The Utah PGA Pro-Assistants Championship, presented by TaylorMade, played at Sand Hollow and Sunbrook golf courses November 15-16, concluded the 2021 season for Utah PGA Professionals. Teams from The Country Club, Eagle Mountain and Hobble Creek all took advantage of the last event of the year.
The Country Club’s Wayne Fisher & Haley Sturgeon and Eagle Mountain’s Chris Marx & Triston Hartfiel finished tied at the top with a 13-under Best-Ball performance, finishing the two-day championship as co-champions.
Fisher & Sturgeon are familiar with the event, winning the 2019 showing. They started out strong with a (-9) 63 at Sand Hollow and followed with a (-4) 68 at Sunbrook.
“Wayne is steady-Eddie,” Sturgeon said. “He’s always down the middle and on the green so it frees my swing up where I can go for things we normally wouldn’t.”
“It is always a treat teaming up with Haley,” Fisher added. “she’s a player, which is fun. I can play my game and let her loose. For me to be able to sit back and ride her coat tails, we’ve been a great team over the years.”
Marx and Hartfiel started with a (-4) 68 at Sand Hollow and made their comeback at Sunbrook with a (-9) 63 – providing a win in Hartfiel’s first event in the Section.
“Well I hurt Chris’s back yesterday because he had to carry me so much that I had to make a couple of birdies today,” Hartfiel said.
“Neither one of us played amazingly deep,” Marx added, “we just ham-and-egged it. We both went on the putting matt last night and all of a sudden it happened today.”
In the net division, Hobble Creek stole the show as Craig Norman & Joel Grose tied with Norman & Sue Nyhus. A scorecard playoff determined Norman & Grose the winners – both teams finished 19-under.
A big thank you to Chris Nugent and the TaylorMade staff for sponsoring the event and to Adam Jasperson and his Sand Hollow Staff and Reed McArthur and his Sunbrook staff for hosting the championship.
Utah Section Professionals Joshua Leddy, Chase Hansen, Clint Godfrey and Aaron Purviance are set to compete in the 45th National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship November 11-14 at PGA Golf Club’s Wanamaker Course in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
Leddy, Hansen and Godfrey qualified to play in this year’s championship through the National Car Rental Utah Assistant Championship, played in August at Logan River and Eagle Mountain Golf Courses, where Leddy won the event, Hansen finished 3rd and Godfrey 4th.
Purviance, who finished runner-up in August, was exempt into the championship through his top-three finish in the 2020 Assistant PGA Professional Championship.
The Utah Section is well represented this week in Florida – best of luck!
The PGA of America has a deep passion for honoring veterans and active military around the country. Veterans Day is November 11, 2021 and the PGA of America has also declared this a Day of HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere).
In conjunction with the day, some of our golf facilities will be offering the following to veterans as a small token of saying thank you for your service:
Mulligans Creekside, North Ogden Veterans get a free bucket of balls. Valid November 11.
Eagle Mountain Golf Course, Brigham City Veterans play for free at Eagle Mountain that day. (just need to pay for cart). Please call or visit our website to make a tee time. Please mention you are a veteran when making your tee time. Valid November 11.
Glenmoor Golf Club, South Jordan Veterans will receive 1 free medium bucket of balls, 1 free fountain drink, and a free 10 min lesson in the Indoor Center from 8am-4 pm. Valid November 11.
Glen Eagle Golf Course, Syracuse Veterans: 18 holes with cart-$25/ 9 holes with cart $15. Free small bucket of balls for Veterans. Valid November 11.
Top Golf From 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm Kevin Connole will be giving free 15 minute golf lessons to veterans. Visit his bay at Topgolf (bay 217) and he would be happy to check out your swing. Valid November 11.
Logan River Golf Course Free golf for all Veterans. 9 or 18 holes. Cart included. Show us your military ID and play for free. Thank you for your service. Valid November 11th and 12th.
The Utah Section PGA annually honors and recognizes individuals dedicated to golf in Utah for going above and beyond to benefit the game. We are excited to announce this year’s winners and want to thank each recipient for their dedication to the Utah golf community.
