Bob Wallis’ acceptance speech features an interior design firm and a carpet company. The remodeling of the Ogden Golf and Country Club pro shop in January would become a key component of Wallis’ merchandising efforts in 2020, and he took it from there.
“Our employees and staff in the shop helped move displays, paint walls, cleaned and worked right alongside us,” said Wallis, OGCC’s head professional. “They were all-around fantastic.”
That spirit of collaboration carried the staff through a tumultuous year that included a pandemic, a windstorm that took out 200 trees on the historic course and an earthquake.
And the club members supported Wallis’ efforts. After all, there could be no merchandising award without consumers making purchases.
So it is fair to say that just about everyone involved with OGCC shares in Wallis’ recognition. It started with the membership’s approval of the pro shop project. As Wallis said, “The fresh, crisp, updated look, coupled with a reconfiguration of the space has made the new pro shop better able to service members. The shop is inviting with products easily accessible. We are proud of this renovation.”
That’s why he’s eager to thank the MacKenzie Exhibit experts in retail space design and the Buckway family of AmeriCarpets. Assistant Pro Nyomy Obcemea, Riley Hacking and the cart and maintenance staff also deserve credit for their work on the project, along with Director of Operations Craig Sarlo and Superintendent Greg Gilmore.
In the bigger picture, Wallis recognizes influences such as Sarlo, Chris Marx, Reid Goodliffe and Scott Erling. “Their mentorship has given me valuable experience in the industry, especially in retailing, merchandising, and providing members with outstanding service,” Wallis said. “Their love of the game is infectious too.”
In the last event of the year for the Utah Section PGA the membership headed south to St. George to compete in the Utah Section PGA Pro-Assistants Championship at Bloomington Country Club and Sunbrook Golf Course November 16-17.
It was Glenwild PGA Professionals Marty Bauer and Craig Hocknull (-13) that pulled ahead in the final round, thanks to Bauer’s 93-yard eagle on the 6th hole on the Woodbridge nine, to win by one-stroke over Jimmy Blair and Chip Garriss of Bloomington and David Hall and Doug Roberts of Entrada.
When asked what was working well, Bauer immediately pointed to his teammate.
“I was pretty consistent,” Hocknull added, “but Marty brought the fireworks.”
“It was about 93 yards with my 58-degree wedge,” Bauer said. “We had three good shots in there already with our group, I clanked it off the pin and right in the hole. It was fun.”
Bauer and Hocknull trailed by one stroke after the first round, sitting behind Bauer and Glenwild Assistant Pro Carson Willis and three other teams in the two-person Fourball format. With a final-round 64, they secured the win.
In the net division, it was Cedar Ridge Head Pro Jared Barnes and long-time PGA Professional John Evans who won with rounds of (-25) 59-60.
“It was all John,” Barnes said. “He was driver, three-wood, two-putt all day.”
That concludes the 2020 Utah PGA season with the next event being the Utah PGA Winter Classic, traditionally held in Southern Utah near the beginning of each year.
We owe a big thank you to Chris Nugent of TaylorMade and Kelly Jo Wikes of TravisMatthew for sponsoring the event this year and taking good care of our Utah PGA Members. Thank you to Bloomington Country Club and Sunbrook Golf Course for hosting us and providing great courses to play.
Even as the 2020 season winds down, Utah PGA Omega Player of the year Joe Summerhays’ game continues to shine.
With rounds of (-9) 64-69 in the Southern Utah Open played at SunRiver Golf Club November 14-15, Summerhays picked up yet another victory to his 2020 season, making this a total of six wins on the year.
“I definitely won this with the putter,” Summerhays said. “I played pretty solid otherwise, not as good tee-to-green as I wanted, but my putting made up for a lot of those mistakes.”
Summerhays’ first round card was a little more exciting than the final round with an eagle, seven birdies, two bogies and a back-nine 30.
His final round was a little more contained, finishing with three birdies and a bogey to edge Sunset View Head Professional Casey Fowles who finished (-7) 65-70.
Mountain View Head Pro Mark Owen (-5) won the pro senior division with rounds of 70-67. Kim Thompson (-4) won the pro super senior division with rounds of 70-68 and Tom Storey won the pro dinosaur division with a pair of 73s.
The season-long Utah Section PGA Senior Match Play Championship has ended with Mountain View Golf Course Head Professional Mark Owen defeating Bloomington Country Club Director of Golf Scott Brandt 1 up on the 18th hole of the championship match November 13th at Sky Mountain Golf Course.
