The Utah PGA hosted the Drive Chip & Putt Sub-Regional today at Glenmoor Golf Club.
Each of today’s participants qualified earlier this season at one of four local qualifiers, placing in the top 3 of their respective age groups. Today’s top two qualifiers in each age group will move onto the Regional Qualifying at Chambers Bay this September with hopes of qualifying to the National championship held next April at Augusta National Golf Club.
Nicklaus Miller of the Boys 12-13 section posted the day’s high score at 156 on a 56-40-60 split claiming his spot at Chambers Bay. Jordan Ofahengaue claimed the second qualifying spot of the age group posting 139.
Girls 12-13 division winner Saylor Wagner claimed the division title with her 127 point performance leading all girl participants thanks to a division high in chipping and putting. Marissa Johnson followed, scoring 114 on a 44-25-45 split, claiming her qualifying bid.
Blake Brown and Mack Herzog moved on out of the Boys 14-15 division along with Tazlyn Wagner and Navy Hubbs of the Girls 14-15 division.
Boys 10-11 division and Boys 7-9 division leaders Emery Johnson, Dallin Pratt, Graham Benson, and Beckam Andrus will all appear at Chambers Bay this September.
The final participants making the push towards Augusta from Utah came from the Girls 10-11 division and Girls 7-9 division. Eveylyn Schulthies led the Girls 10-11 division scoring 100 points with Sophie Ma finishing as runner up with 84 points. Treyva Woodlief and Ruby Monson claimed the two qualifying spots in the Girls 7-9 division.
Thank you to all our participants and best of luck to those who qualified for Chambers Bay!
Zac Blair’s golf ball took one big hop and caromed off the flagstick of Riverside Country Club’s No. 17 green, bouncing sharply to the right and ending up 20 feet from the hole.
In that moment, Blair was asking himself pretty much the same question as his father, Jimmy, who likes to playfully prod him: When are you ever going to win the Siegfried & Jensen Utah Open?
Well, Sunday, as it turned out. On his 33rd birthday, following a four-hole playoff with University of Utah golfer Javier Barcos of Spain at Riverside Country Club, Blair’s home course.
Question? Answered. But only after “probably the best shot I’ve ever hit,” as Blair described, took that wicked turn on No. 17 and he barely missed the birdie putt, flipping his putter in disbelief for the second time in three holes.
“Definitely, it starts creeping in, like, wow, nothing’s really going right,” Blair said.
He responded with a wedge shot to within 2 feet of the hole on the par-4 No. 18, leading to a birdie. His 15-under-par total (69-67-65) was good enough to get him into the playoff with Barcos, as they finished one stroke ahead of four pros: BYU alumni Carson Lundell (thanks to a closing 64) and Rhett Rasmussen (65), Gavin Cohen of Phoenix and Matt Snyder of Las Vegas, who eagled both the par-5 No. 15 and the par-4 No. 16 in the final round.
Blair’s check for $22,000 was the biggest awarded in the Utah Section PGA’s stewardship of the event, with Siegfried & Jensen as the title sponsor for the 21st year. The four pros who tied for third overall each earned $10,125.
Special Olympics Utah, as always, was deservedly the big winner. The organization received $50,000 to conclude a week when athletes and other SOUT personnel contributed more than 1,000 volunteer hours of work.
In the tournaments within the tournament for Section pros, Braydon Swapp shot 11 under par (tying for eighth place overall) and collected a $1,500 bonus for his two-stroke victory over Casey Fowles. Mark Owen posted a 1-under total to claim the Senior Sidebar’s $700 top prize by one shot over Jeff Brehaut. For the first time, that competition was extended to 54 holes.
The playoff was the Utah Open’s longest in at least this century, topping B.J. Staten’s three-hole win in 2014, launching the tournament’s Riverside era. Blair and Barcos played No. 18 three times, going par-birdie-par. Blair’s par was sufficient on the par-3 No. 9, where Barcos lipped out a 20-foot putt after a bunker shot.