The mission of the Utah PGA is to grow the game, these individuals along with all those nominated, help make this possible. We thank you all for representing the Utah PGA in such a positive way.
On behalf of the Utah Section PGA officers and staff, we present the 2021 Utah Section PGA Award winners:
Professional of the Year Dustin Volk
Teacher of the Year Emily Jones
Assistant Golf Professional of the Year Stacey Camacho
Youth Player Development Leader Tele Wightman
Player Development Award Rob Krieger
Merchandiser of the Year – Private Thomas Barksdale
Merchandiser of the Year – Public Brett Watson
Jon Unger Salesperson of the Year Charley Carlson
Superintendent of the Year – Public Steve Carter
Superintendent of the Year – Private Jake Ebner
PGA Professional Development Award AC Cox
Wesley RuffGolf Citizen Award Eric “Doc” Iverson
Bill StrausbaughAward Colby Cowan
Doug Vilven Distinguished Service Award Mike Stanger
Jeff Beaudry Golf Ambassador Award Devin Dehlin
Presidential Service Award Gary Lewis
Thank you to the Utah Section PGA Awards Committee and members for helping to celebrate and recognize our PGA Professionals for their extraordinary effort to bettering golf in Utah.
The 2021-2022 Fall High School All-State Teams have been selected. Congratulations to those who earned a spot on the First-Team, Second-Team or Honorable Mention teams!
The quality of high school golfers these days is phenomenal and the difference between making an All-State team or not often comes down to one stroke or less throughout the season. The Utah Section PGA extends the honor of First Team All-State to the top-10 golfers in each classification, the next 10 are selected to the Second Team, and the next 10 are selected to Honorable Mention.
The Utah Section of the PGA of America has been actively supporting high school golf for over 25 years. Twenty-two years ago the Utah High School All-State Golf Program was developed. The All-State Golf selection process is unique among all-state honors programs in that it is all by the numbers. Thirty-five percent of a players best region scores and 65 percent of their state championship scores are used to rank each player. No arbitrary or influenced decisions, it’s all by the numbers. The players skills and scores earn the recognition.
This is just one of many community-based programs the Utah PGA operates each year to benefit our Utah Golf Community. Congratulations to all of these players on a fantastic year in golf.
In the same season Sue Nyhus became a Class A Member of the PGA of America, she clinched her first Utah Section PGA victory, winning the 2021 Utah PGA Women’s Match Play Championship at Alpine Country Club November 2nd.
Nyhus defeated 2019 Women’s Match Play Champion and Salt Lake Country Club Assistant Pro Haley Sturgeon in the championship match 1-up on the 18th hole.
Nyhus started the day with a semifinal match against Glenmoor Assistant Pro Sirene Blair. By the end of the day, her two matches had a lot in common.
Being 2-down through 8 holes in her match with Blair, Nyhus started her comeback. It wasn’t until winning holes 14 and 15 that she found her first lead of the match. A lead she would hang onto to, winning on the 18th hole and advancing to the championship.
In the final match, Nyhus found herself 3-down through 7, after Sturgeon birdied holes 5, 6 and 7. But with Sturgeon finding trouble off the tee, Nyhus started climbing back with wins on 8 and 9 – and once again winning holes 14 and 15 to gain a 1-up lead. A lead she held onto until the finish.
“I know how good they are, they are amazing players, both of them,” she said of Blair and Sturgeon. “I just kept hanging in there, and I think the fact I kept hanging in there long enough, started to get to them.
“I didn’t make any birdies,” Nyhus said about the final match, “but I made a lot of pars.”
After a 9-hole seeding round, Nyhus claimed the 6th seed and went on to defeat Utah PGA Jr. Golf Lead Intern Cassie Campos, Blair and then Sturgeon.
The win comes days after her induction into the Utah Golf Hall of Fame, adding another win to her storied career.
“After having to review all that stuff for my Hall of Fame speech and think about that 1999 Public Links, losing one-down on the last hole, that came up in my head several times today. I kept saying, ‘you’ve grown, you’re smarter, you’re more mature, you can stay in the moment, hit the shot that’s required. You don’t have to do anything more than do what you do.’”
Those thoughts worked in the end, as she went home with a new trophy.