“Well it was the first time for me, so it feels great,” Owen said about competing in his first Utah PGA Senior Match Play Championship. “The match was incredible. Scott never does anything wrong, we both played well. it just came down to one putt on the last hole, really. I won 1 up after a grudge match all day.
“I was 1 up on 18 and he had a chance to tie it, he had a birdie putt that lipped out and my par ended up being good enough for the win.”
Owen started as the four seed and defeated Jeff Green 4 & 3, Tom Costello in 19 holes, Todd Meyer 1 up and then Troy Watkins in the semifinals 5 & 4.
Brandt reached the finals as the third seed and won matches against Doug Roberts, Charlie Taylor, Henry White and then Ryan Rhees in the semifinals.
Owen went onto win the Southern Utah Open senior division that same weekend in St. George and finished third in the 2020 Utah Section PGA Senior Omega Player of the Year race.
Riverside Country Club Head Professional Chris Moody and Mountain View Golf Course Head Professional Mark Owen teamed up to win the season-long Utah Section PGA Four-Ball Championship at Glenwild Golf Club October 21st with a 2 & 1 victory over Sunset View Head Professional Casey Fowles and Palisade Head Professional Jordan Van Orman.
“The match was exciting from start to finish,” Moody said. “We tied holes one and two. Mark made a birdie on three and I made a birdie on five to give us a 2-up lead. Casey hit a great 4 iron into the 7th hole to 20 feet for eagle. Casey just missed and had a tap-in for birdie. Mark proceeded to make his 19-footer to tie the hole.
“We tied the 8th and Casey made a great putt from 20 feet on 9 and Mark makes another 18-footer to tie the hole. On 10 Jordan made a nice 15-footer for birdie and Mark drains another putt from about 15 feet to tie the hole and keep us 2-up. We tied 11 and Jordan made a nice birdie on 12 to win the hole. On 13 I made about a 20-footer and Jordan made a 15-footer to tie. We tied holes 13-16 and then I made a 20-footer on 17 to end the match. Mark’s putter was on fire!”
After teaming up off-and-on for the last decade, Moody and Owen had never found great success in the championship until now. “It was really nice to finally break through and win,” Moody continued. “With Mark being such a good friend, it made the win that much better.”
With an exciting match to finish the championship, it’s only fitting that their first match was just as close. Moody and Owen shot (-8) 64 in the Spring Pro-Pro seeding round at Ogden Country Club to tie Dustin Volk and Pete Stone and draw the second seed, putting them against Wasatch Golf Course Professionals Chris Stover and Joe Barton.
“Stover and Barton were really up to the challenge that match,” Owen said. “They came out firing on all cylinders and it was a battle. When it was all said and done I believe they were 9 or 10 under and we just happened to make a putt or two more to finish 2-up. It was back and forth all round, though, and neither team was up more than one throughout the match.”
Moody and Owen had another close match in the semi-final match against Bloomington’s Scott Brandt and Jimmy Blair, where they escaped with a 1-up victory to advance to the final.
“It’s better than you can imagine,” Owen said of teaming up with Moody. “Chris is a competitor, just like the rest of us; he really doesn’t like being behind or losing. Chris has a way of getting himself pumped up and performing when it really counts. Chris has game as you can obviously tell from his record of winning over the years. This was our first championship together after quite a number of years of competing. It’s pretty sweet!”
The 2020 Utah Section PGA Women’s Match Play Championship put on a display of the Section’s new associates and a couple of past champions, but it was Carly Dehlin-Hirsch, of Glenmoor and TopGolf, who outlasted them all to win this year’s championship on October 20-21 at Riverside Country Club in Provo.
“My first win as a pro, it’s awesome,” Dehlin-Hirsch said. “I haven’t been playing much so I was nervous to come out because my game isn’t sharp, but I played quite well so I’m really happy to come out here and win.”
After a nine-hole seeding round on the first day, Dehlin-Hirsch claimed the third seed to face Xena Motes, a new associate in the Section as of this month and long-time Utah golf competitor.
Dehlin-Hirsch won her first match on the 16th hole at Riverside and would advance to the semi-finals to face Sadie Palmer, who outlasted former match play champion Emily Jones, also on the 16th hole.
The match between Dehlin-Hirsch and Palmer was a back and forth match where Palmer was 2 up on the front nine until Dehlin-Hirsch found some rhythm and created a comfortable 3-up lead until the 16th hole, when Palmer capitalized on some unwarranted mistakes.
“I was steady all day, then got a little nervous on the way in,” Dehlin-Hirsch noted.
