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Stanger Easily Claims Medalist Honors at Difficult Talons Qualifying

Brady Stanger must have kept the ball on the fairway all day. He shot a 66 for medalist honors at the Utah State Am Qualifying tournament at Talons Cove and nobody could shoot a 66 if they hit a ball in the Talons Cove fesque. Any ball in the fesque was punishable by at least one shot and usually two. One player took 17 swats at it on the first hole and another one took a 13.
 
Because of that rough fesque the qualifying score soared to 80. Ryan Lowe was among a group of 11 that shot 80 and he won the playoff to advance to the State Am finals in July.
 
Stanger played flawlessly—not a bogey on the card. On the backside from 11 through 16 he made five birdies in the six holes and won medalist honors by three shots over Nic Booth and Cameron Young.
 
Rick Groendyke, who finished fourth with a 70, pulled off the shot of the tournament if not the shot of the year. His drive on the short par four 16th hole came to rest on the cart path and flush against the cement curb on the right side of the path. The only free relief available would have put him in fesque up to his hips and so he chose the impossible. With his ball pinned against the curb he could not possibly hit it toward the hole and so he turned 180 degrees from the hole and took a solid swing with a lob web, pinched the ball perfectly into the curb and the ball went soaring 40 or 50 feet in the air and plopped down 15 feet from the hole. That his wrist, club, and curbing were not shattered was remarkable. His birdie putt slid past the right edge and he got instead of could have been big numbers.
 
Another big highlight of the round was the 73 shot by 12-year-old Rhett Rasmussen who becomes the youngest qualifier in many, many years. He is a solid player and has a bonafide chance of reaching the final 32 at Soldier Hollow.
 
Qualifiers:
66- Brady Stanger
69- Nic Booth, Cameron Young
70- Rick Groendyke
71- Joseph Jack
73- Rhett Rasmussen, Austin Banz, Jacob Morris
74- Zach Jamiec, Jeffrey Holmes, Kurt Jamison
75- Tristan Paxman, Tanner Howard
76- Alex Stulce, Jordan Rogers, Nate Lundberg
77- Jonathan Oettli, Conner Jones, Dan Kooyman, Trent Thornton, Douglas Fillmore, Bryan Metzler, John Howell, Mike Anderson
78- Stewart Rutter, Jared Martin, Jed Rammell, Adam Thurman, Brett Smith, John Hansgen
79- Paul Winterowd, Brian Zullo, Bruce Ahlquist, Jason Lundberg
80- Ryan Lowe (won spot in eight man playoff for one spot); 1st alternate, Elden Parker, 2nd alternate, Clayton Berg.
 
Did not qualify:
80- Mike Madsen, Mana Angilau, Matt Thompson, Aaron Adams, Otto Carter, Jesse Dodson, Tyson Yates, Justin Cutler
81- Mitch Erekson, Trent Smith, Jay O’Fee, Nathan Bringhurst
 
Other scores can be found on the web page by clicking UGA Championships, State Qualifer at Talons Cove, and Results.