Another edition of the Utah Senior Open has been completed, this year celebrating the long-time PGA Professional and retired Timpanogos Golf Club Head Pro Kean Ridd as the event’s honoree at Toana Vista Golf Course in Wendover July 28-29th.
A year after senior division sophomore Mark Owen finished as low pro, the Mountain View Head Pro returned to Wendover and left with not only low pro honors, but overall champion as well.
Owen finished the first round with a (-5) 67, tied at the top with Gladstan Head Pro Tracy Zobell. But a (-2) 70 in the final round separated Owen from the pack to win the championship, finishing at (-7) 67-70 – 137 total.
“This was an important one,” Owen said of winning the event. “One of my really good friends Joey Bonsignore passed away a few years ago, he was really good friends with the Ridds. When Kean was named honoree for this this tournament, I thought this would be a good one to win. I always look forward to this one, I seem to play well here and I look forward to the competition.”
Bloomington Director of Golf Scott Brandt won the super senior division with consistent play of (-4) 70-70 – 144 and tied for second overall with Zobell.
Roy Christensen won the legend division with a (+4) 71-77 showing and Brigham Gibbs was the low-am finishing fourth with rounds of (E) 74-70.
Thank you to Kean Ridd for a special career in golf and the Utah Section PGA, specifically. Thank you to the Utah Golf Association, Toana Vista Golf Course Head Pro Charles Clinton and Superintendent Mel Duke.
And thank you to Gary Lewis, Jacky Price and Brian Ray from the Wendover Casino Group for making this event possible every year.
The culmination of the 2021 Utah PGA Junior Series Major season came down to the Promontory Major Championship, played July 26th on the Dye Canyon Course in Park City, with two entries into the Siegfried & Jensen Utah Open and Utah Women’s Open on the line.
Spots were awarded to the champion of the boys and girls 15-18 divisions at Promontory and the season-long points leader as the Majors Player of the Year
KJ Ofahengaue’s highest score in the 2021 Majors was a 70. With such stellar play, it is to no surprise that he won the boys Majors Player of the Year and entry into the Utah Open at Riverside Country Club August 20-22nd.
“I know it’s very competitive,” Ofahengaue said about the Utah Open. “My goal is to go into it and try to prove myself and show that I can compete with the best golfers in Utah.”
To go along with Major Player of the Year, Ofahengaue shot (-2) 70 to win the boys 15-16 division at Promontory and finish runner-up in the boys 15-18 division.
It was Willard Richards’ (-3) 69 that won the boys Promontory Major Championship and the other exemption into the Utah Open.
A strong finish for Richards proved to be the difference, finishing two-under the last three holes to win by one and claim his first Utah PGA Junior Series Major victory.
“I just gave myself a lot of chances for birdies and was in play pretty much on every hole,” Richards said.
“Anytime you can play in a big tournament, it’s a lot of fun,” he said about his Utah Open exemption. “it gives you something to focus on and a chance to play with the best and show off your skills.”
Ellie DeMond’s game has proved consistent throughout 2021 and it shows by taking home the girls Major Player of the Year trophy and an exemption into the Siegfried & Jensen Utah Women’s Open, played August 9-10 at Thanksgiving Point Golf Club.
DeMond won by a mere 15 points over Cheyenne Hansen, who qualified for the Utah Women’s Open in 2020.
“I feel like I accomplished a lot,” DeMond said about earning a spot in the Utah Women’s Open. “It feels really good to win Player of the Year, I felt like overall I played good this year. I came into every tournament with the mentality to win.”
Staying true to the narrative of the Majors this year, the girls 15-18 Promontory Champion decision came down to a playoff between Navy Wood and Jacklyn Gonzalez, who both finished at (+5) 77.
Gonzalez found some trouble off the tee which proved to be the difference has Wood found the fairway.
Wood proceeded to find the greenside bunker on the par-five 10th hole, and successfully got up-and-down for par – forcing Gonzalez to make a 20-foot putt, which barely missed.
