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Jake Hanley: 2020 Utah PGA Professional of the Year

By Kurt Kragthorpe

A certain degree of destiny must have been in play in Park City, where Jake Hanley grew up in a house formerly owned by Doug Vilven, the Utah Section PGA’s first Professional of the Year award winner in 1986.

Hanley is now the award’s 35th recipient, recognizing his work as Jeremy Ranch Golf & Country Club’s head professional.

He’s been a Jeremy Ranch fixture since 1996, having learned of a job opening that enabled him to follow through on his start in the golf industry. He rode his bicycle to Park Meadows Country Club to pick up range balls and clean carts in his high school days.

At Jeremy Ranch, he eagerly learned from former Pro Tom Costello. “To say that Tom Costello was my mentor would be an understatement,” Hanley said. “Cos gave me the opportunity to grow as a golf professional and as a person.”

Hanley can trace his development in the profession to specific strengths of other key influences. He learned about tournament operations from Carl Sarahs, merchandising from Marty Bauer, work ethic from Scott Flick and business relationships from Phil Deimling, a manufacturer’s representative.

Hanley was named the Section’s Assistant Professional of the Year in 2008 and the Merchandiser of the Year-Private in 2016.

In addition to this year’s recognition from his PGA peers, Hanley received appreciation from the Utah Golf Association in 2020 when Jeremy Ranch hosted the State Amateur.

“I cherish being a PGA Professional,” Hanley said, “and I thank everyone who has been on this ride with me. I look forward to growing professionally and being a part of golf in Utah for many years to come.”

3 End story photo Wyatt Petersen

AJGA Names 2020 Scholastic Junior All-Americans – Park City Senior, Wyatt Petersen, Selected to the National Honors List.

By Randy Dodson

The American Junior Golf Association announced on November 17 its annual list of AJGA Scholastic Junior All-Americans, the 2020 list recognizes the achievements of top junior golfers who also demonstrated excellence in academics.

Making the list from Park City, Utah is Wyatt Petersen a senior at Park City High School with a GPA of 4.780 and ACT score of 34. Petersen played three 2020 AJGA tournaments with two top 20 finishes including a T9 at the Sung Hyun Park Junior Championship.

“For me, being selected to the AJGA Scholastic All-American list is a recognition of lots of hard work. I’ve put in hours and hours of work into my golf game and in the classroom, and it’s extremely rewarding to have that recognized, especially on a national level,” Petersen said.  “It’s a select group of guys, and I’m proud to be a part of it. I worked very hard to achieve this, but would not be where I am without a lot of people around me, especially my parents and swing coach Clay Ogden. Golf is an individual sport, but it takes a team of support around you to have success.”

Petersen in the 2020 5A High School State Championship first round at Soldier Hollow.

Petersen played in 12 Utah Junior Golf Association events in 2020 with six top 5 finishes including three 3rd place finishes at the Fairways Preview/FCG International Qualifier, the Spring Opener/Utah State Amateur Qualifier and the Utah State Junior Amateur.

Petersen gave credit to Utah’s allied golf associations for the ability to compete at a high level in 2020. “My senior year of golf was a lot of fun. Despite the COVID pandemic, I still was able to play tournament golf from the spring through the fall, thanks to a lot of work from organizations like UJGA, AJGA and the Utah PGA. It was a great learning experience this year, as it was the first time I was really able to perform well in national events. I also had my best season in UJGA, and continued that success into high school, having lots of fun with my Park City teammates, finishing in second both as a team and individually at the 5A State Championship.”

Petersen, who has verbally committed to Colgate University, is the 2020 Region 8 medalist with a 70.1 scoring average. Park City finished first in the Region 8 final team standings. At the State Championship, Petersen shot consecutive rounds of 66-66 – 132 on Soldier Hollow’s Silver Course Oct 5-6, 2020 to claim the second spot on the Utah High School Activities Association record book for individual low 36-hole scores. Skyline High’s Tyson Shelley holds the top spot at 128, also recorded at the 2020 State Championship at Soldier Hollow GC. Park City finished second to Skyline in the State Championship this year.

Petersen in the final round of the 5A State Championship, en-route to a second-consecutive 66.

“I will be playing for Colgate University in New York in 2021 and hope to continue to have success on the course and in the classroom. I am not sure what I will be majoring in yet, but am considering mathematics, economics, or business,” Petersen said.

Former AJGA Scholastic Junior All-Americans from Utah that have gone on to successful amateur and professional golf careers include Boyd Summerhays in 1994. Boyd, was once the top-ranked junior in the country. He played college golf at Oklahoma State, and was a PGA Tour member from 2004-06. Summerhays is the swing coach for PGA Tour star Tony Finau, Scott Harrington and Wyndham Clark.

Looking back at his time playing AJGA events Summerhays said, “My parents always made sure that as I was focusing on my golf and goal of being a professional golfer, that I took learning and school work seriously. More so now as an adult, I look back and take a lot of pride in being a Scholastic All-American.”

