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.
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.
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.
PGA of America Life Member Robert Rudd finished at 151 to win the Legend Division.
Story By Kurt Kragthorpe for the Salt Lake Tribune
Organizers of the PGA Tour’s Wyndham Championship could have created a much more dramatic finish Sunday in the Siegfried & Jensen Utah Open if they had awarded former BYU star Peter Kuest a sponsor exemption as a rookie pro.
Kuest instead returned to Riverside Country Club and turned the Utah Open into a runaway on the Cougars’ home course, claiming the $15,000 first prize. As the final round unfolded, the only question became whether Kuest could challenge former BYU teammate Patrick Fishburn’s tournament-record score — not that he was aware of Fishburn’s 26-under-par total for three rounds, prior to the post-round interview.
“It would have been sweet to get the record,” Kuest said, “but a win’s good enough.”
Especially when the margin of victory is seven strokes, comparable to Fishburn’s nine-shot win a couple of weeks before starting his senior year in 2017. Kuest finished at 23 under, making three birdies and a bogey on the back nine after having given himself a shot at the 54-hole record with four birdies on the front side.
Kuest labeled the final round “a grind … but a lot of fun,” having posted a 66 to follow his 63-64 start. Kavan Eubank, a recent Texas A&M graduate who’s now a Boise State assistant golf coach, closed with a 65. Eubank took second and Colorado pro Zahkai Brown, a frequent high finisher in the Utah Open, tied for third during what became a disappointing day for some Utah club professionals.
Riverside Teaching Pro Matt Baird played in the final group and faded to a tie for seventh place overall (worth $4,233), although he earned a $1,500 bonus as the low member of the Utah Section PGA. Glenwild Golf Club Director of Instruction Craig Hocknull rallied to shoot a 75, after starting the day in a tie for third and going 7 over on the front nine.
The amateurs provided most of Sunday’s intrigue. BYU golfer Kelton Hirsch shot a 14-under total for the second straight year and again lost a playoff. In this case, he was contending for low amateur honors. St. George’s Hayden Christensen topped him with a par on the first playoff hole, after matching Sunday’s low score of 65.
Christensen, who plans to turn pro after the State Amateur in early September, started the round 10 strokes out of the lead and briefly allowed himself to wonder about catching Kuest. That thinking was almost justified, considering Christensen chipped in for an eagle on the par-5 No. 5 and played the first seven holes in 7 under. That’s where he finished. Yet even after not fully capitalizing on his spectacular possibilities, he was hardly unhappy afterward, “because I’ve never been in that position before,” he said.
Kuest’s closing 66 was not entirely satisfying, as he needed two shots to escape a greenside bunker on the par-3 No. 17 and made a bogey. He liked the way he started the round and separated himself from any potential challengers, though. And even amid his big-time ambitions in pro golf, $15,000 seems like a lot of money, at the moment. In five PGA Tour starts this summer, he earned only $7,525.
Asked what the return to Riverside did for his career, Kuest smiled and said, “It got me a little more money in my bank account, for sure. It just verified what I’ve been doing and that my hard work’s starting to pay off a little bit more, and that I can really compete and take it low.”
The Californian is targeting more sponsor exemptions in September and October, as the Tour’s 2020-21 schedule begins. The 2017 West Coast Conference Championship at Riverside was the first of Kuest’s 10 wins as a collegian. He would love to have the Utah Open become the start of big things to come in pro golf.
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.
BYU golfer Kerstin Fotu wasn’t able to successfully defend her 2019 Utah Women’s State Amateur title last month, losing in the semifinals to eventual champion Grace Summerhays at Soldier Hollow Golf Club in Midway.
Seemingly unfazed, Fotu jumped out to the lead on Monday in the fourth annual Siegfried & Jensen Utah Women’s Open at Thanksgiving Point Golf Club. Fotu, a Lone Peak High product who will be a sophomore at BYU this fall, fired a 2-under-par 70 and leads fellow amateur Tess Blair by a stroke heading into Tuesday’s final round.
Blair, a Bingham High product who was the Big Sky Conference Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year at Sacramento State last season, is at 71. She’s followed by professionals Lea Garner and Sadie Palmer, and amateurs Lila Galea’i and Ali Mulhall at 72.
Garner, the two-time winner of the event, is a former BYU and Bonneville High golfer who plays mini-tour events throughout the West.
University of San Francisco golfer Annika Borrelli, the 2019 champion, is not entered this year.
Five golfers shot 1-over-par 73 and are tied for seventh. That group is made up of Salt Lake City pro Haley Sturgeon, Ogden pro Xena Motes, BYU golfer Naomi Soifua, Las Vegas amateur Veronica Joels and Orem amateur Kiselya Plewe, a Weber State standout.