“I was nervous, so nervous,” Wood said about the playoff. “I was shaky, just trying to breathe.”
Wood looks forward to the experience of playing in the Utah Women’s Open as she prepares for college golf in Idaho.
Winning the girls 15-16 division with a (+6) 78 is Pati Uluave, earning her first Major championship victory.
“I’m so excited, this is my first win in a major championship,” Uluave said. “My putting helped a lot today, I was able to drop a lot of 15-footers.”
Rounding out the younger divisions was Jack Summerhays, who won the boys 13-14 division with an even-par 72 to earn his first Utah PGA Junior Series Major victory.
“It feels amazing to win, it’s really awesome to be here. It’s an awesome opportunity,” Summerhays said. “I putted lights out on the first 15 holes. Started off a little rough with a bogey on the first hole, but then the putter was really good.”
The winner of the girls 13-14 division is no stranger of first place – going for a clean sweep in all four Utah PGA Junior Series Majors, Kate Walker wins once again with a (+4) 76 at Promontory.
“I’ve improved a lot since last year,” Walker said. “It was awesome playing Promontory today.”
A big thank you to Ryan Kartchner, A.J. Fetsko and Drew Kouns at Promontory for hosting our Major Championship, providing an excellent venue to the close of the 2021 Major season.
The 2021 Utah County Rumble Major, played July 19-20 at Timpanogos Golf Club in Provo and The Oaks in Spanish Fork, not only sent juniors to the season-ending Utah PGA Junior Series Promontory Major Championship, but also to the Faldo Hurricane Series Grand Final, which will be aired on CBS.
The top two finishers of the boys and girls 15-18 divisions earned the spots to play The Dye Course at Barefoot Resort on October 18-19 in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina – hosted by Nick Faldo.
It’s no surprise that in the boys 15-18 qualifying division, a playoff was needed to determine the champion, even when Perry, Utah’s Dyson Lish commanded the first round at Timpanogos with a (-8) 64.
Lish held his ground the second day, finishing tied with KJ Ofahengaue at 6-under for the event. Both earned the qualifying spots for the Faldo Series, but a three-hole playoff was needed to determine the overall and Boys 15-16 Utah County Rumble champion.
With pars on the first playoff hole, Lish drained a 35-foot par putt to stay alive with Ofahengaue in tap-in range on the second playoff hole. To close it out, he made another significant putt for birdie to win from about 15 feet.
“I’m pretty pumped right now,” Lish said about qualifying for the Faldo Hurricane Final.
“I was pretty relieved,” he said about the winning putt dropping, “I didn’t want to keep playing more playoff holes.”
No playoff was needed for the girls qualifying division with 2021 Drive, Chip & Putt champion Ali Mulhall going wire-to-wire to qualify and to win the girls 15-16 Utah County Rumble Major.
Mulhall had rounds of 73-74 to finish two-over for the event.
“It’s exciting, it’s going to be a fun tournament,” Mulhall said about the Grand Final. “It’s at a really nice golf course so I’m excited to go play. Anytime you get to play on TV, you know it’s pretty good.”
Mulhall will leave Saturday for Kentucky to compete in the Girls Junior PGA Championship, which she qualified for by winning the Utah Junior PGA Championship at Solider Hollow.
The second qualifying spot for the girls goes to Jacklyn Gonzalez, a Utah Valley University women’s golf commit from San Antonio, Texas.
With rounds of (+8) 78-75 she also won the girls 17-18 Utah County Rumble Major and redeemed herself after losing in a playoff in the same event in 2020.
“It felt great to win this year, I loved getting a second run at this course,” Gonzalez said.
“I’m so excited to qualify, I’ve heard so many good things about the course and the opportunities that come after playing the event,” she said about the Hurricane Grand Final.
Jack Kuemmel narrowly missed out on a qualifying spot because of a double on his 72nd hole, but with rounds of (-5) 69-70, he won the boys 17-18 division and now has his sights on winning the Promontory Major Championship to qualify for the Siegfried & Jensen Utah Open.