“I’m just glad to win,” said Blair, a PGA Tour veteran who lives in Orem and regularly competes in the Utah Open if he’s not in the FedEx Cup Playoffs. “It’s so cool. It makes me really happy.”
Time for some history lessons: Blair joins his father and Patrick Fishburn, a fellow Fremont High School/BYU graduate, among the nine golfers who have won both the State Amateur and the Utah Open. The Blairs are believed to be the only father-son pair with amateur and open titles in any state. Jimmy Blair won the State Am in 1973 and the Utah Open in ‘81; Zac Blair’s State Am victory came in 2009.
“My dad’s my hero,” Blair said, his voice catching.
BYU’s Simon Kwon, who bogeyed the last two holes and finished seventh at 13 under, nearly became the first player to win the State Am and the Utah Open in the same year since Ed Kingsley in 1934.
Barcos, a co-leader after each of the three rounds, almost produced a victory to match former Ute teammate Blake Tomlinson’s title of last August.
“I mean, it was awesome,” he said of the playoff. “We both played really good.”
Asked if losing to a PGA Tour player softened the effect, Barcos said, “I mean, losing is losing.”
But then he noted how Tomlinson told him about Blair’s tour status, as he waited to receive the trophy for low amateur. “That kind of actually made me feel a little better,” Barcos said. “He deserved this, for sure.”
Blair certainly will take it, after coming close again last August, when he tied for second place, two shots behind Tomlinson. Then, he was preparing for a return to the PGA Tour after lengthy rehabilitation from shoulder surgery. A year later, he was holding a trophy for the first time since 2019, when a Korn Ferry Tour win in California assured him of going back to the big tour.
Having four players tied for the top spot going into the final round only begins to tell the story of the Siegfried & Jensen Utah Open.
The fact that a dozen other golfers are within two strokes of the lead offers all kinds of possibilities Sunday at Riverside Country Club in Provo.
University of Utah senior Javier Barcos joins three out-of-state pros on top of the leaderboard at 9 under par for 36 strokes, but nothing guarantees the winner will come out of that foursome. The contenders come from just about every category you could imagine in a state open, following a second round that was delayed by dangerous weather for 55 minutes in the early evening.
The group at 8 under features PGA Tour veteran Zac Blair, who’s aware of the history he could make by winning, plus recent BYU graduate David Timmins, a PGA Tour Canada golfer. Then there’s Braydon Swapp, the reigning Assistant Player of the Year in the Utah Section PGA, and State Amateur champion Simon Kwon, who’s seeking another notable achievement.
Swapp leads the Utah pros in the Section Sidebar competition within the 54-hole tournament. Mark Owen (71-71) already claimed the 36-hole Senior Sidebar (50-over) title at 2 under, three strokes ahead of Joe Summerhays and Jeff Brehaut.
The cut to 60 players and ties came at 1 over par, with CBS broadcaster Tony Romo (73-72) advancing and Utah Women’s Open champion Lika Galea’i (75-71) of BYU missing by one shot.
Back to Sunday’s chase. The eight players at 7 under includes the likes of host pro Chris Moody, two-time winner Clay Ogden and Lone Peak High School star Kihei Akina, who played in last summer;s final group on Sunday.
Any of those Utahns would make a great story, although someone may have to do something spectacular to overtake the co-leaders, including Gavin Cohen of Phoenix and Zane Thomas and Matt Snyder of Las Vegas.
“Probably have to go shoot 8 or 9 under, I would assume,” Blair said.
Blair closed with a 66 (-6) last August to tie for second place at 16 under, two shots behind Blake Tomlinson. That round marked his final tuneup for what has become a successful 2022-23 return to the PGA Tour after shoulder surgery. In this year’s case, Blair is filling a gap in his schedule during the FedEx Cup Playoffs, prior to the PGA Tour’s Fall Series.
“I would love to win it,” he said of the Utah Open. “It’d be really cool.”