Palmer chipped away the lead and was one down on the 18th tee. Her birdie attempt just barely slipped by the hole, leaving Dehlin-Hirsch a slippery 10-foot putt to finish the match, which she made and determined the shot of her tournament performance.
“In my semi-final match I was three up with three to go and I was just having a collapse, but I made a 10-foot slider to stay alive. That par putt on 18 was pretty big.”
She would go on to face former Utah Women’s State Amateur champion and new section associate Sirene Blair in the final match.
Blair drew Sue Nyhus in the first round then defending champion Haley Sturgeon in the final four where she extended the match to 19 holes and won by sticking her approach a foot from the hole for a conceded birdie.
With her father and Utah Section Executive Director Devin Dehlin on the bag, Dehlin-Hirsch got off to a fast start in the final match with Blair and never looked back.
She won the first four holes and then the 8th hole to get to 5-up on the front nine. Blair won her only hole of the match on the par-three ninth to make the turn.
Dehlin-Hirsch would win three of the next four holes to win the championship on the 13th hole 7 & 5.
“It’s always fun, he’s awesome. My dad is the best,” she said of her caddy. “I was hitting the ball really well; my ball striking was good. I was putting the ball pretty well, too, all those short putts, but really hitting the ball well.”
A thank you to our growing membership of women PGA Professionals who came out to compete and thank you to Riverside Country Club for hosting.
Sunset View Golf Course Head Professional Casey Fowles has appeared in the Utah PGA Match Play finals two times in his PGA Professional career, against two of the best golfers in Utah PGA history in Riverside Professional Chris Moody and in 2019 against Davis Park Assistant Pro Zach Johnson. The third time was the charm for Fowles as he defeated Moody one-up on the 18th hole of the match on October 14th at Hill Air Force Base Hubbard Golf Course.
It was a 20-foot birdie on the short par-four 18th at Hubbard that sealed his win, after Moody’s birdie attempt lipped out prior to Fowles’ attempt. It was the longest putt made in the match.
“I felt fortunate to even get there, I was one-down going into 17 and made a good up-and-down and Moody kind of gave me one there with his long putt,” Fowles explained. “The putt on 17 was the first putt I made all day, a 10-foot, downhill putt. I told myself when I got to 18 that I’d been putting well all week, just try to make the best stroke I can.
“About half way there I thought I missed right, and then it tipped back left and went it, so it was fun.”
Fowles got off to an early lead in the championship match winning the first two holes. He was two-up through four until Moody won holes five and six. The match would remain tied until the 12th hole and from there on it was a back-and-forth match until that 20-footer on 18.
“It was a little crazy, there were a lot of momentum swings,” Fowles added. “In a normal match you maybe don’t see it every hole like that, but yeah it was pretty fun.”
Fowles has seen several victories the last few years and it’s come from a mindset change while competing.
“I was just trying to play the golf course and that’s what I’ve been trying to do, forget about what the other guys are doing and just play the golf course. That has seemed to really help me the last couple of years, just focus on the golf course.”
The Utah PGA Match Play Championship started Monday, October 12th with a seeding round for the top 32 spots and then the first round of matches.
A notable first round match was 2019 Utah PGA Women’s Match Play champion Haley Sturgeon shooting a 73 to claim the 11th seed in the tournament. Her first-round match lasted 20 holes before Quentin Sasser advanced to the next day.
The final four consisted of Moody against Valley View Assistant Pro Pete Stone and Fowles against Johnson.
A special thank you to Hubbard Golf Course Head Professional Shawn Edwards, Hubbard Assistant Pro Tim Kjar and Hubbard Superintendent Jason Moon for hosting the Section Match Play Championship another year.
In the fourth running of the Siegfried & Jensen Utah Women’s Open, the field showed the event continues to grow and draw in not only local professionals and amateurs, but out-of-state collegians and professionals as well. In a season where collegiate golf is up in the air, the Utah Women’s Open provides a competitive outlet for many.
It was University of Nevada, Las Vegas incoming junior Veronica Joels that took control of the final round August 4th at Thanksgiving Point Golf Club in Lehi, Utah, with a closing (-6) 66, providing a three-stroke victory over Low Pro and two-time champion Lea Garner.
Joels started the day three-strokes behind Brigham Young University’s Kerstin Fotu, who held the first-round lead with a (-2) 70.
“I’m kind of just a go-getter,” Joels said of her three-stroke deficit to begin the final round. “Being three-shots back is like, it can flip at any time, it’s golf. You can flip it real fast.”
