Kelsey Chugg

Goes the Distance

by Mike Sorensen

VOLUME 26

ISSUE 3

AUGUST 2017

Kendra Captures Utah Women's

Stoke Play Championship

From out of the Blue Hirsch

Captures State Am Win

by Jay Drew

by Kurt Kragthorpe

Brett Sampson Crowned

Utah Senior Amateur Champ

Moody Champ

at Provo Open

by Mike Sorensen

by Dick Harmon

September 2017 Issue

Official Monthly Digital Magazine

of the Utah Golf Association

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Cover Feature • August 2017 • By Mike Sorensen

Kelsey Chugg

Goes the Distance

Although she wouldn’t have believed it at the start of the week, Kelsey Chugg became the eighth woman to win the prestigious Utah Women’s State Amateur four times with a 2-up victory over Anna Kennedy in the finals at Davis Park Golf Course in early August.

The 26-year-old Chugg ran the gauntlet in her four matches with two going to extra holes and other two being decided on the final hole as she joined golf legends Terry Norman, Bev Nelson, Marcia Thayne, Marge Fillis, Mary Lou Baker, Helen Hoffman and Florence Halloran with at least four State Am titles.

“That’s pretty cool,” Chugg said about joining the other women who have won at least four titles. “Coming into this I wasn’t playing my best, and didn’t know what to expect. But I stayed patient and I’m proud of myself for that. It’s rewarding.”

She also said that this was probably the toughest of her four State Am victories because of the difficulty of every match. To get her fourth trophy to go along with wins in 2012, 2013 and 2015, Chugg had to defeat defending champion and co-medalist Kendra Dalton in the quarterfinals, former finalist and up-and-coming star Naomi Soifua in the semifinals, before beating Kennedy, a BYU sophomore from Colorado in the finals.

Chugg, who works as the membership director at the Utah Golf Association, acknowledged she hadn’t had a great summer coming into the Women’s Am and early on she didn’t play her best, as she finished six shots behind co-medalists Dalton and Annie Yang in the medal play. Then in her first match against Weber State golfer Kiselya Plewe, she barely survived, needing three extra holes to get the victory.

She wasn’t favored to beat Dalton, who after winning last year, had a good season competing for the BYU golf team and in late July captured the Utah Women’s Stroke Play Championship. Then Dalton tied for low medalist and blitzed her first-round opponent, Cristiana Ciasca, 8 and 6.

However, Chugg suddenly found her putting stroke against Dalton and took a quick 2-up lead with birdies on three of the first four holes. Chugg revealed that she had switched to a 10-finger baseball grip on her putting stroke the week before and that she stuck with it until the putts began to fall.

Both players made five birdies in the match and Chugg added an eagle at 10, which helped her to a 2 up lead after 13 holes. However, Dalton came back and won holes 14 with a birdie and 16 when Chugg had bunker trouble.

Then Dalton nearly won the match at 18 when she hit a spectacular drive at the 250-yard par-4 that just missed going in the hole for a rare double eagle. She had a chance to win, but her downhill, 8-foot breaking putt just slid by the hole, forcing extra holes.

Chugg took care of business on the first playoff hole, draining a 15-foot birdie putt, which she celebrated with a decisive fist pump. That capped a match that would have made a great final, but because of Chugg’s slow start earlier in the week, the brackets put them together for the quarterfinals.

In the Friday morning semifinal, Chugg faced a daunting task against the long-hitting Soifua, who had qualified for the Men’s State Amateur earlier in the summer and will be a freshman at BYU in the fall.

That match went back and forth until Chugg sank a 30-foot birdie putt at No. 17 to go 1-up, before sinking a 12-foot birdie putt at 18 to win the match. Chugg had defeated Soifua in the finals back in 2012 at Logan Country Club, when Soifua was just 13 years old.

Against the 20-year-old Kennedy, Chugg relied on her putter again. She rolled in key 18-footer from off the fringe to halve the second hole then went up for good with a par at 4 and added a birdie at 8.

She stretched her lead to 3 up at 13, but saw Kennedy make late rally with a birdie putt at 15 and a win at 17 when Chugg couldn’t get up and down from a bunker.