Blair knows that his father, 1981 champion Jimmy Blair, is on a short list of golfers who also have won the State Amateur in their careers. Kwon, meanwhile, could become the first winner of the State Am and the Utah Open in the same year since Ed Kingsley in 1934.
Barcos, who’s from Spain, could follow former Ute teammate Martin Leon as a rare international winner of one of Utah’s major tournaments. Leon took the 2021 State Am title.
After being tied with Thomas for the first-round lead at 66, Barcos added a 69 that included some back-nine ups and downs. “Struggled a little bit with my driver,” he said. He failed to birdie the two par-5 holes on Riverside’s front nine (his second side) and bogeyed No. 6.
Yet he described himself as “overall really happy and with a lot of confidence heading to the last round.”
He’s definitely not the only one in that frame of mind, which should make for a fun final round.
Most great rounds at Riverside Country Club include a run of birdies or even an eagle in the middle of the course’s second nine. Javier Barcos’ scorecard had it all backward Friday, but his spectacular front nine was good enough for a share of the first-round lead in the Siegfried & Jensen Utah Open.
The University of Utah senior from Spain made five birdies on the opening nine on his way to a 6-under-par 66. He’s tied with Las Vegas pro Zane Thomas, who birdied No. 18 to complete a back-nine 31 in the last group of the day.
Utah Section PGA member Braydon Swapp, State Amateur champion Simon Kwon and former BYU golfer David Timmins trail the co-leaders by one stroke, going into Saturday’s second round of the 54-hole event.
Barcos rode what he labeled “amazingly good” ball-striking to a series of short birdie putts. “I hit my irons as good as I’ve hit, probably in the last year,” he said.
Barcos expected to keep adding birdies on the back nine, but he made all pars except for the short par-4 No. 14. A “brutal” lip-out on the par-5 No. 15 made him settle for the 66, but he sounded happy with his start.
Thomas, a former UNLV golfer, was a Monday qualifier at Soldier Hollow Golf Course. After his first Utah Open round at Riverside, he said, “The golf course is fantastic. I was so excited to play this place. I mean, the greens are as good as it gets, so it’s a real treat for a mini-tour player like myself.”
Timmins, a Brighton High School product who completed his BYU eligibility this past spring, is spending the summer on PGA Tour Canada. With a break in the schedule, he was thrilled to come home to Riverside. “First and foremost,” he said, “I love this place. … I’ve been looking forward to this ever since I graduated from BYU.”
As a Cougar golfer, Timmins was the first-round leader last August with a 65 on the team’s home course. He followed with a 74-69 effort, tying for 16th place overall, third among amateurs. Timmins bogeyed No. 15 after a poor drive Friday, but still posted a back-nine 32.
Kwon, who officially transferred from the University of California to BYU in July within a week of his State Am victory, birdied the last two holes to conclude his own 32 on the second nine. He would love to join the likes of Patrick Fishburn as both a State Am and Utah Open champion. Even more rare would be a dual achievement in the same year, performed by Ed Kingsley nearly a century ago.
Swapp, a former State Am runner-up as a Utah State golfer, is the Utah Section PGA’s reigning Assistant Player of the Year. In the Section Sidebar tournament within the tournament, Swapp is one shot ahead of 2013 champion Zach Johnson and host pro Chris Moody. Bruce Summerhays Jr. is next at 69.
In the 36-hole Senior Sidebar (50-over) competition, Joe Summerhays (Bruce’s brother) is tied with Mark Owen at 71.
Other notable scores included a 69 for PGA Tour player Zac Blair of Orem; a 70 for BYU freshman Cooper Jones, who was 5 under through 16 holes after playing in the U.S. Amateur’s round of 16 in Denver on Thursday; a 71 for defending champion Blake Tomlinson, Barcos’ former Ute teammate; a 73 for CBS broadcaster Tony Romo, making his third straight appearance in Provo; and a 75 for BYU’s Lila Galea’i, this month’s Utah Women’s Open champion.
