IMG_3880

5A/6A Girls Individual Championship Yields Happy Golfers & Low Scores

In uncertain times, it’s the simple things that go a long way. Though there was a lot of planning and consideration into creating an individual championship for spring high school golf, there were a lot of happy faces on 5A and 6A girls competing individually at Fox Hollow Golf Club in American Fork on May 27th.

The Utah Section PGA staff, alongside the Fox Hollow Golf Club staff put many precautions in play to ensure a safe, responsible outlet for golfers to play and compete. Though it doesn’t compare to a traditional high school state tournament, as this event was in no way affiliated with the Utah High School Activities Association, the top 10 finishers in each classification were rewarded a spot on the 2020 All-State Team, which the Utah PGA has awarded for the past 12 years.

Two girls stole the show at Fox Hollow: Lehi High School junior Lila Galea’i won the 5A Individual Championship with a (-5) 68 and Lone Peak sophomore Berlin Long won the 6A Girls Individual Championship with a (-6) 67, making a 30-foot birdie on the 18th hole to earn low score of the tournament.

“It was super great, not a lot of tournaments going on so I was really looking forward to this one,” said Galea’i. “It was just really fun getting out and playing with all the girls… senior year next year, for me, so I need to make sure I don’t take any moments for granted and have fun and do my best. I just want to enjoy every moment I can with the Lehi girls.

Lila Galea’i

Galea’i certainly made the most of the playing opportunity and made two eagles on the front nine, the first on the par-five second hole with a 40-foot putt and the next on the par-five 9th hole.

In a windy afternoon, the 6A portion of the 5A/6A Individual Championship took place with another top junior in the state taking control.

Lone Peak sophomore Berlin Long started with birdies on three of her first four holes and claimed one more on the 9th to go out in 33.

Seeing Galea’i finished at five-under as Long made the turn, it then became a goal of hers to get low score of the day.

Berlin Long

A rocky start to the back nine, with a par on the par-five 10th and a bogey on the par-three 13th, Long proceeded to make three birdies coming in, including her exciting finish on the 18th to cap it off.

“I knew that if I wanted to beat her, I had to make it. I just thought to not leave it short and give it a chance to go in,” she said of her putt on the last green.

“I’m really happy we were able to put it on and give seniors a last chance to play,” Long said. “It was really fun. It’s definitely different because you don’t get the team aspect, but we’re all out here supporting each other.”

For photos from the event CLICK HERE.

For full results CLICK HERE.

IMG_7311

Van Orman Wins Sanpete County Open

Palisade Golf Course Head Professional Jordan Van Orman had many other things planned for the 2020 Sanpete County Open May 16th, winning the event was not one of them.

“I think everyone knows how much goes into running a big event, add in the COVID-19 precautions we had to implement and it made for quite a busy week leading up to the tournament,” Van Orman said. “I was drained, the thoughts at the forefront of my mind were not playing golf.”

Van Orman shot a (-9) 63 to win the tournament at Palisade, one-stroke better than Riverside Country Club Head Professional Chris Moody and two-strokes ahead of Promontory Director of Golf Ryan Kartchner.

It was the putter that Van Orman attributes to the win, “I putted really well, I probably made around 100 feet worth of putts.”

But it was 96-yard wedge on the 16th hole that really showed how dialed his game was. “I had hit down into the adjacent fairway and had about 96 yards to the pin. With the ball below my feet, I grabbed my 60-degree wedge and ended up knocking it into the hole. It looked good coming of the club, but I never would have guessed that it would find the bottom of the cup.”

Expectations going into the event were more focused on running a good tournament, however, Van Orman has his sights on playing more events this season.

“You know I kind of had a mix of expectations,” he said. “In 2019 I played the least amount of golf since I turned professional. My wife and I had our first child in March 2019 and all of my time, thoughts and focus were on spending time with her and my family. I made the commitment early this year to play more golf now that she is a little older, so my expectations were higher but I never would have foreseen the results that came on Saturday.”

Up next for Van Orman is the Utah Section PGA Spring Pro-Pro and Four-Ball Championship with Sunset View Head Professional Casey Fowles and then the Millard County Open in June.

Steve Schneiter of Schneiter’s Pebblebrook won the Senior Professional division with four birdies and only one blemish on the card to finish (-3) 69.

There was a three-way tie for second place in the Senior Professional divsion between Mountain View’s Mark Owen, Bloomington Country Club’s Scott Brandt and BYU Men’s Coach Bruce Brockbank at (-1) 71.