“It was my first Major of the year, so it’s nice to get a one-and-done to get into Promontory,” Kuemmel said. “I haven’t been up there, so I’m excited to go. The new goal is to win and get into the Utah Open.”
In the girls and boys 13-14 divisions, getting into Promontory was the end-goal of the Utah Country Rumble Major, as this was the last chance to qualify.
Kate Walker of St. George, earned a hat trick in the Majors this year, winning her third Major with rounds of (+6) 76-75.
“I’ve worked hard for it,” Walker said about her three Utah PGA Junior Series Major victories. And with plans to play at Promontory, we’ll see if she can go for a clean sweep in Majors.
To round out the event it was Tyse Boman who earned his first Major victory with rounds of (+3) 75-72 to win the boys 13-14 division.
“It feels good, I’m happy,” Boman said about his win.
The Promontory Major Championship will be played Monday, July 26th in Park City with exemptions into the Utah Open and Utah Women’s Open on the line for the Majors points winners and the champions at Promontory in the boys and girls 15-18 divisions.
Best of luck to Lish, Ofahengaue, Mulhall and Gonzalez in the Faldo Hurricane Series Grand Final, Utah will be well represented.
Finally, thank you to Timpanogos Head Pro Brett Watson and The Oaks Head Pro Ryan Rhees for hosting and allowing our juniors to play great courses!
With the second Utah PGA Junior Series Majors in the bag, as the 36-hole Valley View/Davis Park Major concluded on July 1st, several juniors punched their tickets to the season-ending Promontory Major Championship, and a few are that much closer to the exemptions awarded into the 2021 Siegfried & Jensen Utah Open and Utah Women’s Open.
Tanner Telford and Willard Richards were neck-and-neck after the first round at Valley View, both carding a (-4) 68. It would remain a tight race until the end.
Telford’s (-7) 64 at Davis Park was just one-shot better than Richard’s 65. One shot is all it takes as Telford finished birdie, par, birdie his last three holes.
“It was a lot of fun out there, being close with Willard. It was fun to compete with him. I knew we were right there together until the last hole, it was close.”
With a T4 finish in the Glenmoor Major and the victory at Valley View & Davis Park, Telford is in first place in the Majors’ points race. Finishing first in points at the end of the season would provide a ticket into the Utah Open. Another way in is to win the Promontory Major Championship.
There’s certainly never a bad time to win a golf tournament, but Carly Belliston certainly picked a good time to notch her first win.
With rounds of (+3) 85-74 Belliston played her way into a playoff with first-round leader, and Glenmoor Major winner, Millie Terrion. A par on the first playoff hole, Davis Park’s 9th hole, was all it took for Belliston to become a Utah PGA Junior Series Major champion.
“It feels really good, this is a personal record for me today, so it’s a good day.” Belliston said. “I was feeling really nervous (in the playoff). Millie is such a good player, so it’s fun to have that high competition.”
Extra holes would become a theme of the final round at Davis Park, as half of the divisions ended in playoffs, including KJ Ofahengaue and Carter Papke as they finished 5-under after 36 holes.
Ofahengaue, who won the Glenmoor Major, finished regulation with a pitch-in eagle on the 17th hole and a birdie on 18. He would continue his strong play into the playoff by driving the green on Davis Park’s first hole and two putting for birdie.
“I knew I was tied going into the last hole and I knew I needed a birdie on 18. He drove the green (and birdied) so I was just trying to build on my momentum,” Ofahengaue said. “My game is in a good spot right now.”
Madalyn Hadley started the Major off strong at Valley View with a (+1) 73 and never looked back.
With a final-round 75 at Davis, she won the Girls 15-16 division by four strokes over Ellie DeMond (+9) and by six over third-place finisher Ashley Lam (+11).
“It feels really good,” Hadley said about her win, “my game has been struggling lately a little bit, but I played well the last two days so I’m proud of myself.
“I love playing Promontory, it’s a great course to play and a great opportunity.”