The Utah Section PGA hosted the Monday Qualifier for this week’s Utah Open, the last call for qualification into the event. Soldier Hollow’ Gold and Solver Courses in Midway, UT. was the venue for the 18-hole event with 10 spots available on each course.
Amateur Kevin Wu and Pro Jhared Hack posted the day’s low score of 7-under-par, on the Silver Course. Professionals littered the Silver course leaderboard claiming eight of the 10 available qualifying spots.
John Greco of Santa Clara, CA. finished one stroke behind the leaders at 6-under-par, claiming solo third. Pros Barrett Jones, Zane Thomas, and Colton Yates shared fourth place with amateur Brendan Thomas at 5-under-par 68.
With only three spots remaining on the Silver Course and seven players tied at 4-under-par a 7 for 3 playoff took place. Dane Nelson, Dominic Piccirillo, and Kohl Kuebler all emerged from the playoff, earning their spots for the weekend.
Preston Stanley, a Pro from Katy, TX led the Gold Course field finishing at 6-under-par. Stanley was followed by Tanner Johnson who took solo second shooting a 67 on the day.
A.J. McLnerney, Gavin Cohen, Brock Goyen, Zack Dallimore and Stephen Lindsey rounded out the podium for the Gold Course, all finishing at 3-under-par.
Three qualifier spots remained on the Gold course with seven individuals tied at 2-under-par forcing a 7 for 3 playoff. Ian Maxwell, Cory Oride, and Michael Jura III ousted the other four individuals in a five-hole playoff, earning their spots in the Utah Open.
Bloomington Country Club Professional Scott Brandt ran away with the Summit Sotheby’s Salt Lake City Open Senior Division posting rounds of 65-73 for a 6-under 138 total, six shots ahead of runner-up, Dave DeSantis. Senior Match Play champ Mark Owen was next at 1-over, 145. Henry White and Ryan Rhees round-out the top 5 at (+3) 147.
Describing his play Brandt said, “I was fortunate to keep it not only close but in the right position to the flag, to have easier putts. I putted very well both days.”
For Mitchell Schow, it was a record-breaking performance, in the championship division, winning at Bonneville Golf Course over the weekend.
The 2023 Utah State Amateur champion started off Saturday by shooting an 11-under-par 61, the lowest score in tournament history. Then he followed with a 68 Sunday for a 15-under-par 129 total, which tied the tournament record set by Blake Tomlinson in 2016. His five-stroke victory tied the largest margin of victory since the tourney became a stroke-play tournament in 1970.
“It’s awesome – two weeks ago, I didn’t even know if I was playing in the tournament,” said Schow, who received one of three sponsor’s exemptions for the tournament, sponsored by Summit/Sotheby’s International Realty. “I’m thankful for the opportunity. I’m just playing solid golf and trying to stay in the present.”
Davis Park Professional Zach Johnson, the 2021 winner, finished second at 134 after a 68 Sunday, former BYU golfer Carson Lundell was another stroke back at 135.
Low amateur honors were shared by Bryson Hirabayashi, Martin Leon and Oscar Maxfield at 137.
After making 11 birdies the day before, Schow only made three Sunday but made an eagle-2 at No. 8, where he drove the green at the par-4 and rolled in a 15-footer, His only bogey of the weekend came at the par-4 11th when he 3-putted from 25 feet.
The 26-year-old Schow had shot a 63 at Bonneville two weeks earlier to qualify for the Korn Ferry Tour Utah Championship, where he made the cut. He also won the 2018 Salt Lake City Amateur at Bonneville in 2018.
Schow plans to play in this week’s Utah Open in Provo, followed by the Rocky Mountain Open and San Juan Open. Later this fall he will try to qualify for the Korn Ferry Tour.
Also in the top 10 were Section Members, tournament host Jordan Gibbs (-7), Andrew Davis and Casey Fowles at (-6).