For Sanpete County Open results click HERE.

IMG_1655

Prep Girls Golf Tourneys Will Be Played, Run By The Utah Section PGA

Story by Mike Sorensen for the Deseret News

Although there will be no high school sports sanctioned by the Utah High School Activities Association this spring, tournaments for female golfers and a few male golfers will be played later this month.

The Utah Section PGA, which has helped run the state girls golf tournaments for the past decade, will hold an individual championship with each high school able to invite six golfers to compete. No team competition will be held.

The first event will be played on May 27 at Meadowbrook Golf Course in Salt Lake County Fox Hollow Golf Course for girls that play at 6A and 5A schools. On June 3 June 4, a tournament for 4A, 3A and 2A girls as well as 1A boys will be played, also at Meadowbrook at Rose Park Golf Course (boys prep golf for classes 2A through 6A are held in the fall).

“We’re sensitive to all the seniors who didn’t get to play and feel bad they had to miss out on this season,” said Utah Section PGA executive director Devin Dehlin. “We look forward to being able to give the kids something to look forward to.”

The entry fee is $40 per player with entries taken at utahpga.com. Golf coaches should send their list of players to agoodman@pgahq.com. Entries will close May 15 at 11 a.m.

Dehlin said the safety of the players, staff and everyone involved in the events will be a priority and tournament officials will be following CDC guidelines. They also will be following guidelines current at most golf courses with no rakes in bunkers, flagsticks left in and no scoreboard or scoring area. No coaches or caddies will be allowed and a decision on whether to allow spectators will be made closer to the dates of the tournaments.

The Utah Section PGA will also name 10-player all-state teams from each classification after the meets.

IMG_3278

May Utah PGA Monthly Digital Magazine

Welcome to the May issue of Utah PGA Monthly digital magazine!

In this issue:

Why I Play – Glenwild Assistant Pro Brianna Coopman

What’s in the Bag – Homestead Golf Club Director of Golf Mike Jurca

Membership Memories – PGA Life Member Reid Goodliffe

This or That? – Bloomington Country Club Head Pro Mark Boggs

Tips for the Pro – Willow Creek Country Club Director of Golf Eric Nielsen

Click HERE to read!

IMG_3177

Red Ledges’ Purviance Wins The Oaks Open

The Oaks Open is traditionally the event that kicks off the spring season for Utah PGA Professionals. Though the 2020 running of the event looked a little different due to the current health pandemic, The Oaks at Spanish Fork was a sight for sore eyes for many.

Red Ledges Assistant Professional Aaron Purviance put on a show of eight birdies with only one blemish on the card to turn in a round of (-7) 65 to win The Oaks Open on Saturday, May 2nd, one shot better than Valley View Assistant Professional Pete Stone.

“Winning this tournament was an awesome feeling considering I haven’t played a competitive round in a couple months,” Purviance said.

“My putting was a lot better than usual, I was making putts that I normally don’t make and my speed control was great – didn’t miss inside 10 feet.”   

Purviance on the par-five third hole at The Oaks.

The 23-year-old from North Carolina, who’s been in Utah for three years, got off to a hot start with birdies on two of his first three holes, taking advantage of the back-to-back par fives on holes two and three.

No matter his impressive start, it was his finish that handed him the title, his first in Utah. With birdies on holes 15, 16 and 18, he played the last four holes in three-under.

Stone started the back nine with an eagle, followed by three birdies, but it was two bogeys on the back, including the 18th hole, that caused the one-stroke deficit.

Stone finished one-shot back with a (-6) 66.

Purviance has his eyes set towards the Utah Open, with a goal to win the 2020 event at Riverside Country Club in Provo, along with placing well in the other events he plays in.

Bloomington Country Club Director of Golf Scott Brandt took the Senior Professional Division with a steady (-3) 69. With nine-straight pars on the front nine, Brandt turned it around with four birdies and only one bogey on the back, finishing strong with birdies on 17 and 18.

Scott Brandt won the Senior Professional division with a (-3) 69.

Bloomington Country Club and SunRiver Golf Club Owner Jimmy Blair finished two strokes behind Brandt with a (-1) 71 round for second place.

Jimmy Blair putting for birdie on the par-five third hole.

BYU commit Zach Jones, who had been serving an LDS mission for eight months until sent home temporarily due to the virus, repeated as Low Amateur with (-5) 67.

Click HERE for full results.