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Richfield’s Dusty Fielding Takes Control of Utah Open; Gipper in Second; Schneiter, Swilor Sho

There have been a lot of outstanding golfers come from Richfield, Utah, but Dusty Fielding is in the process of distinguishing himself as the best of them all. He shot his second straight 65 at Oakridge Country Club to take a two-shot lead going into Sunday’s final round and it looks like those on his tail are going to have to do something special to catch him. If he triplicates his 65s then he is probably home free to the greatest win of his life.
Gipper Finau, who has played in the shadow of older brother Tony most of his life, has played beautifully and is just two shots back of Fielding with scores of 65-67-132.
Fielding, who didn’t credential himself as an amateur, has blossomed since turning professional. He has been playing regularly on the National Pro Golfers Tour and has done very well, as has Tony Finau. Gipper has also played on that tour, but sparingly.
Steve Schneiter and first round leader Derek Nolan are three shots back of Fielding. Schneiter’s 63 equaled the best round of the tournament and catapulted him into contention. Luke Swilor also shot a 63. For the veteran Steve Schneiter a 63 in a big tournament is not new, but for Luke Swilor, a relative newcomer to the pro ranks, the 63 in the Utah Open had to be a special moment for him. He birdied 10 of his last 15 holes in what must have been the greatest stretch of golf he’s ever played. He bogeyed the second hole of the day and then ‘entered the zone,’ and jumped up to tenth place, but still five shots out of the lead.
Two Zacs, one Zac Blair and the other Zach Johnson, have been lighting it up as well. They have each posted back-to-back 67s. Although Blair is one of the youngest players in the field he is very experienced at BYU and on the national amateur scene, and this kind of tournament pressure has become routine for him. If the leaders falter they can count on him to be there to pick up the pieces.
Zach Johnson is an assistant pro at Davis Park and is experienced on the local level, but this opportunity is probably the zenith moment of his career.
Defending champion Clay Ogden has played well with rounds to 70-68-138, but that is eight shots off the lead and a huge climb given that he has 17 players ahead of him.
The final threesome will tee off at 11:48 and will include three Utahns, Dusty Fielding, Steve Schneiter, and Gipper Finau.
The leaderboard going into the final round:
130- Dusty Fielding, 65-65
132- Gipper Finau, 65-67
133- Steve Schneiter, 70-63; Derek Tolan, 64-69
134- Kane Webber, 69-65; Zach Johnson, 67-67; Brad Besler, 67-67; Zac Blair-a, 67-67
135- Luke Swilor, 72-63; Michael Henderson, 68-67; Jerry Sneve, 68-67; Tony Finau, 65-70; Zenon Brown, 64-71
136- Mike Malaska, 67-69; Ryan Thomas, 70-66