The seventh annual Siegfried & Jensen Utah Women’s Open became part of Provo’s 100-year golf anniversary, as a homegrown champion added to the celebration Tuesday at Timpanogos Golf Club.
For the third straight year, a former Women’s State Amateur winner added a Utah Women’s Open trophy to her collection. The venue made this victory especially meaningful to BYU golfer Lila Galea’i. The recently remodeled course looks different, but the vibe was the same as the old East Bay GC where Galea’i first started playing at about age 10.
Winning in Provo “feels extra great,” Galea’i said. “I knew I would at least have a lot of fun here, so to walk out with the trophy, too, is a big plus.”
Galea’i posted 70-68 for a 6-under-par total and a three-stroke victory over Cougar assistant coach Lea Garner (72-69).
Garner also felt comfortable in the tournament’s return to Provo after four years at Thanksgiving Point Golf Club. Having won the first two Utah Women’s Opens on this property, she earned $2,000 as the low pro for the fourth time in the event’s seven-year history. That check lifts her career earnings in the tournament above $12,000.
The latest achievement was the most remarkable, considering this is the only competition Garner enters all year. “I love this tournament,” she said. “It’s so fun to play. … It helps remind me what it feels like to compete, which I think will help me with my coaching. Sometimes you forget that feeling.”
Partly because two of Garner’s BYU golfers recently turned pro, the leaderboard of this Utah Women’s Open became a healthy mixture of pros and amateurs. Allysha Mae Mateo (72-71), the anchor of Cougar teams in this decade, tied for third place overall and finished second among the pros, earning $1,500. Defending champion Tess Blair (71-72), who claimed her second Women’s State Am title Friday, joined Mateo and junior golf star Ali Mulhall (70-73).
BYU graduate Kerstin Ngakuru (73-72), who turned pro after losing in the round of 16 last week, finished third among the pros to collect $1,200 in her debut.
“We all know what high school (girls) golf has done around here the last 15 years,” said Devin Dehlin, Executive Director of the Utah Section PGA. “We’re starting to see it at the professional level, the collegiate level and onward.”
Galea’i won the Utah Golf Association’s Mary Lou Baker Open in June and is a contender for the UGA Women’s Player of the Year award, which she won in 2021.
Garner once lost in a Women’s State Am final match. Ngakuru, Blair and Galea’i each won that title and are the last three champions of the Utah Women’s Open (following two out-of-state amateur winners, Annika Borrelli and Veronica Joels). The irony is that Galea’i exited this year’s Women’s State Am early, losing to Kelsey Chugg in the round of 32.
She regrouped nicely. “I moved on pretty quick,” Galea’i said. “I didn’t really dwell … I just went to the course and started working on my wedges.”
Ultimately, her long-hitting ability came into play Tuesday. The par-4 No. 14 was set up as driveable at about 245 yards and Galea’i needed only a 4-iron to end up just off the green on the left side. Mulhall, who was battling for the lead that stage, also played aggressively, but her ball rolled across the green and into the water. The combination of Mulhall’s bogey and Galea’i’s birdie proved decisive.
Galea’i parred the last four holes, with no drama. Maybe that explains this quote: “I don’t know why; I don’t feel like I just won. … I guess I did, and I’m just happy about it.”
Maybe it will hit home next week, when Galea’i uses the exemption into the Siegfried & Jensen Utah Open at Provo’s Riverside Country Club that comes with her victory.
In the first six years of the Siegfried & Jensen Utah Women’s Open, no playoff was needed to decide the champion and no out-of-state pro claimed the trophy.
One or both trends could end Tuesday as the final round is staged at Timpanogos Golf Club in Provo, where 12 players are within three shots of the lead.
Beau Bremer, a pro from Scottsdale, Arizona, took the first-round lead Monday with a 3-under-par 69, one stroke better than four players. Tuesday’s final threesome will include Bremer, who played golf and soccer at Washington State; current University of Washington golfer Adithi Anand; and Salt Lake City’s Whitney Banz, who played golf and basketball at Westminster College.