Fotu, from Highland, made a bogey on her first hole but birdied hole Nos. 5 and 7 to gain some momentum. She bogeyed No. 9, then got back under par with a birdie on No. 14 and finished with a birdie on the difficult par-3 17th hole to take the first-round lead.
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.
The Utah PGA Junior Series Qualifier Major season is complete with the 36-hole Utah County Rumble Major at The Oaks at Spanish Fork on July 13-14, finalizing the field for the season-ending Promontory Major Championship.
Tyson Shelley, Boys Major points leader, continued his successful 2020 summer season with rounds of (-11) 67-66 for a five-stroke win over second-place finisher Jack Sargent.
With his second Utah PGA Jr. Series Major victory, the first at the Glemoor Major, he holds a 105-point lead going into the Promontory Major Championship. The winner of the Boys Major points race gets an exemption into the 2020 Siegfried & Jensen Utah Open. The winner of the Promontory Championship on July 27th will also receive an exemption.
“Off the tee was working really well today,” Shelley said. “This course is really tight so you have to be straight down the middle. You get a lot of wedges too, I think my wedge game was really on these last two days.
“I think the most memorable hole today was on hole 16, I sliced my three iron into the hazard. I had to punch out and I put a seven iron to 20 feet and made it for par.”
Shelley will be a senior at Skyline High School this upcoming season and is verbally committed to play for Brigham Young University.
Winning a tournament is hard as it is, throw in competing with your sister in the final pairing of the final round and you have the situation Victoria and Savannah Romney found themselves in at The Oaks.
Victoria won the Girls 17-18 division by a mere stroke over Savannah, finishing (+13) 76-86. Savannah shot 78-85 and Rachel Stewart finished in third at (+21) 87-94.
“I’m glad I was able to get the win today,” Victoria said.
“It was fun to play together,” she said of competing against her sister. “Though it’s always hard when one of us comes through and wins.”
Victoria relied on her driver today and has her sights on winning the Promontory Championship in two short weeks.
Noah Taylor of the Boys 15-16 division started the final round seven-strokes behind first-round leader Jacob Gold, but with a steady (+2) 73-73 tournament, he came out on top and earned a spot into the final major.
“I was putting well today, just solid overall,” Taylor said. “I’ve heard that Promontory is a cool place so I’m excited to get to play.”
It took a sudden-death playoff between Cheyenne Hansen and Jacklyn Gonzalez to decide the Girls 15-16 division as they both finished 9-over for the tournament.
It was a par on the par-five 10th hole that sealed the deal for Hansen to come through with her first Utah PGA Jr. Series Major victory.
“I was so nervous,” Hansen said about the playoff. “I was pretty confident though.
“It was mostly my wedges that helped me today, and I made a couple extra putts.”
Cooper Nelson relied on a little home course advantage and birdies on his final two holes to win the Boys 13-14 division by two strokes over JJ Tomsick.
Nelson shot (+9) 76-77, Tomsick shot (+11) 80-75 to finish runner up and Kauner Kay and Max Landon tied for third place at 12-over.
“I made some really clutch putts at the end to get the win,” Nelson said. “I’m hoping to carry this on to future events.”
Ashley Lam stole the show in the girls 13-14 division with a (+9) 74-81 win.
On a harder second day, it was her will to “just to keep playing and not give up” that kept her going.
Common with the other champions, her driver made the difference for her to come away with the victory.
Katelin Bingham (+22) finished runner up and Isabell Salas (+24) finished third.
The Oaks at Spanish Fork provided an excellent test for the Utah County Rumble and we owe a big thank you to Head Pro Ryan Rhees and his staff for hosting us.
The 36-hole Davis Valley View Major, the second of four
Major tournaments in the Utah PGA Junior Series summer season, produced a shot
at 59, a birthday celebration and several exemptions into the season-ending
Promontory Major Championship.
Boys 17-18 Division
It was U.S. Junior Amateur champion and two-time Utah State Amateur champion Preston Summerhays who stole the show in the first round at Davis Park Golf Course on July 8th with five birdies on the front nine and two eagles and a birdie on the back for a (-10) 61.
If that wasn’t enough of a story for day one, Preston drove
the 18th green and had a lengthy putt for a 59, his second chance at
that number in competition.
“You can go out and want to be aggressive and shoot low but
still, 59s are so hard to do,” Preston said. “But it got in my head once I eagled
13 at Davis to get to nine under. I just needed to birdie three of the last
“I had a round maybe a month ago at Lakeside, I think I was
eight-under through 12 and then it got too dark so we couldn’t finish. Besides that,
just the round at Soldier Hollow at the U.S. Am Qualifier where I shot 60.”
Though a rare three putt on the 18th prevented a
historic number, he held a four-stroke lead over Glenmoor Major champion Tyson
Shelley and Parker Reese going into the final round.