However, Chugg clinched her victory at 18 with a perfect drive just short of the green and all she needed was a par when Kennedy left herself a tough chip from the right side of the green and ended up with a bogey.

“She fought back and put the pressure on,” said Chugg. “It was pretty intense coming down the stretch.”

Kennedy was playing in her first Utah State Amateur and showed a lot of grit by making it all the way to the finals after not even being a regular for Cougars during the season. She finished fifth in medal play with rounds of 70 and 72 and had beaten former University of Montana golfer Tara Green 4 and 2 in the first round.

Then she defeated Utah Valley golfer Carly Dehlin 1 up in the quarterfinals, sinking a 10-foot birdie at 18. In the semifinals, she was matched up against her BYU teammate, Annie Yang, who will be a senior this year and Kennedy was able to break away for a 2 and 1 victory. However, she didn’t play quite as well in the final against Chugg.

“She got on top of me early and putted extremely well,” Kennedy said. “I hit a lot of good shots, but didn’t quite capitalize on a lot of putts that I needed to and that’s where the difference came in. But overall I loved the experience.”

BYU sort of dominated the tournament with four Cougar golfers among the final eight, but Chugg, who was a standout for Weber State, beat three of them in her final three matches.

“Smitty would have been proud,” said Chugg, referring to beloved Weber State golf coach Jeff Smith, who passed away last year.

Chugg may or may not be back for a possible State Am title No. 5 as she is contemplating playing in the LPGA Q School later this year.

 

Feature • August 2017 • by Jaw Drew

From out of the Blue

Hirsch Captures State Am Win

It came as no surprise to followers of the local golf scene that a BYU student-athlete would win the 119th Utah State Amateur championship.

After all, BYU seniors Patrick Fishburn and CJ Lee entered the longest continuously held tournament in the world as the top two favorites, Fishburn because he was the defending champion playing on his home course at Ogden Golf & Country Club and Lee because he had won the Salt Lake City Amateur and several other top tournaments in the spring and was the leader of the Utah Golf Association’s Player Performance Rankings.

Turns out, the surprise was that a BYU golfer not named Fishburn or Lee won the tournament.

That would be redshirt freshman Kelton Hirsch, who had returned from a church mission to Mexico City just 13 months before the 2017 State Am and had struggled to regain his form so much last fall that he couldn’t crack a very good starting lineup at BYU that won the West Coast Conference championship.

Hirsch, 21, stunned Fishburn in a semifinal showdown with one of the biggest clutch putts in State Am history — a 15-footer for birdie on the 18th hole — and then rolled past Utah State golfer Braydon Swapp 7 and 5 in the championship match.

“I don’t even know how to describe it,” said Hirsch after hoisting and kissing the large silver trophy that will soon include his name. “It was so much fun out there — a great week of golf, with a lot of great players out there. For me to come out on top was unlikely. Honestly, I thought I had a chance, but I knew it would take a lot of good golf, and luckily I was able to do that all this week.”

Many of the friends and family members who gathered at OG&CC to watch Hirsch claim the most prestigious prize in Utah amateur golf weren’t surprised, however. They described the 2014 graduate of Viewmont High as a hard-nosed, gritty, intense competitor, the type of guy you would never want to face in a pickup basketball game because he would never quit, never let up.

“His grit factor is off the charts,” said Scott Lieber, who coached Hirsch in high school and still plays golf with him at Oakridge Country Club. “He is not one of these entitled-golfer kids. He has always just been a normal young man with extraordinary drive and mental acuity for golf and sports in general.”

Hirsch played all kinds of sports growing up, then concentrated on golf and basketball at Viewmont. He won the 5A state individual golf title his senior season (2013) and was also a valuable member of the Vikings’ varsity basketball team, a lockdown defender and decent long-range shooter.

Shortly after returning from his mission, Hirsch shot a 74 at Oakridge. He figured the golfing skills and competitive grittiness that had earned him a spot on the BYU golf team before taking two years off had returned more quickly than he thought they would. Then Hirsch went into a slump, one that lasted seven or eight months. His ball-striking was still good, but he was inconsistent, by his own admission, and had trouble scoring.

But with the help of his BYU coaches and instructor Clay Ogden, who caddied for him against Fishburn and Swapp, Hirsch rediscovered his magical game the past few months and put it all on display in July. He became the third-straight BYU golfer to win the State Am, and fourth in five years, joining Fishburn (2016), Jordan Rodgers (2015) and Cole Ogden (2013), Clay’s younger brother. Hirsch became the 20th BYU product to win the State Am.

“Hopefully we can keep that rolling,” he said. “We have a great team at BYU, and we were able to recruit some great players. I don’t see why we can’t keep doing it.”

Swapp’s journey to the 36-hole final was almost as surprising, considering that the native of Farr West did not have a solid sophomore season at Utah State and could not make the Aggies’ traveling squad. Swapp, a Weber High product, was trying to become the first USU golfer to claim the State Am since Jason Wight in 1995 at Logan Country Club.

Swapp served notice that he would be a threat earlier in the week when he edged Fishburn for stroke-play medalist honors, but he ran out of gas against Hirsch after playing marvelously well the first five days of the tournament.

“Kelton just played a really good game today,” Swapp said after the final. “That first round of golf he played [Saturday morning] was about as good as I’ve seen out here, bogey-free. I think he shot 4-under. It was really, really good playing. That’s just tough to beat.”

Trailing by four holes after the first 18 holes, Swapp made a mild charge early in the afternoon, and trimmed a five-hole deficit to three with a birdie on the match’s 24th hole, the par-5 sixth at Ogden. But he three-putted the par-3 seventh to lose that hole, and was never the same.

 “I am proud of the way I played and in the way that I fought,” Swapp said.

 Up by four holes after the gift on No. 7, Hirsch won No. 8 with a birdie and No. 9 with a par and coasted from there.

 “When he missed that [short] putt on seven, I think that’s when the match swung,” Hirsch said. “That’s when I really had him beat, probably, just because he got a little down on himself and hit a few rough shots and I made some really good looks.”

 The match ended on the 31st hole — the short par-4 13th at Ogden — when Swapp conceded after Hirsch nearly holed his approach from 10 feet in front of the green.

 When did Hirsch start believing he could win the title?

 “As soon as I beat Fishburn on hole 18 [in Friday’s semifinals],” Hirsch said. “That was probably the moment were I was like, ‘all right, this could be my year.’ Before that, I wasn’t thinking ahead.”

 Hirsch said he got a text message from the defending champion he ousted later Friday night, congratulating him for the way he played and wishing him luck in the finals.

 “The last couple of months I have really made a turn,” Hirsch said. “I have been working really hard to compete. We have a great team up at BYU and I figured if I don’t start working harder, I am not going to have a chance to play. The last two months I have been playing great golf, hitting great shots, making a lot of putts. You can’t ask for much more.”

 Ten years from now, the 119th State Amateur will be remembered for the putt Hirsch made to dethrone Fishburn. Having stuck his tee shot about 15 feet below the hole at the par-3 18th at Ogden, Hirsch read it perfectly and seemingly knew it was going in the second it left his putter. He pumped his fist in delight and a few of his supporters let out a loud, but brief, cheer and large contingent of Fishburn fans looked on in silent disbelief.

 The tournament’s Goliath — literally and figuratively — was eliminated, as the long-hitting, 6-foot-4 defending champion saw his dream of repeating as State Amateur champ fall just short.

  “Holy cow, that was so much fun,” said Hirsch. “I had a lot of great looks today for birdie, and I missed a couple big ones, but it was really fun to make one right at the end when I needed it.”

 Hirsch said he had played against or with Fishburn a couple dozen times the past year, and had only shot a better score than his BYU teammate once. He chipped in for birdie on the 9th hole against Fishburn to take the lead. Fishburn won 13 and 15 to go up a hole, but missed the fairway and the green on No. 16 and lost the hole to square the match.

 On 17, Fishburn’s 30-footer for birdie missed by a hair, and then Hirsch hit the better tee shot on the 172-yard 18th hole, a rare finishing par-3. Fishburn’s tee shot stopped 30 feet below the hole, and his lag putt was a good 3 feet short.

 Hirsch said he aimed for the hole’s left edge and got it rolling on the right line, but only knew it was pure when it trickled into the cup.

 “I wasn’t going to say anything until it fell in,” he said. “I was ready to go [with the celebratory fist pump], but until it fell in I wasn’t going to do anything.”

 After all, he didn’t want to jinx it. That’s not how you take down Goliath — even if he is your college teammate.

 Earlier Friday, Hirsch had halted the dreams of another OG&CC-favorite, Ryan Sarlo. Hirsch ousted the former Weber State golfer and son of the club’s general manager, Craig Sarlo, 2 up in the morning to prevent a Sarlo-Fishburn party in the afternoon before handling Fishburn himself.

 “Not a lot of people thought I could win today, but I knew if I played my game that I would have a shot,” Hirsch said.

 In the other semifinal, Swapp eliminated Weber State golfer Kyler Dearden 2 and 1 in a well-played match that went back and forth to set up the 36-hole final between an Aggie and a Cougar.

  A classic BYU vs. Utah State showdown?

 “I am sure a lot of people do [see it that way], but I just see it as golf,” said Swapp, who knocked off West Bountiful’s Tanner Taft 2 and 1 in the quarterfinals Friday morning.

 Dearden had emerged as the sentimental favorite, of sorts, because of what he did the previous year at Alpine Country Club in a 2016 semifinal match, Dearden agreed to let Aaron Smith continue their match after Smith collapsed from heat-related exhaustion. Dearden easily could have taken the victory and moved on to face Fishburn in the finals.

 However, Smith returned the next morning and won the match before getting stomped by Fishburn at Alpine.

 “I’d do it again,” Dearden said a year later. “No regrets. I did the right thing.”

 Dearden got to the semifinals by ousting BYU’s Lee 1 up in a quarterfinal match that was decided on the 18th hole.

  In another thrilling extra-holes match, Boise State golfer Jacob Byers had Dearden “dormie” with two holes remaining in the Round of 32, but Dearden birdied the 17th and 18th holes to draw even then won it with another birdie on the 22nd hole.

 “It was a great match,” said Dearden. “It really just came down to who was going to make the last putt, and I happened to do it.”

  In a subtle change, UGA officials ended the practice of giving an automative berth into match play to the defending champion this year, but that hardly mattered as Fishburn fired a sizzling 9-under-par 63 on the Hubbard Golf Course at Hill Air Force Base in the first of two rounds of stroke-play qualifying. It appeared that Fishburn would cruise to medalist honors and the No. 1 seed, but Swapp had other ideas.

 The USU golfer added to the 67 he shot Monday at Ogden with a 66 at Hubbard and became the medalist because Fishburn struggled a bit in the second round at Ogden and shot a 71 at his home course, perhaps a harbinger of things to come.

 “I just hit some dumb shots,” said Fishburn.

  Hirsch and former Weber State golfer Colton Dallimore tied for third at 136 and St. George’s Christian Jensen — a finalist in 2013 — tied with Boston Watts for fifth at 137.

 Fifteen golfers shot 3-over par 145 and it appeared for a while that a playoff would be needed for the final 14 match-play berths. However, one of the 15 players, West Valley City’s Mike Bauman, did not return to the course and was disqualified.

 The other 14 players, who had started a playoff anyway, in case Bauman showed up, were in. That group included 2013 and 2014 champion Jon Wright and University of Utah golfer Mitchell Schow Jr.

 Provo’s Naomi Soifua became the second woman to play in the State Amateur, joining Annie Thurman-Young, but did not make the cut after finishing 11-over-par at the two courses.

 Hirsch started his march to the title by knocking off Ike Tingey 4 and 2 in a Round of 64 match on Wednesday. He throttled Salt Lake City’s Luke Morgan 4 and 3 in the Round of 32, then eliminated former BYU baseball star Glen Spencer, now a Salt Lake City fireman and Taylorsville High’s new baseball coach, 2 and 1 in the Round of 16.

 “I love competing,” Hirsch said, summarizing his week. “I played basketball growing up, and baseball, football, you name it. I just love competing, and I feel like when I get in that situation, I don’t really feel anything else. I just focus on playing. This is really going to help my confidence. Every good round you play, it helps with your confidence. To be able to play a good round on a big stage, when you need to, that definitely builds confidence.”

 

Feature • August 2017 • by Kurt Kragthorpe

Kendra Captures Utah Women's Stroke Play Championship

No one who watched Kendra Dalton twirl around in disappointment as she walked off the 18th green of Glenmoor Golf Course would have known she had just won the Utah Women's Stroke Play Championship.

That's fair, because Dalton didn't know, either.

She figured that a bogey on the par-5 finishing hole may have cost her an outright victory, and she was almost correct. The BYU senior from North Carolina had just enough cushion to claim a one-stroke win over UGA staff member Kelsey Chugg and Cougar teammate Rose Huang.

The win in South Jordan on July 20 set up Dalton's defense of her Women's State Amateur title in early August, after she planned to play in the Canadian Women's Amateur in Guelph, Ontario.

Her rounds of 70 and 74 were marked by poor finishes, but still good for an even-par total on the 6,070-yard course. Huang closed with a 73 and Chugg made a charge with a 68, as each birdied No. 18. The closing bogey for Dalton, who was playing with Huang in the final threesome, was sufficient.

Not realizing she had a three-stroke lead, Dalton went for the green in two and slightly mishit her hybrid shot, with the ball bouncing into the water that fronts the green on the right side. She dropped, pitched up and two-putted. Only later did she realize she had won after what her mother and caddie, Liane, labeled “a scary moment.”

But as Dalton said, “Sometimes you've just got to go for it, right?”

The champion made six birdies in the first round, but she double-bogeyed No. 17 and bogeyed No. 18. In the second round, she posted three birdies and five bogeys. She was proud to have birdied the par-5 No. 15 after consecutive bogeys, and also saved par from a bunker on No. 16.

“I did a lot of things really, really well,” Dalton said, “and a few things, I need to keep working on. But I think it was a very positive two days.”

Being paired with Huang created an interesting dynamic. “I have awesome teammates; they're fun and great competitors,” Dalton said. “That's the great thing about our team: On the golf course, we want to beat each other up, but we can walk away and still be great friends.”

Dalton and Huang have played major roles in the resurgence of the BYU women's golf program under coach Carrie Roberts. Dalton won San Jose State's Juli Inkster Spartan Invitational last September. In the spring season, she tied for second in three tournaments: the Meadow Club Intercollegiate in California, the BYU at Entrada Classic in St. George and the West Coast Conference Championships at Riverside Country Club in Provo.

Dalton has worked this summer on playing more quickly and worrying less about the technical aspects on her swing when she's on the course.

Huang made five birdies and six bogeys in posting her 1-over-par total for 36 holes. A bogey on the par-4 No. 17 ultimately kept her out of the playoff. Chugg had opened the tournament with a 77, even after birdieing the first two holes, but she came back with five birdies and one bogey in the second round.

Incoming BYU freshman Naomi Soifua (77-71) and Weber State's Kiselya Plewe (77-71) tied for fourth place and Alima Rogers (76-73) finished sixth. Plewe, playing with a 2 handicap, was awarded the net title.

Elizabeth Jones was the low senior, shooting 80-83.

In the second flight, Cora Mickelsen (81-75) and Lydia Austin (78-78) tied for first, with Austin (a 6-handicapper) earning net honors at 144. In the third flight, Joanne Kim (82-82) took gross honors and Karen Gardiner won the net title at 140..

 

Feature • August 2017 • by Mike Sorensen

Brett Sampson Crowned

Utah Senior Amateur Champ

Brett Sampson grew up in San Diego, played golf at Southern Utah University and for awhile made his living as a professional golfer. Like many golfers, he had dreams of making the big time and from 1989 to 2003, he traveled all over the world, mostly playing on the Asian Tour as well as mini-tours.

Then as he neared the age of 40, he decided it was time to settle down, so he moved to Payson, where he and his wife have raised five children, while he makes his living in the real estate business. He got his amateur status back and has made his mark on Utah golf, particularly on the senior circuit since he turned 50 four years ago.

While the long-hitting 54-year-old has won several senior tournaments, including low amateur at last summer’s Senior Open, Sampson had never won the Utah Senior State Amateur Championship, which until this year was known as the Senior Match Play Championship.

Then at the Glenwild Golf Club in early June, Sampson captured the Senior State Amateur by winning five matches including the 18-hole final against his friend Kirk Siddens.

“It feels really good to win this,” said Sampson, who had lost in the finals of the tournament in 2015.

The well-played match went back and forth and came down to the final hole with the two players tied. Both had hit good drives, but Siddens’ approach shot came up six inches short as it got plugged in the top of a bunker guarding the front of the green.

Knowing Siddens was in a tough position, Sampson played to the middle of the green, where he was able to get down in two for a par and the win, when Siddens couldn’t get out of the impossible lie on his first try.

“It was really tough, the toughest break I’ve ever had in a tournament,” Siddens said. “It was buried. I’ve had plenty of bad breaks in this game—everybody does -- but that was probably the worst I’ve ever had. There was no way to get it out. If it was six inches farther, it gets over the bunker, or 10 feet shorter and at least I have a shot.”

“I got fortunate on 18, he got a bad break,” said Sampson. “I was just aiming at the middle of the green and it worked out.”

Sampson began play in the 32-man bracket, which was also played at Jeremy Golf Club and Tuhaye Golf Club, as the No. 10 seed and barely got past his first two matches, disposing of Darren Kuhn 2 up and Scott Fairbanks 1 up. Then in the quarterfinals, he defeated John Johnston 2 and 1 before beating Randy Hicken 2 up in the semis.

On the other side of the bracket, Siddens had some tough opponents as he beat former State Am champ Steve Borget 3 and 2 and former Senior Match Play champ Steve Poulson 1 up. Then he knocked off No. 1 seed Nate Herzog 5 and 4 before beating Ron Davis 5 and 3 in the semifinals.

In the finals, Siddens won the first two holes of the match, only to have Sampson come back and win three straight holes. Sampson won No. 7 with an eagle and was 2 up at the turn. Siddens came back to tie the match with wins at the 10th and 12th hole and looked to be in shape to win 13 when his approach landed eight feet behind the hole. However, Sampson stuck his approach to within six inches and won the hole when Siddens putt unexpectedly broke to the right.

Then after Siddens won 14 with a par, he looked to be ready to square the match at 15 when he hit his second shot within three feet. However, Sampson rolled in a 30-foot downhill putt for a birdie before Siddens squared the match at 16, setting up the deciding 18th hole.

St. George’s Mike Hacker won the Super Senior Division for golfers 65 and older with a 2 up victory over Dave Fischer. The 66-year-old Hacker never trailed in the match, going up with a birdie at No. 2 and another at No. 5. He was still 2 up after 14, but Fischer won 15 and 16 to square the match. Hacker won 17 with a par and closed out the match on 18.

South Jordan’s Mark Monsen won the net title with a 2 up victory over Bret Hancock.

 

Feature • August 2017 • by Dick Harmon

Moody Champ at Provo Open

Chris Moody used superior ball striking, a hot putter and a timely assault on East Bay’s difficult par 4 No. 10 in the final round to win the 78th Provo Open in early June.

Moody’s tap-in par on the first playoff hole, the fabled score killer No. 10, delivered him the win over Dusty Fielding of St. George. The pair finished at 12-under par, two shots better than the rest of the field.

“I thought we were tied going into that final hole,” said Moody, who missed a six-foot par putt on the par 3 No. 17th, his only bogey of the final round.  On 18, Fielding made a birdie and Moody, assuming it was over, congratulated Fielding for the win after making a routine par.  He didn’t know they’d tied and would be in a playoff until they huddled at the clubhouse.

“I was a little iffy how we stood going into that final hole,” said Fielding, then Moody made his congratulation gesture.

When the pair were told their extra hole would be No. 10, they both, in unison sarcastically thought, “Great.”

On the 10th, which Moody had made double bogey on in the first and second rounds, his approach landed eight feet away while Fielding’s tee shot hooked in the water left, a repeat of what he’d done in regulation when Moody made birdie.  The hole proved devastating, yet pivotal.

Moody’s three rounds on the par 72 layout were 67-69-68 204.

In the case of second round leader Joseph Summerhays, the tough par 4 10th yielded a pair of birdies the first two rounds and he led at 65-70 135 at nine-under after 36 holes but gave up his lead on the front nine in the final round.

“This feels great,’ said Moody,  “I’ve never won this and being from Provo it means a lot.  It was Moody’s first win since an event in Arizona in January.  Summerhays, the two-day leader finished two shots back at 10-under for third.  Former BYU star Jordan Rodgers finished in fourth place at 9-under, followed by former champion Todd Tanner at eight-under.  Zach Johnson, Brandon Kida tied for sixth with low amatuer C.J. Lee at six-under par.

The No. 10 par 4 hole measures 418 yards from the tips. The view from the tee features a view of water hazards both left and right.  Big tree limbs squeeze the launch area near the front tees, which protects against a strong draw.  It is a vision that makes a lot of players edgy, especially if it’s a starting hole like Riverside assistant professional Moody had in Thursday’s opening round.

Moody made a double bogey six to start his day Thursday, then went seven-under on the par fives.  On Friday, he doubled 10 again before finishing two-under 70 for an eight-under par total heading into Saturday’s final round.

Former Utah State Amateur champion Darrin Overson called it the toughest par 4 in Utah by far.

Summerhays birdied No. 10 both Thursday and Friday.  After taking the first round lead Thursday with a seven-under 65, he made the turn Friday at two-over 38 before making an 18-foot birdie on 10. He then finished with birdies on 12,14 and 18 for a two-under 70, a nine-under tally for 36 holes.

“I just pray I can get it on the fairway and go from there,” said Summerhays, a teaching professional at Oakridge Country Club and two other northern Utah courses.  “I usually hit iron off the tee there but with the wind I went with driver both days and it worked out well with the two birdies.  It’s an aggressive play but it gets past the narrow part of the fairway. I pushed my drive and it ended up well because it opens up.”

 Two-time Provo Open champion Dusty Fielding made bogey on 10 Thursday and birdie on Friday en route to a second round six-under 66.

“Over the years I’ve had trouble with that shot, especially with the wind blowing left to right. It’s tight as it is with water right and left and that tree on the right makes it hard,” said Fielding.  “Visually it makes you pull it. I pulled it Thursday and had to drop 215 yards out on a big slope.  I was so annoyed with that tee shot that today I just got up and hit driver down the middle, hit it right at the pin on approach that rolled 20 feet past and I made it for birdie.”

Lee, who will be a senior at BYU and has played No. 10 hundreds of times since Timpview High School, said that hole doesn’t have to be intimidating, that players who play it safe with an iron or hybrid might actually hit it into a narrow danger zone, leaving a Fielding-like drop from 200 yards if they hook or push the drive into the water.

“I usually just aim at the flagpole you see off the tee and because I usually play a fade, I just hit away with my driver. The fairway opens up, it’s wide the further down the fairway you can hit it.  You don’t see that from the tee box.  Too many guys play it safe and end up guiding the ball and that isn’t good.  Just hit away.  My thinking is if I hit it in the water, it’s better to be long and have 100 left than 200 after a drop.”  Lee made pars in the first two rounds on 10.

Moody said his tee shots were accurate all week long and that led to his success during competition that featured stiff winds.  “I gauged the wind really well and hit a lot of solid shots. Except for the first two rounds with water balls on 10, I never got in trouble,” said Moody.

“Dusty played well, I thought he’d won it.”

Fielding said over the years, he estimates he’s hit the water on 10 about 20 times.  In the playoff, it was one too many.

 

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