Starting the final-round two shots behind leader Max Landon, Cayson VanBeekum posted a (-5) 66 to climb his way into a playoff with Landon, who shot a final-round 68. Both made lengthy, clutch birdies on the 36th hole to force an extra hole.
It was the approach shots in the playoff that made the difference on the dogleg-left 9th hole. VanBeekum knocked it close while Landon flew the pin to the back of the green.
A two-putt par was all that was needed for VanBeekum to claim the Major.
“It was pretty nerve-wracking making the 15-footer on 18 for birdie to tie Max, but then in the playoff, that was probably the most nerve-wracking par putt I’ve ever had to make,” VanBeekum said.
Kate Walker from St. George has a unique opportunity to make a clean sweep of wins in the Girls 13-14 Majors this year, collecting another win at the Valley View/Davis Park Major, following her win at Glenmoor in June.
With rounds of (+24) 90-77, Walker took another trophy home and continued to accumulate the Major Player of the Year points.
“I had a bad first day, but it’s all about coming back, which I did today,” Walker said.
Campbell Kato (+38) was runner-up while Natalie Mclane (+39) was 3rd and Remi Rawlings (+51) 4th.
The next Utah PGA Junior Series Major will be the Utah County Rumble played at The Oaks at Spanish Fork and Tmpanogos Golf Club on July 19-20. The Promontory Major Championship will be played July 26th.
Thank you to Valley View, Davis Park, Davis County Directory of Golf Dustin Volk and Head Professionals Pete Stone and Zach Johnson for being gracious hosts and providing their excellent golf courses for our event.
The 2021 Utah Junior PGA Championship is sending two boys and two girls from the 16-18 divisions at Soldier Hollow Golf Course, held on June 14-15, to the Boys Junior PGA Championship at Kearney Hills Golf Links in Lexington, Kentucky, and the Girls Junior PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky.
The final round was a day of playoffs and extra holes to determine exemptions and champions.
In the boy’s qualifying division, Peter Kim and Parker Bunn stole the show, both going low to vault their way up the leaderboard.
Kim’s final-round 63 and Bunn’s 64 placed them tied for the lead at 11-under for the 36-hole championship. Though both earned the available exemptions, it took an extra four holes to determine a winner.
On the fourth playoff hole, Soldier Hollow’s uphill, par-four fourth hole, Kim’s nearly 400-yard drive left him with a pin-high chip, which he got up-and-down for birdie to win.
“it means a lot, I’ve won two tournaments in two weeks, and I’ve been in a little drought with wins, so it feels good to be back.”
Alternates for the Boys Junior PGA Championship are Jackson Rhees, who finished third at 7-under and KJ Ofahengaue and Carter Frisby who both finished 6-under for the event. The boy’s championship will be held July 12-15.
In the girl’s qualifying division, there was a three-way tie at the top after the first round between Ali Mulhall, Berlin Long and Sunbin Seo – all finishing at (-4) 68.
It was Mulhall who would separate herself from the field with a (-3) 69 in the final round to get to 7-under and win the Utah Junior PGA Championship.
“I was down heading to the back nine, but got it back. I made birdie on 10 and then eagled 16 and 18.”
Mulhall, who won her age division in the National Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at Augusta National back in April, will be adding to her already impressive resume when she competes at Valhalla on July 27-30.
A three-hole playoff was needed between Long and Seo, tied at 3-under, for the second exemption spot.
Long won the playoff with a par on the par-three third hole to earn her way into the Girls Junior PGA Championship.
“This was one of my biggest goals this season, to qualify for this tournament. I was able to go a couple of years ago and it was really fun. I’m excited to be able to qualify for it again.”
The extra holes didn’t stop with the older divisions, in the Girls 13-15 division, Kate Walker and Alyssa Meadows finished tied at 15-over after 36 holes.
A par on the first playoff hole was all that was required for Walker. She shot rounds of 82-77 to maximize her trip up from her home-town St. George. She won her division in last week’s Glenmoor Major as well.
Whitni Johnson finished third at (+34) 84-94.
