doubt. With a birdie on every par-five, and then some, Garner's final-round 67 propelled her to a five-stroke victory and a $2,000 check.


"I was hitting the ball really well," Garner said. "My ball striking was really good so I felt really comfortable being able to hit fairways and greens, but my putting was awesome. I was pretty confident with my putting and felt I could make a lot of the putts I did.


"I think it's awesome," Garner said about winning the first two Utah Women's Opens. "I was pretty confident coming into it. It's cool to have a back-to-back under my belt now. My next event, I'm actually going to Q School in two weeks so it does give me a lot of confidence that I can play well, shoot well and go low. My swing feels really good right now."


Garner appreciates having an event in Utah for Utah's women professionals: "I love that we have it now and I hope that we continue to have it because girls golf is just growing and growing."


There's been a playoff in the first two Utah Women's Opens; the first was to determine the overall champion and the second, this year's, was to determine the low amateur champion.


Katrina Predergast from Sparks, Nevada, who currently plays for Colorado State shot the tournament-low round on day two with a (-9) 63. After a first-round 77, her bogey-free 63 vaulted her up to second place overall, though her low-amateur trophy didn't come without a fight.


Utah's own Carly Dehlin, a Utah Valley University Women's golfer, birdied three of her last six holes to find herself in a playoff for the low-amateur spot. The playoff required three holes to determine a winner, playing holes 18, 10 and 11. Prendergrast would claim the win on the par-three 11th.


The Siegfried & Jensen Utah Women's Open has produced high-quality play in its first two years and is destined to continue to grow in popularity and importance for Utah golf. The Utah Section PGA owes a big thank you to Siegfried & Jensen, Fairways Media, the PGA Tour Superstore and ABC Good 4 Utah for sponsoring this new endeavor in Utah golf.


Another big thanks to East Bay Golf Course Head Professional Brett Watson, retired Head Professional Kean Ridd and Superintendent Craig O'Farrell. East Bay is a generous host and a well-qualified venue for the Utah Women's Open Championship.


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