It was Shelley in the final round on July 9th at Valley View Golf Course that made a charge with a 31 on the front nine, including an eagle on the par-four sixth hole. He had caught Summerhays through the 13th hole then had a chance on 18 to force a playoff, but his six-foot birdie putt slid by.
Preston won the Boys 17-18 division with a tournament total
(-14) 61-68. Shelley finished second at 13-under with a pair of 65s and Parker
Reese finished third at (-4) 65-74.
Girls 17-18 Division
Though Preston may have stolen the show with a first-round 61, Grace Summerhays, who celebrated her 16th birthday with her first Utah PGA Junior Series Major victory, finished tied with her elder brother at 14-under to win the Girls 17-18 division.
Grace held the early lead with an (-8) 63 at Davis Park, four-strokes
clear of Girl’s Utah PGA Junior Champion Lila Galea’i at (-4) 67.
Grace continued her strong play with a (-6) 66 at Valley View to finish at 14-under and win her first Utah PGA Junior Series Major. Galea’i finished runner up at (-7) 67-69 and Glenmoor Major winner Claire Whisenant, who leads the girl’s Major Point List, finished third at (-4) 71-68.
“It was nice to shoot well today,” Grace said. “Yesterday I hit
it okay and made a ton of putts and today I hit it really close, especially on
the front nine; I hit it within three feet, three holes in a row. The putter
didn’t really have to go off on the front nine… but I was consistent and didn’t
really make any bogeys.”
Boys 15-16 Division
Jackson Shelley, the 13-year old younger brother of Tyson, decided to play up an age division and for good reason.
With a first round 68 at Davis he held a two-stroke lead
over Tanner Telford and kept his momentum going into the final round with a
(-1) 71 to finish four-under overall and win the Boys 15-16 division by two
“It feels good to get the win,” he said. “I was hitting my
driver well and I was putting good.”
In the Glenmoor Major, Jackson missed out on an exemption
into the Promontory Major by one stroke, finishing sixth, but with a win, he’s
not only in the field at Promontory but will more than likely be in the hunt as
Girls 15-16 Division
Henderson Nevada’s Ali Mulhall, who is a frequent competitor in the Utah PGA Junior Series summer season, was two-strokes behind first-round leader Millie Terrion with a (-2) 69 at Davis and proceeded to shoot another 69 at Valley View to win the Girls 15-16 division at five-under.
Arden Louchheim finished runner up at (-3) 70-70 and Terrion
finished third at one-under total.
“My putting was good today,” Mulhall said. “I made a lot of
good putts. It was fun playing with Millie and Arden.”
Rounding out the Boys divisions was Kihei Akina, the Boys 13-14 division champion by one stroke over Sean Lampropoulos.
After round one Akina was tied at the top with Elliot Bond
with matching 68s. Valley View proved to be a tougher test as Akina finished the
event with a final-round 74, just enough for the win and a spot into
“I love that course,” he said about Promontory. “I played it
last year and it was really fun.”
Girls 13-14 Division
Aadyn Long punched her ticket into the season-ending championship with a win in the Girls 13-14 division. With a steady (+4) 73-74, she finished 12-strokes clear of second place.
“My driver was the best part. I barely missed the fairway,” she
“It’s a cool course and I’m excited to go play it,” she said
of Promontory. “I’m excited to go see it again and go play.”
The final qualifying major will be the Utah County Rumble
played July 13-14 at The Oaks at Spanish Fork and the Promontory Major
Championship will follow on July 27th.
We owe a big thank you to Davis Park Head Professional Brad
Stone and Valley View Head Professional and Utah Section PGA President Dustin
Volk for providing their golf courses to the Utah PGA Junior Series and all the
support they provide to junior golf in the state.
The annual 36-hole Utah Junior PGA Championship, played at
Soldier Hollow Golf Course in Midway June 15-16, is usually a qualifier to the
national Boys Junior PGA Championship and Girls Junior PGA Championship, but
with the 2020 event cancelled, the Utah Section PGA adjusted the qualifier to one
exemption into the 2020 Utah Open for the Boys 16-18 division and one exemption
into the Utah Women’s Open for the Girls 16-18 division.
Simon Kwon took command in the final round with a (-4) 68 round on a morning that saw 30-40 mph wind gusts. His four-under round was the low of the day, four-strokes better than first-round leader Tyson Shelley’s even-par round.
Kwon finished the event (-7) 69-68 for a two-stroke victory
over Shelley to earn an exemption into the Utah Open played in August at Riverside
Country Club in Provo.
“It’s going to be awesome to be able to play there and
compete,” Kwon said of his Utah Open entry. “This will be my first time, it was
definitely a goal to qualify for some tournaments like this.