Joels got to work quickly on the front nine with birdies on holes 3, 4, 5 and 8 for a four-under 32. Though she sealed the deal with two closing birdies on 17 and 18, a great comeback from a bogey on 16.
“Putting was really working for me today,” she said. “I definitely made anything within 10-12 feet, it was just there for me. Putting was the difference for sure.”
Like many, Joels’ collegiate season was cut short in March. She’s substituted her time playing in 13 Cactus Tour events in Arizona. She competed in the Nevada Women’s State Am and then decided to give the Utah Women’s Open a run, and did it well.
With her victory, she earned an exemption into the 2020 Siegfried & Jensen Utah Open played August 14-16 at Riverside Country Club in Provo, Utah.
It seems as if two-time Utah Women’s Open champion Lea Garner will perpetually be in contention at this event, and she’s okay with that. She finished Low Pro at (-2) 72-70 and in second place overall, taking home the $2,000 check.
What made her 2020 showing even more impressive is her typical travel schedule for this time of year has been put aside for precaution, leaving the Utah Women’s Open as a welcoming opportunity for the former BYU women’s golfer.
“Just being out here and competing is really fun,” Garner said. “Because of the circumstances of this summer I haven’t played in too many tournaments so I’m just excited to be out here and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.
“I’m always excited for this tournament and I’m really happy that the Utah Section decided to put it on for this year so it’s really exciting to compete and be in that spot again.”
It looks like this will be Garner’s last event of the year, “just because things have been kind of crazy.” Instead, she’s been giving lessons and teaching in Ogden and working on her own game when she has the time.
The Utah Section PGA would like to thank Siegfried & Jensen for their continued support of women’s golf in Utah and to Head Pro Tele Wightman and his Thanksgiving Point Golf Club staff for hosting.
For Mountain View GC Head Professional Mark Owen, the defending champ, the Utah Senior Open is more than a Utah Section PGA Championship.
“This has become one of my favorite tournaments because of the people, all the honorees that have made such an impact on my life and my career. I am happy to say that I have won this one but its always hard to defend, there are so many good amateur players as well as senior pro players.”
The putter was hot for Owen in the opening round, “It seemed all the eight to 10 foot putts were doable today,” he said. Owen made four birdies in a row on holes 4-7 after a bogey on the par 3 second hole. He added three more birdies on the back nine.
On the final round, Owen finished with just three birdies on the day and carded two bogies, finishing in a tie for second with The Oaks Head Pro Ryan Rhees. The two Utah Section PGA members split the Low Pro money.
It was Kirk Siddens (a) who took home the crystal champion trophy with rounds of (-9) 66-69.
Speaking of Siddens, Owen said, “Over the years we’ve had a lot of good games. We used to play a lot of money games together. He’s an excellent player and very capable. He’s had some really good scores this summer.”
Siddens had 11 birdies over his 36-hole performance in the Nevada desert rebounding nicely from his Mid-Am disappointment the week prior.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better group,” Siddens said. “Mark and I have played many times over the years. I know Mark’s game and I know he can play. We putted out on 18 and had to ask each other, who won?”
Fellow senior amateur Rob Bachman turned in a (-3) 141 to win the Super Senior Division, two shots better than pros Brad Stone, David Hall, Terry Outzen, Scott Brandt and amateur Mike Hacker. Amateur Richard Bradley won the Legend Division at (+3) 147, two shots better than professional Chip Garriss.
Retired Utah Section PGA Professional Wayne Volk, who had worked for over 40 years at Hill Air Force Base’s Hubbard golf course was this year’s honoree. Volk was honored by his son Dustin Volk, head pro a Valley View and current Section president in a small ceremony outdoors on the clubhouse balcony at Toana Vista GC.
Randy Dodson is the president of Fairways Media and a frequent contributor to Fairways.
The season-ending Utah PGA Jr. Series Major Championship, played on the Promontory Club Dye Course on July 27th, was a fitting end to an exciting 2020 Major season with exemptions into the 2020 Siegfried & Jensen Utah Open and Utah Women’s Open events.
Through the season-long qualifying, 71 junior golfers successfully earned a spot into the Major Championship, and going along with this season’s narrative it was Tyson Shelley of the Boys 17-18 division and Grace Summerhays of the Girls 17-18 division that stole the show, playing the difficult Park City course in a combined 13-under.
The low score of the day belongs to Shelley with a (-7) 65, earning a five-stroke win over Jackson Holman and Parker Reese, who both finished (-3) 69.