Thank you to Neil Maurer, Brock Padilla, Kent Easton and their Alpine Country Club staff for hosting our championship this year.
In the Ninth Induction Ceremony of the Utah Golf Hall of Fame, four current and past members of the Utah Section PGA were celebrated and honored on October 29th for a lifetime of achievements in golf, making lasting impacts nationally and locally.
Honorees include Sue Nyhus, Steve Schneiter, Doug Vilven and Scott Whittaker.
Nyhus’ achievements in qualifying and competing in every USGA championship available to her is, and forever will be, unparalleled. Her career consists of not only competing at a high level, but collegiate coaching at Brigham Young University and Utah Valley University. She was elected to membership in the PGA of America in 2021.
Schneiter is very likely the most accomplished Utah professional who never became a member of the PGA Tour or Senior PGA Tour. Highlighting his estimated 100 professional wins are the 1995 PGA Professional Championship and the 2016 Senior PGA Professional Championship. He joins family members George Henry Schneiter, Ernie Schneiter Sr. and Ernie Schneiter Jr. in the Hall of Fame.
The Utah Section of the PGA exists thanks to the efforts of Doug Vilven, who passed away in 2018. Vilven’s impact on golf in Utah is immeasurable, but even more so in the lives he touched along the way. His creation of the Utah Section PGA and the Golf in the Round facility are just some of the accomplishments of his PGA career. He’ll be remembered more for who he was and the way he treated everyone he crossed paths with.
His son Mike said at the induction: “My dad loved the sport of golf and didn’t just see it as competition or a past time. Instead he saw it as a lifestyle, an outlet for both kids and adults to learn discipline and resiliency.”
A founding father of the Utah Section PGA, and long-time Executive Director Scott Whittaker’s love for golf started as a young caddie at Oakridge Country Club. That love for the game inspired a career as a PGA head professional for almost 30 years, an executive director for 13 years, a member of the PGA of America board and countless awards in-between. Among his many achievements includes the remarkable growth of girls’ high school golf and the rebirth of the Utah Open. His induction into the Utah Golf Hall of Fame was an easy decision.
Thank you to the Utah Golf Association and the Utah Golf Hall of Fame Committee for recognizing the achievements of these four Utah PGA Professionals.
Others inducted include Lou North, Florence Halloran, Jeannie Goddard, Marion Dunn, Joe Watts and Riley Stottern. Congratulations to them and their families.
The 2021 Senior PGA Professional Championship is set to begin Thursday October 21st at PGA Golf Club, in which six Utah PGA Professionals will compete.
Best of luck to Bloomington and Sun River’s Scott Brandt, Park City’s Jeff Brehaut, 2020 Utah PGA Player of the Year and rookie senior Joe Summerhays, 2016 Senior PPC Champion Steve Schneiter, Utah PGA Senior Section Champion Mark Owen and Stonebridge Golf Club’s Paul Phillips.
The Utah Section is well represented in Port St. Lucie, Florida, as they compete in a full field of 246 senior PGA Professionals from across the country.
Other than the $26,000 first-place winner’s check to play for, several exemptions are on the line:
The low 35 scorers earn a berth into the 2022 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores Golf Club in Benton Harbor, Michigan, May 26-29.
The Senior PGA Professional Championship’s top five finishers also garner an exemption into the final stage of the 2021 PGA Tour Champions Qualifying School – Final Stage.
Those who finish in the top eight, including ties, will automatically qualify for next year’s Championship at Twin Warriors Golf Club at Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa and Santa Ana Golf Club, both in Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico, October 13-16, 2022.
Ryder Huish stood over his ball in the 18th fairway, half of his Team Utah (Lehi) teammates waiting for him near the green with the 2021 National Car Rental PGA Jr. League Championship waiting to be secured.
Adding to the pressure, Huish’s teammate’s ball had found the water near the green seconds before. So Huish grabbed his 5-iron from 180 yards, landed the ball on the front of the green and watched it roll out … and roll out … and roll out, until it came to rest inside 10 feet from the hole, putting Huish and teammate Austin Shelley, 13, from Salt Lake City – and their six other teammates – in position to lock down the title.
