Author: Kurt Kragthorpe, Salt Lake Tribune
Jordan Rodgers and Kelton Hirsch, former State Amateur winners with BYU ties, are two strokes out of the lead after the first round of the Siegfried & Jensen Utah Open at Riverside Country Club in Provo.
Each golfer shot a 5-under-par 67. They’re tied for fourth place and are chasing former New Mexico golfer Samuel Saunders, who opened with a bogey-free 65 — a year after tying for second place in the Utah Open. Veteran pro Neil Johnson and George Markham, who just completed his Colorado School of Mines golf career, are tied for second at 66. The pros are playing for a $20,000 first prize.
Defending champion Dusty Fielding shot a 72. Female professionals Sadie Palmer (75) and Sirene Blair (79) will have to rally to make the 36-hole cut to the low 60 players (plus ties), requiring about a 1-over-par total. Former Jazz star Deron Williams posted an 80.
Rodgers turned pro after playing for BYU and winning the 2015 State Am. He nearly won the Utah Open a month later, finishing second to current PGA Tour player Nate Lashley. Hirsch, a BYU junior, won the 2017 State Am.
Rodgers, from Skyline High School, and Hirsch, from Viewmont, each made seven birdies and two bogeys Friday. Former BYU golfer Justin Keiley is tied for eighth at 68.
Host pro Chris Moody and current BYU golfers Carson Lundell and Elijah Turner are part of a big group at 69.
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