In the Boys 13-15 division, a final-round 69 from Chase Burton was more than enough to come from behind and win. With rounds of (-2) 73-69, he won by three over Max Landon (+1) and Carter Papke and Will Olson who tied for third at 2-over.
Thank you to Soldier Hollow Head Professional Chris Newson and his staff for hosting the 2021 Utah PGA Junior Championship and best of luck to our qualifiers in Kentucky.
The 2021 Utah PGA Junior Series Majors season has arrived and the Glenmoor Major on June 11-12 at Glenmoor Golf Club didn’t disappoint with some final-round heroics.
With two Utah State Amateur exemption spots on the line for the Boys 15-18 division, Jackson Mauss shared the first-round lead with Rawson Hardy with a (-4) 68.
However, every golfer knows that it doesn’t get real until the back nine of the final round in a Major and Mauss took that to heart with six birdies. A 30 on the back nine led to a (-7) 65 – 11-under for the tournament to take the top spot.
“It feels really good to win the Glenmoore Major,” Mauss said. “This was a big win for me. I always love to play at Glenmoore because of the great greens and the course is always in great shape.
“On the back nine, I hit eight of 9 greens and my putter caught fire. I only had 12 putts.”
It was KJ Ofahengaue that would claim the second State Am exemption, and win the Boys 15-16 Division, firing a (-5) 70-69 for the tournament.
“It feels great to get into the State Am,” Ofahengaue said. “I can’t wait to play. I’d like to qualify for match play this year and make a good run at it.”
In the Boys 13-14 division, the importance of those final-9 holes in a Major rang true again, as Max Landon finished eagle, par, birdie, eagle – to not only claim his third eagle of the day, but to win the division by three with rounds of (-2) 73-69.
“I knew what I needed to do the last couple of holes so I played pretty aggressive and tried to make some putts,” Landon said. It’s nice to win and It’s good to qualify for Promontory.”
The boys’ divisions didn’t take all the final-round heroics, in the Girls 17-18 Division, Millie Terrion started the final round two-strokes behind first-round leader Cheyenne Hansen and would go on to win by four with a final-round (-1) 71.
“I definitely figured out the greens a lot more today,” Terrion said. “I played last year in the Promontory event so it’s good to qualify again. I’m looking forward to it.”
Not only did Terrion come from behind to win her age division, she also won the Girls Majors Points division by one stroke.
It was Ashley Lam and Ellie DeMond who led the girls after round one with 74s but it would be Lam who would win the Girl’s 15-16 division with a final round 76.
“It means a lot to win since I’ve been playing a lot this week,” Lam said.
And to round out the Girl’s divisions was St. George resident Kate Walker that won the Girls 13-14 Division with rounds of (+12) 76-80, winning by 27 strokes.
“My putting and chipping were very good,” Walker said. “The win shows that I’ve worked hard.”
That’s a wrap for the first Utah PGA Junior Series Major of the season. With qualifying spots starting to fill in for the season-ending Promontory Major Championship, we look on to the Davis Valley View PGA Junior Major on Jun 30 – July 1.
A big thank you to PGA Head Pro Darci Olsen and the entire Glenmoor staff for hosting our championship with excellent tournament conditions and hospitality.
Davis County Director of Golf and Utah PGA Honorary President Dustin Volk won the 2021 Utah Section PGA Match Play Championship at Hubbard Golf Course at Hill Air Force Base on May 26th, earning a career “Hat Trick” winning it for the third time.
Volk may have had the most challenging road to victory within this year’s bracket, facing Chris Moody, Tommy Sharp and Zach Johnson his last three matches. From 2012 to 2019, the Utah PGA Player of the Year consisted of those three PGA Professionals. Volk won the honor in 2011.
“I kind of got a little emotional, to be honest,” Volk said. “I’m grateful for my friends I compete against – Zach in particular, we had a good hug on our last hole. Just grateful for relationships and friendships.
“I was just trying to have fun. To be honest, the first couple matches I was tinkering with my swing and trying to find something. I made the turn with Moody and quit trying to tinker and just started to play. It freed me up.”
