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Blair Crowned Coral Canyon Amateur Champion for a Fourth Time
by Randy Dodson
When Zac Blair eventually turns professional, he won’t have the Coral Canyon Amateur to kick around anymore – and Utah’s amateur golfers will breathe a sigh of relief. In the meantime, Blair started off his 2014 golf season with another championship under his belt shooting a (-6) 138 to capture his third Coral Canyon Amateur in as many years. Blair has now won the season opening Utah Golf Association Player Performance Ranking tournament four times in the last five years. He missed standing in the winner circle two other times, finishing second to Cameron Edens by two strokes in 2011 and by one stroke to Brady Johnson in 2009.
Four championships in the last six years and two other second place finishes for Blair at Coral Canyon have fellow amateurs counting the days until he turns professional. But, that decision may not be coming anytime soon. Blair is maintaining his amateur status with no real time frame for turning professional even though he has limited status on the Web.Com Tour this season due to his finish at the tour’s Final Stage of Q-school. Blair has been told by Web.Com Tour officials that he can play as an amateur in any of the tour’s events he is entered in during the upcoming season.
Blair had a two-stroke lead heading into the final round and wasted little time sending a strong message that he was and is king of the Coral Canyon Amateur. With four birdies in his first six holes Blair made the turn at four-under, 32. After an opening hole birdie on the 525-yard par 5 first hole, Blair parred holes two and three. A ten foot birdie on the par 4, 4th hole kick-started a three-hole birdie barrage. Blair settled into a stretch of pars on the next six holes before carding birdies on 13 and 14.
Sitting at six-under on the day and eight-under for the tournament Blair uncharacteristically double bogeyed the par 5, 16th hole then failed to get up and down from in front of the green on the par 3, 215-yard 17th hole, missing a six foot par putt for a bogey. A birdie on the last hole concluded an even par back nine for the champion.
Blair’s former Brigham Young University teammate Justin Keiley (+2) came in second shooting 75-71 – 146. Hayden Christensen was another stroke back in third place with a (+3) 148. Blair’s first round chasers, McCoy Willey (72-77 – 149), who recently transferred from Brigham Young University to play golf for Utah State University and Conner Van Gilder (72-78 -150) fell off the pace during the final round.
Mike Jorgensen ran away with the Senior Flight championship riding an opening round (-4) 68 to a 36-hole total of 68-72 – 140. Russ Hook came in second with a two day total of even par 144. Sadie Palmer, the only women golfer in the field and defending champion of the First flight tied with C. Mathews this year at 158.
The Championship flight played Coral Canyon at 7,500 yards while the Senior flight played from 6,000 yards. The First flight played the golf course at 6,500 yards. The tournament was played under the lift, clean and place rule (in the fairways) as the golf course is coming out of recovery mode from the recent record snowfall in the St. George area. While the snow is gone, many of the lower elevations areas of the golf course were still wet.