Pictured: Former BYU player Justin Keiley
By Randy Dodson, Fairways Media
After 36-holes, out-of-state professionals dominate the leaderboard but Utah pros still in the mix for tomorrow’s final round at Sand Hollow Resort.
Hurricane, Ut. – By design, the Sand Hollow Leavitt Group Open features a field of golf professionals from across the country. From the beginning, three years ago, tournament administrators and title sponsor, the Leavitt Group, created a tournament that would benefit the traveling mini-tour professionals, regardless of home state, that need tournament competition to fine tune their swings heading into the Web.Com Tour Qualifying School events in early October.
From that aspect, mission accomplished.
This year’s 36-hole leaderboard boasts of names that the average golf fan in Utah would not recognize. Tom Whitney is 9-under with rounds of 70-65 - 135 after day two and has a three-shot lead over fellow Colorado residents Zahkai Brown, Jim Knous, Wyndham Clark; Californian Jake Sarnoff and Riley Arp from Arizona; all tied for second place at 6-under par 138.
That’s not to say some players with local ties including former BYU player/graduate Justin Keiley (T8, 140) and St. George resident Dusty Fielding (T12, 142) can’t make some noise in Saturday’s final round. Former BYU Cougar Jordan Rodgers is also in the top 20 at 1-under par 143.
The field was cut to the low 35 players, with five players finishing on the number, 2-over par 146.
Of his final round 7-under 65 Whitney, a Web.Com Tour member with conditional status (top 100) this year, said, “This is a course where patience pays off because there are so many birdie opportunities out there. I kept the ball in play off the tee and gave myself a birdie look on almost every hole.”
Sand Hollow Resort General Manager and Head Golf Professional Adam Jasperson said, “These players on the leaderboard are the ones we want here. We are happy to give them an opportunity to compete, stay sharp for upcoming Web.Com Tour Q-school and reward the winner with some cash in his pocket and the Leavitt Group’s exemption into the 2018 Web.Com Tour Utah Championship.”
Saturday’s final round will begin at 8:00 a.m. on the Championship Course at Sand Hollow Resort with Whitney, Brown and Knous teeing off at 10:23 a.m. The 36-hole results can be found online: http://tpp.ghin.com/Club/Scoring/ResultsStroke.aspx?id=208933
Photo Caption: Sand Hollow Leavitt Group Open player with local ties, Justin Keiley, will be chasing a host of out-of-state players Saturday for the chance to pocket the $12,000 first-place purse and a local exemption into the 2018 Web.Com Tour Utah Championship.
Photo Credit: Fairways Media/Randy Dodson