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Jeff Evans Shoots 26 on Back Nine in Palisade Pro-Am

by Joe Watts
As of yesterday Palisade Golf Course has a new course record, 62, and the world just may have a new nine-hole record for any course—-a 26 on the back nine at Palisade, without a chip in or a hole-in-one.
Jeff Evans, Utah State Amateur champion in 2011 and runner-up this year, shot a ho-hum 36 on the front and then made two eagles, six birdies, and a par on the back nine for a 26.
Of course, the first thought is how many mulligans did he get? Was this a scramble? Did he putt them all? Is it a pitch and putt course? What is par on the course? Etc., etc., etc! And, of course, who witnessed this miracle?
The round was played during a bonafide Utah Section PGA Pro-Am and Jeff was playing with his dad, long time PGA Professional John Evans, his brothers, Robert and Mike, and brother-in-law Jason Robb. Incidentally, on that last nine John and Robert shot 38, and Mike and Jason shot 39s at the same time Jeff was making golf history with his 26.
Palisade happens to be a very legitimate golf course and has been in existence since 1973 and is part of the Utah State Parks Department golf course system. It has been hosting pro-ams and other legitimate tournaments for years. The course record was 63 shared by three players. The USGA Course Rating from the blue tees, which is what he was playing, is 69.7/123. The front nine is rated 35.4/128 and the back nine is rated 34.3/117.
It is not a long course, but is tight in many places, has downhill, uphill, and side hill lies, and the greens have considerable slope and are difficult to read.
Host professional Casey Fowles said, “That was really impressive. The course was set up for a tournament, the greens were not soft, and the pins, especially on the back nine, were tucked in tough to get to spots, and if you’ve ever played Palisade you know that we have greens that will have a four foot break on a ten foot putt.”
The secret to his record breaking round was hitting it so close that it eliminated all the trouble. He had eight one-putt greens, all from inside ten-feet.
Hole-by-hole the round went like this:
10- Par four, 399 yards, uphill- Driver, sand wedge to 8-feet, made birdie putt.11- Par four, 373 yards, downhill- Driver, sand wedge, and two-putt par. (Which was the low score of the day on that hole as nobody made birdie the entire day.)12- Par five, 463 yards, uphill- Driver, gap wedge to 8-feet, made eagle putt.13- Par five, 460 yards, uphill- Driver, gap wedge to ten-feet, made eagle putt.14- Par three, 90 yards, uphill- Sand wedge to 7-feet and made birdie putt.15- Par four, 291 yards, downhill- Rescue club into greenside bunker, sand wedge to 3-feet, made birdie putt.16- Par four, 376 yards, downhill- Driver over the green, chipped to 5-feet, made birdie putt.17- Par three, 128 yards, downhill- Gap wedge on short par three, hit ten feet behind pin and sucked to within 3-feet, made birdie putt.18- Par four, 460 yards, downhill- Driver and pitching wedge to 3-feet, made birdie putt.
And so he goes home to his wife and she asks, “How did you do?”And he responds, “Not too good, I had a par!”