The group at 70 also includes junior golf star Ali Mulhall and BYU’s Lila Galea’i. Defending champion Tess Blair, who won her second Women’s State Amateur title last week, and Weber State’s Samira Salinas are next at 71.
Among the players at 72 are BYU graduate Allysha Mae Mateo, who recently turned pro, and Cougar assistant coach Lea Garner, who won the first two Utah Women’s Open titles in 2017 and ‘18 at the since-remodeled and renamed Timpanogos GC. The event was played at Thanksgiving Point Golf Club the past four years, with an active college golfer winning each time.
Here’s how the top five golfers ended up in their positions:
Bremer birdied the par-4 Nos. 16 and 17 to move into the lead.
Banz eagled the par-5 No. 10 on her way to a back-nine 32.
Mulhall, who also eagled No. 10, reached 5 under before carding a triple bogey on the par-4 No. 14.
Galea’i was 4 under before making a double bogey on No. 15, the par-3 with an island green.
Anand was the steadiest player on the board, making three birdies and one bogey.
The Utah PGA Juniors Series concluded its Junior Major season with the Major Championship hosted at Hobble Creek Golf Course on July 31. Participants competed for the Major Championship title alongside an exemption into the Utah Open for the Junior Major points Players of the Year and Boys’/Girls’ 15-18 division low scores.
Ben Ackley and Cooper Nelson of the Boys’ 17-18 division shot the tournament low 3-under-par 68 after 18 holes, forcing a playoff for the Major Championship. After a one-hole playoff Ackley emerged as the division winner, earning his exemption into the Utah Open. Lance Loughton clinched Boys’ Junior Major Player of the Year with his third-place finish in the Boys’ 15-16 division, also earning exemption into the Utah Open.
Natalie McLane led all girls with a 1-under-par 72 at Hobble Creek, earning her spot into next week’s Utah Women’s Open while securing the Girls’ 15-16 title. Girls’ Junior Major Player of the Year Ellie Jo Olsen will accompany McLane in the Utah Women’s Open as she clinched her exemption with season-long 60 points.
18 holes was not enough to decide the Boys’ 13-14 division winner as Joseph Corcell and Jack Nelson both carded 1-over-par 72’s. After a six-hole playoff Corcell emerged as the Boys’ 13-14 champion. JJ Tomsick concluded the boy’s division champions after carding an even 71, capturing the Boys’ 15-16 division.
Girls’ 17-18 division winner Sydney Richards picked up her first Major win of the season finishing at 1-over-par 74 and Tazlyn Wagner of the Girls’ 13-14 division rounded out all the division champions picking up the win after carding a 3-over-par 76.
Mitch Schow, a former Utah State Amateur champion and PGA TOUR Canada & LatinAmerica professional, currently has no status on any tour and is prepping for the coming Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying tournament.
At yesterday’s Utah PGA hosted Monday Qualifier for the Korn Ferry Tour’s Utah Championship Schow shot a (-9) 63 at Bonneville GC where he’s a former Salt Lake City Amateur champ.
Schow made 10 birdies on the day, 7 coming on the back nine, to earn medalist honors and a spot in this week’s Utah Championship at Oakridge Country Club.
Schow said, “I though there was only 4 (qualifying) spots so I knew I had to get it going (on the back nine). I knew it (Bonneville GC) was playing hard. I have never seen some of those pins before.”
Schow joins Korn Ferry Tour regulars Patrick Fishburn (last week’s runner-up), Danny Summerhays and Blake Tomlinson who received a sponsor exemption this year. Also making it through the Monday Qualifier are runner-up Carson Lundell, Tyson Shelley and Zac Jones.
Schow, a former University of Utah golfer, will also tee it up in the Summit Sotheby’s Salt Lake City Open, Aug. 12-13 at Bonneville GC on a sponsor exemption.