Shelley’s win not only earned him the Promontory Major trophy, but a spot in the Utah Open played at Riverside Country Club August 14-16, and the Utah PGA Jr. Series Majors Player of the Year.
“This was one of my bigger goals this year, to qualify for the Utah Open,” Shelley said. “I played in it last year, but I wanted to get an exemption this year and improve off last year.”
As for his 65, it was mostly his putter that did the work. “I missed two putts inside 20 feet today. I just got the putter rolling, the greens are good enough here where once you get in on your line, it stays on its true roll.”
Shelley capped off a great season with a great win and would surprise no one with a successful showing in the 2020 Utah Open.
Two spots are given to the top boys division to play in the Utah Open, one to the winner of the Promontory Major and one to the Major points leader. Shelley occupied both accolades so the second exemption was awarded to Parker Reese, who finished runner up in the season-long points race.
Reese finished T11 in the Glenmoor Major, T3 at the Davis Valley View Major, T4 in the Utah County Rumble and runner up at Promontory.
With a consistent run in all the Majors, Reese will represent the Utah Section PGA Jr. Series well competing in the Utah Open.
With zero blemishes on her card, Summerhays went back-to-back in Utah PGA Jr. Series Major victories with her (-6) 66 at the Promontory Dye Course.
“For the most part I just didn’t get into trouble, overall I just hit greens and made a couple putts,” Summerhays said.
The winner of the Girls 17-18 division is awarded a spot in the Utah Women’s Open, but Summerhays has a different goal in mind.
“I will be playing in the U.S. Women’s Amateur, so unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it to the Utah Women’s Open. It’ll be my first U.S. Am, so I’m really excited.”
With a (-3) 69 Berlin Long finished runner up at Promontory while Rachel Lillywhite placed 3rd with a (+3) 75.
As for the season-long Majors points race, which consists of the entire Girls 15-18 field, it was Cheyenne Hansen that received the second exemption into the Utah Women’s Open.
“It feels really good, it was my goal to get Player of the Year,” Hansen said. “I’m really excited to play in the Women’s Open, I was really hoping to get in and it worked out perfectly.”
Her Major season consisted of only one event outside the top 10 and a win at the Utah County Rumble. She finished a mere five points clear of runner-up Victoria Romney in the points race.
Sean Lam won the Boys 15-16 division with a (-2) 70, with an eventfull back nine that made things a little interesting coming down the stretch, finishing only two-shots clear of second place finishers Lance Smith and Braydon Griffith.
Lam started his back nine with a double on the par-five 10th, but successfully recovered with two-consecutive birdies. He finished with a birdie on 18 for good measure.
“Off the tee was working well; most of the time I was in the fairway so that gave me good shots into the greens. My putting was good, too, just a lot of two putts. This is my firsts time playing this course, I didn’t know what to expect but it turned out pretty good,” Lam said.
Ali Mulhall continued her strong play, coming off a win at the Davis Valley View Major, with a (-2) 70 round in the Major Championship to win the Girls 15-16 division. One stroke ahead of Majors Player of the Year Hansen, who shot a (-1) 71. Arden Louchheim placed 3rd with a 73.
“I made it on a lot of greens and had a lot of two putts. And I almost made a hole-in-one on 13, just about a foot away,” Mulhall said of her round.
A playoff was required to determine the Boys 13-14 Promontory Major champion as Bowen Mauss and Max Landon finished even par for the tournament.
Mauss made up for his bogey on the 18th hole in regulation by draining a 20-foot birdie putt on the 9th hole in the playoff to take home the trophy.
“I putted really well and hit my irons close,” he said. “I was feeling a little nervous going into the playoff but I made a good putt for birdie and won it.”
Last, but not least, was the Girls 13-14 division where Aadyn Long finished on top with a (+3) 75 round. Ashley Lam finished runner up with a 79 and Madalyn Hadley came in 3rd with an 85.
For Long, just the opportunity to compete at Promontory was enough.
“It feels good to win, it’s a good tournament. I honestly just came into it, obviously wanting to win, but just to be able to play Promontory is really cool, to see this golf course, it’s such a good tournament.”
This concludes the 2020 Utah PGA Jr. Series Major season. We owe a big thank you to everyone who participated and supported the Utah PGA this year. We owe a lot to the Utah Section PGA Professionals who devoted their golf courses to our membership to make it happen.
Thank you to Promontory Head Professional Cole Carlson for his help running our Major Championship and providing the Dye Course for our juniors to compete on.