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Five Share Sand Hollow Open Lead with 64s
HURRICANE, UTAH – If confidence is a required trait for grinding out success at the Web.Com Tour Q-School, then Utah’s Dusty Fielding is headed in the right direction.
Following a mid-week practice round of 63 with friends and fellow tournament competitors, Fielding, a former Web.Com Tour member, carded an 8-under round of 64 in today’s opening round of the Sand Hollow Open presented by the Leavitt Group. Fielding is joined by Kyle Souza, Tyler Aldridge and former Utah Open champions Steve Friesen and Nathan Lashley.
Fielding had won the Provo Open at East Bay Golf Course in Provo, Utah earlier this summer and has been spending his time in search of tournament confidence in preparation for this year’s upcoming Web.Com Tour qualifying tournament.
“I’ve gained a bit of confidence lately and shooting a 63 here yesterday really helped. Following that round up with a 64 today in the tournament is good for me. Sand Hollow is basically my home course. You have to know these greens and their breaks to score well here and I’ve done that for the last couple of days,” said Fielding after turning in his scorecard.
Recent wet weather in southern Utah has turned most of the Championship Course at Sand Hollow Resort into a plush playground for flag-hunting. The greens are receptive to even a long-to-mid iron approach shot which, in the past, hasn’t been the case for the John Fought designed track.
Jacob Holt and Derek Tolan are one shot back with a 7-under, 65 as is Zac Blair who just returned from Florida after his second place finish in the Web.Com Tour Championship and accepting his PGA TOUR member card. Blair spent most of the early part of the week attending the Tour’s new member orientation.
“It was pretty much like being back in school,” said the recent BYU graduate. “But it was awesome.”
Blair will now spend a few weeks home in Utah, getting married and preparing for the PGA TOUR’s opening events to the new season at the Frys.Com Championship at Johnny Miller’s Silverado Resort near Napa, California and the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas next month.
Rounding out the top 10 after day one and tied for 9th place are Bryan Anderson and amateurs Justin Keiley and Hayden Christensen, with a 5-under score of 67.
When asked about Blair’s entry in the Sand Hollow Open, Fielding confirmed most of the better player’s feelings saying, “… the better the competition, the better the tournament.”
“I seem to play better and I’m motivated by playing with guys like Zac,” explained Fielding. “I want to play with and beat the best. I think, for the most part, everyone feels that way.”
Tournament organizers had hoped for a larger field for the inaugural Sand Hollow Open but have no problem with the strength of field. While notable Utah Section PGA players are missing, the tournament has no shortage of former Utah and Provo Open champions.
Tournament title sponsor Eric Leavitt, of the Leavitt Group, said, “Southern Utah has needed an event of this caliber for some time and the Leavitt Group is thrilled to be a part of it.”
Dave Wilkey of Sand Hollow Resort agreed and added, “Seeing such a larger number of high quality players from across the country is exciting. We are going to make next year’s Sand Hollow Open even better and hope to draw more of our local professionals and nationally recognized players as well.”
The 54-hole championship concludes Saturday following a cut to the low 30 players and ties after Friday’s second round play. The $68,000 tournament purse includes a payout of $15,000 to winner making it the third highest first place check in the state following the Web.Com Tour’s Utah Championship and the Utah Section PGA’s Utah Open.
For complete Sand Hollow Open first round results please visit: