Sand Hollow Amateur
By Dick Harmon
Beware, the young gun is hot this winter and he has his eyes on the Utah State Amateur.
Lone Peak senior Zach Jones continued his winter dominance by winning the San Hollow Amateur in early February. It was his second victory in the Dixie Swing which included a win at the St. George Amateur and runner-up finish at the Coral Canyon Amateur in January.
Jones, the defending 6A Utah State High School medalist, fired rounds of 70-72 for a two-under par 142 to win by four strokes over Braydon Swapp (74-72 146). Jake Vincent was third at four-over par.
Jones’ first round of two-under par was one of the only red numbers on the leaderboard at Sand Hollow although conditions were mild. His consistency through the second round was the difference.
“I was still hitting it good the second day like I was the first day,” said Jones. “I didn't make many birdies though early on. I had a couple of three putts and eventually I was over par going into my last nine holes. I already birdied 10 and 11 to get a one-under par and the rain picked up and I made a double bogey on number 12. I was able to make pars all through that really hard stretch of 13 through 16 and I birdied 17 which was my last hole.
The BYU-bound recruit, who signed with the Cougars in November, had a 20-foot eagle putt on No. 17 that he eventually tapped in for birdie but the best shot of his tournament came on the tough, picturesque par-3 No. 15 in the final round.
“The rain started to come down a little bit and it was windy and it was playing about 200 yards,” said Jones. “The pin was on the back and that green is really small. So I hit a four-iron because it was in the wind and I hit it to about 15 feet right below the hole. I think that was a really good shot because lots of people are struggling on that whole stretch towards the end and it was hard to even hit that green.”
Jones’ winter run has come with his driver. “When you put yourself in the fairway you're going to hit more greens and so it helps with irons and it makes everything better. I’ve hit fairways and I think that’s led to some good rounds.”
Jones took it to 17-under par in the three tournaments in Dixie. He finished second to University of Utah golfer Kyler Dunkle in the Coral Canyon Amateur, going six-under par. He tied Ute Tristan Mandur at 9-under at the St. George Amateur at the St. George Golf Club and won on the second playoff hole with a 30-foot birdie. It was his second win at that event in three years.
Jones took his official recruiting trip to BYU the week after his win at Sand Hollow and said he would time his two-year mission plans after high school graduation in May so he can compete in the Utah State Amateur in July.
By going winless last year in UGA Player Performance point events, Jones said he entered this season with a chip on his shoulder. “This has been a real good start and I want to play well and see what I can do the rest of the year.”
Rob Bachman shot 76-74 six over to win Super Seniors over Al Simkins by four shots. Richfield’s Mike Jorgenson won the Senior division by two shots over Randy Hicken with a four-over par 148. Richard Luke was the First Flight winner with a 7-over par 151.
Dick Harmon is a sportswriter for the Deseret News and a frequent contributor to Fairways.
Siddens’ Aces Underline Coral Canyon Am
By Randy Dodson
What are the odds?
Kirk Siddens doesn’t care, all he knows is that he doubled is career hole-in-one total, in a four hole stretch, and won the Senior Flight of the Coral Canyon Amateur, a Utah Golf Association Senior Player Performance Rankings event.
Acing both the par-3 3rd and the par-3 6th holes jump started Siddens’ opening round 7-under 65 and provided just enough cushion to edge Randy Hicken (-3) by a stroke after a final round 75, to claim the 36-hole title.
“I didn’t see it go in on the first one because of the hole location but on 6 I hit it right over the flag and it sucked back and kept trickling, trickling and then it disappeared,” said Siddens. “Then we went crazy because that doesn’t happen.”
Meanwhile, University of Utah Senior golfer Kyler Dunkle continued his winning ways with an 11-under 66-67 – 133 performance to outpace runner-up Zach Jones by five strokes to get the Championship Flight win.
Since his runner-up finish in last year’s Utah State Amateur, Dunkle has been crowned champion in the Colorado State Amateur, Low Amateur in the Utah Open, medalist in two of Utah’s fall season tournaments and now the top spot 2019 Coral Canyon Amateur.
“I’ve been able to capitalize on some of the better opportunities that I’ve had and haven’t been making too many mistakes. I’ve been able to make a lot of birdies. I hit driver every time I can and try to get down the hole as far as I can. I just need to give myself decent birdie looks,” said Dunkle.
Brigham Young University commit Jones finished the tournament at 6-under par as runner-up. Jereme Johnson shot a (+2) 73-73 – 146 to claim First Flight honors.
Randy Dodson is the publisher of Fairways magazine and president of Fairways Media.
Jones Wins St. George Am;