For more information on the boys and girls 2020 AJGA Scholastic Junior All-Americans selections please visit: https://tinyurl.com/yxavze96

Photos: Utah Section PGA/Jesse Dodson

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Marty Bauer and Craig Hocknull win Utah PGA Pro-Assistants Championship

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.

Click HERE for full results.

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Summerhays Wins Southern Utah Open

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.

Click HERE for full results.

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Owen Wins Senior Match Play Championship

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.

Click HERE for the match play bracket.

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Moody & Owen Win 2020 Utah PGA Four-Ball Championship

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!”

For the 2020 Utah PGA Four-Ball Championship bracket, CLICK HERE.

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Dehlin-Hirsch Wins Women’s Match Play Championship

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.

Women’s Match Play Championship photos HERE.

Women’s Match Play Championship Bracket

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Casey Fowles Wins 2020 Utah PGA Match Play Championship

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.

Match Play Championship Bracket:

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Weber State’s Morgan Bentley Wins Inaugural Wolf Creek Invitational

By Randy Dodson, Fairways Media

Taitum Beck, a match play qualifier at this year’s Utah Women’s State Amateur and the champion of this year’s Wisconsin Women’s State Amateur has worked in the golf shop at Wolf Creek Resort for a few years while attending Weber State University.

Taitum Beck

As a junior on the Wildcat’s women’s golf team she has played the resort course near Eden, Utah many times. On Sept. 21 she shot a career low at the course she now calls home, a 1-over 73. Unfortunately, it was just the opening round of the inaugural Wolf Creek Invitational.

With two solid rounds of (+3) 75-72 – 147 Morgan Bentley, a junior teammate of Beck’s, won the 36-hole event. The Tacoma, Washington native said she, “…just played really solid golf.” Her final round included two birdies against two bogeys.

“I just tried to give it my all for each shot,” said Bentley. “I wanted to put a good stroke on every putt and just trust my game. I didn’t know how I would feel, this season has been so different. It was great to compete again, I really missed it.”

Beck took a two-stroke lead into the final round but admitted to getting caught up in looking ahead and worrying about results. A final round 80 left her in second place.

“I had too many mental mistakes and let my nerves get the best of me today. I was too worried about the results instead of the shot at hand,” Beck said.

The Wisconsin native said, “It was so much fun to be able to play Wolf Creek in a different setting. I love the course and the challenges that it presents.”

Wolf Creek Resort Head PGA Professional Bruce Summerhays, Jr. and staff with support from the Utah Section PGA put the individual stroke play invitational together providing competition for collegiate golfers whose season was cancelled or postponed earlier this year due to global pandemic concerns. There was no team competition during this event. Full results of the Wolf Creek Invitational are AVAILABLE HERE.

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Summerhays Wins Section Championship

By Mike Sorensen, Deseret News

Joe Summerhays said it was all about patience.

The two previous years he had battled Zach Johnson on the final day of the Utah Section PGA Championship only to come up empty and finish second.

At this year’s September tourney, he went into the final day, trailing the two-time champion by a couple of shots and he was still trailing with four holes left, while playing what he called “some of the worst golf all year.”

But the 49-year-old northern Utah teaching pro didn’t get rattled.

“I was patient and stayed in there,” he said.

Summerhays made birdies at holes 6 and 7 (the 15th and 16th of the day), while Johnson bogeyed both holes to turn a two-stroke deficit into a two-shot lead, which he held onto for his first-ever Utah Section PGA Professional Championship victory. Summerhays finished at 141, while Johnson tied for second with Chris Moody and Pete Stone at 143.

“When you’re playing well, you can be more patient because you know you’re going to start hitting some good shots again,” he said. “I’ve done that this year where I’ve started off bad, but I’ve been patient and been able to bring it back. My patience was my key to the win.” 

As happy as he was with the victory, Summerhays was more thrilled for his younger brother, Bruce, who finished in a tie for sixth, qualifying for next spring’s National PGA Professional Championship.

Wolf Creek Resort Head Professional Bruce Summerhays.
Photo: Randy Dodson, Fairways Media

Bruce hasn’t had the success of others in the Summerhays family, but Joe knows what a good player he is and that he doesn’t get the attention he deserves. Joe played with his brother in the final round and became emotional on the final hole when he realized he would qualify for the national club pro event for the first time.

“I wasn’t feeling anything for me, I was just so proud of him,” Joe said. “I’m way more excited for him, he deserves it. We come from a family of really good golfers, but he doesn’t get the credit. He can really play and it was fun to see it. He played really well.” Besides the two Summerhays brothers, Johnson, Stone and Moody, Aaron Purviance and Matt Baird, also qualified for next spring’s PGA Professional Championship.

The Summerhays brothers paired together in the final round.
Photo: Randy Dodson, Fairways Media

Below paragraphs added by Jesse Dodson.

Bloomington Country Club Director of Golf Scott Brandt took both the Senior and Super Senior divisions with a final total of 140, seven shots clear of the runner up finishers.

Scott Brandt waiting to tee off at Toana Vista Golf Course in Wendover.
Photo: Randy Dodson, Fairways Media

PGA of America Life Member Robert Rudd finished at 151 to win the Legend Division.

Full Results HERE.