With a “what do I have to lose?” attitude, Volk found momentum that would carry him through three heavy-weight matches until he was holding the trophy at the end.
With a 2&1 victory against Moody, Volk found himself four-down after five holes in the semifinal match with Sharp. “I was a little down in the dumps but with that mindset, I got back in the match. I don’t have anything to lose, that’s how I’m looking at playing now.”
Volk won the semifinal match one-up against Sharp.
“I was pretty happy how I held it together being four down after five and winning the match, that was my best of the week. I won a couple holes, he clearly gave me a couple, but you take what you get and have a good attitude.”
Playing against a friend and co-worker in Zach Johnson in the championship match, Volk describes as “Awkwardly good.”
“We’re buddies and we work together. We played the match in 2 hours 20 minutes. Neither of us were playing awesome, we weren’t 9-under par, but it got to a point where I’m a couple up and we’re going into our 14th hole and he hit it out of bounds, which isn’t hard to do there. That got me three-up with four to go. It was just true match play, I just didn’t make any huge mistakes.”
Volk won on their 17th hole 2&1.
“It means a lot,” he said about winning. “With all the changes and the tense times, it means a lot. Hopefully winning will breed the desire to play more.
“It was fun to have some of those nerves in all of those matches. I could feel the pressure that I hadn’t felt for a few years.” Volk previously won the Utah PGA Match Play Championship in 2006 and 2010.
Every golfer dreams of playing in golf’s Majors, even PGA Professionals. For Eagle Lake Golf Course Director of Instruction Joe Summerhays, he’s been there before and heading in comfortable and confident his second time around.
Summerhays finished T8 in the PGA Professional Championship this week to earn his spot in the PGA Championship at the Kiawah Island Ocean Course May 20-23. He competed in the 2016 PGA Championship at Baltursrol, the year his cousin Daniel Summerhays finished third.
“It is very satisfying,” Joe said of qualifying again. “One of the things that I’ve learned over the years is to enjoy the good times in your golf career because there are a lot of down times as well. To qualify for the PGA this year is one of those good times. I will enjoy the experience for sure.”
Summerhays needed par on the 18th hole of the PGA Professional Championship to qualify without playing in a playoff. His drive found tree trouble, but with a gap in the trees and a precise iron shot, he hit the green and two putted his way in.
In between his first Major appearance and his next, he’s won several Utah Section events, including 2020’s Utah Section Championship, earning the Utah PGA Omega Player of the Year award.
“I hope to enjoy the experience this time around, be comfortable, confident and treat this tournament as an opportunity that doesn’t come around often,” he said. “Golf wise, I hope to treat it just like any other tournament I play in. A good shot in golf requires a good mental state. I hope to continue to do the things I’ve been doing, as far as my routine, so I can play the best I can – one shot at a time.”
Summerhays will be the 10th Utah Section PGA Professional in the last eight years to compete in the PGA Championship.
The Utah Section PGA will be well represented with nine Section members competing in the 2021 PGA Professional Championship on April 25-28 in Port St. Lucie, Florida at PGA Golf Club.
After a year off from the annual PGA Professional Championship, PGA Professionals around the country will once again have the chance to compete on a national stage and a shot to qualify for the PGA Championship, which will be played at Kiawah Island Golf Resort’s Ocean Course May 20-23.
Among the qualified Section pros competing in Florida is 2020 Utah PGA Omega Player of the Year Joe Summerhays.
“My game is in good shape,” said Summerhays. “There are several things I like about the PPC. Usually the courses are fun to play and the overall feel of the event. It feels like a big event.”
The top 20 finishers will move on to Kiawah to play in the PGA Championship with the best golfers in the world.
Each round of the 53rd PGA Professional Championship will be broadcasted on the Golf Channel.
Best of luck to:
Matt Baird Jeff Brehaut Craig Hocknull Zach Johnson Chris Moody Aaron Purviance Steve Schneiter Pete Stone Bruce Summerhays Joe Summerhays