After two-putting the par 5 for birdie minutes later, the Championship belonged to the team from Utah with a 7.5-4.5 win over Team Connecticut (Torrington) at Grayhawk Golf Club on Sunday afternoon, which aired live on ESPN2.
“When I saw Austin’s ball in the water, I cried inside,” Huish, 11, from Highland, joked. “I said, ‘I have to hit a good shot here or it’s over.’ I pulled out my 5-iron, I felt confident, and I executed well.”
Joshua Leddy may not have followed through on his victory in the Utah Assistant PGA Championship as well as he hoped, but he certainly assisted Matt Baird on the way to a third title in the Utah Section PGA Championship.
In one of those breaks that champions sometimes need, Baird luckily learned to play enough break on what became the winning putt Thursday at Toana Vista Golf Club in West Wendover, Nevada. Baird benefited from Leddy’s having putted on a similar line on No. 9, their 18th hole of the final round. Baird knocked in a 20-footer for a birdie that gave him an 8-under-par total and a one-stroke victory over Pete Stone and Tommy Sharp.
That’s how the Riverside Country Club teaching pro concluded his round of 7-under 65, bouncing back from what he labeled a “chili-dipped” tee shot on the previous hole, leading to his only bogey of the day.
If not for Leddy’s coincidental lesson, who knows what may have happened in a playoff involving Baird? “Honestly,” Baird said, “when he hit the putt, it broke more than I thought.”
Baird adjusted his aim, made the putt and was proud of his final round. In that moment, though, Baird was thrilled just to have qualified for the PGA Professional Championship. As three more groups finished, it became apparent that there was much more in store for him.
Having earned the $5,000 first prize, Baird celebrated by pouring Mountain Dew into the crystal trophy that will join Section Championship awards from 2010 and ‘15 on his shelf.
Every win is rewarding, but this one meant the 46-year-old Baird had succeeded in overcoming the putting problems that held him back during an opening-round 71, He stood four strokes behind Chris Moody, Riverside’s head professional, and three shots back of Stone.
“I just had this feeling of, ‘You can get the job done,’” Baird said. “That was my main thought all day.”
He needed some reminding after failing to birdie his first hole, the par-5 No. 10. “Oh, great,” he wryly told himself, but that’s how the day turned out: Great.
He birdied seven of the first 15 holes and moved into the lead, only to make one of the worst swings of his pro career with a short iron. His shot on No. 8, a hole measuring 174 yards, left him with a 96-yard second shot after he tried to finesse that 8-iron.
“I just laughed,” Baird said.
After that bogey, Tele Wightman, another member of Baird’s foursome, told him, “You’re hitting it good, just make birdie here.”
With the help of seeing Leddy’s line, Baird made it happen. And then he waited, as Sharp and Stone tried to catch him. Sharp, the 2017 winner, birdied No. 6 to reach 5-under for the day and 7-under for the tournament, before parring the last three holes. Stone, a perennial contender in this event, birdied No. 7 to tie Baird. But then Stone endured his own misadventures on No. 8, with a tee shot that sailed way right and resulted in a bogey.
On No. 9, Sharp and Stone had longer birdie putts than Baird, on similar lines. Each missed on the low side and walked off the green disappointed to have tied for second place.
As consolation, they also advanced to the PGA Professional Championship in April at Austin, Texas. So did Moody (67-71), Todd Tanner (69-70) and Casey Fowles (70-71), whose birdie on the last hole enabled him to avoid a six-way playoff for the last spot. Defending champion Joe Summerhays (70-71), who tied for sixth place with Fowles, is exempt after a top-20 finish in the 2021 event in Florida and Steve Schneiter has a lifetime invitation as the 1995 champion.
Bruce Summerhays Jr. became the first alternate after a playoff that involved Tracy Zobell, the Senior division champion. Zobell (74-68) played from the back tees in order to compete for the national berth, as did Mark Owen, who tied with Clark Garso for second place, one stroke behind.
Terry Outzen (76-69) and Scott Brandt (71-74) shared first place in the Super Senior (60-over) division. Don Branca (75-74) took the Legend (70-over) title, 46 years after posting his second consecutive victory in the State Amateur.