“I just didn’t really put myself in bad spots today,” he
said of his final round. “I really didn’t have to worry too much about making a
putt for par, I just made sure I was on the green and didn’t leave myself more
than a tap-in for par.”
Kwon will be a senior in high school next year and with the
majority of national junior events cancelled in 2020, he has his sight set on
the Utah Open and Utah State Amateur.
Shelley finished runner up with rounds of (-5) 67-72 and
Boston Bracken finished third at (-3) 68-73.
Lila Galea’i shot a (-1) 71 in the first round to take the early lead and she never gave it up with a final-round (-2) 70 – which earned her an exemption into the 2020 Utah Women’s Open at Thanksgiving Point in August.
Her three-under total provided a five-stroke victory over
second-place finishers Berlin Long and Sunbin Seo, who both shot matching 75-71
scores of two-over.
“Feels good to get an exemption in the Utah Women’s Open,”
Galea’i said. “Soldier Hollow is always a tough course to play but the way I played
today I think it was good. I’m excited to have an exemption and to play.”
Galea’i considers Thanksgiving Point her home course and is
feeling comfortable going into the Utah Women’s Open.
“It definitely gives me home course advantage playing at
Thanksgiving Point. I know the course like the back of my hand. I just need to
make sure I play the best that I can and I think I’ll be good.”
In the Girls 13-15 division there was a three-way tie after round one between Aadyn Long, Katelin Bingham and Patiola Uluave, all coming in at 81.
In the final round, it was Long who stole the show with a
final round 77, finishing at 14-over for the event and a five-stroke victory.
Bingham finished second while Uluave took third place.
Zak Richins of the Boys 13-15 division held the first-round lead at even par and never looked back, winning the event with a final round (-1) 71, finishing three strokes ahead of Dustin Miller and Gavin Dosch at two-over.
Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s Utah
Junior PGA Championship and a big thank you to Soldier Hollow Head Professional
Chris Newson and his staff for hosting our championship yet again.
This year will be remembered for more reasons than one, the
Utah Section PGA hopes that one of those reasons was the opportunity to receive
some closure on the 2020 high school golf season as classifications 1A, 2A, 3A
and 4A were able to compete in the Spring Individual Championship at Rose Park
Golf Course on June 4th.
Annabelle Millard of Dixie High School, who will graduate in 2022, stole the show for the day and for the 4A classification with a round of (-4) 70, the low round of the event.
“Everything really fell in place, my mental game was really
strong,” Millard said about her round.
“I was really excited when I found out about this event. I just
feel like it gave a little bit of closure, especially to seniors, who wouldn’t have
had state otherwise.”
Millard had six birdies on the day and had a three-hole
stretch of birdies on holes seven, eight and nine.
As for the future, Millard added, “I definitely want to play
college golf wherever I can and hopefully continue to win state tournaments.”
Ellie DeMond of 3A Morgan High School picked the perfect moment to shoot her career-low round.
The Morgan freshman shot a (+1) 75 to win the 3A Girls
Individual Championship. Richfield High School’s Ellie Hair finished runner-up
with a (+3) 77.
“My chipping helped me a lot today,” DeMond said.
The second-lowest score on the day came from Rowland Hall freshman Arden Louchheim who shot a (-1) 73 to win the 2A Individual Championship.
“I kept my drives generally in play… it was nice to have
shorter wedges in,” Lochheim said.
“Golf has been one of my only constants throughout all of
this because we’ve been able to play socially distanced. It was great to get
out and play. I was hoping to win state with my team, but it was definitely
cool to win individualy.
“I wanted to thank the Utah PGA for putting on this awesome
tournament, Rowland Hall and my coach Clay Ogden.”
Rich High School junior McKina Stacey won the 1A Girls Individual Championship with a (+21) 95, two strokes better than her sophomore teammate Natalee Parry, who finished runner-up.
“My main goal was just to relax and focus on my game, rather
than other people, and just play my game.
“I was so pumped,” Stacey said of her reaction when she learned
of the event. “I was a little out of practice, but I was so excited.”
Rounding out the event was the Boys 1A Individual Championship, won by Manila High School junior Brody Schofield, who shot (+4) 76.
Schofield decided he wanted to be a golfer after watching
the 2015 Masters tournament. The nearest golf course is an hour drive from his
“I was so pumped,” Schofield said about learning of the
event. “The reason everyone wants this is because we love competition. When you
can compete, it gives you something to work for.
“The closest course to me is an hour away in Green River,
Wyoming. I hit in a cow pasture quite a bit, that’s where I really get a lot of
my practice done and then in my backyard chipping and putting.”
The Utah Section is in a fortunate position to be able to
provide an individual championship to the spring classifications in a year that
isn’t quite going as planned.