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The Links at Sleepy Ridge Proved to be a Survival of the Fittest
By Beaux Yenchik, UGA Intern
Millcreek, UT – The Links at Sleepy Ridge, a possible destination for a new season of Survivor, proved to be quite the test on Wednesday for some of Utah’s top-notch golfers – some succeeded while others were figuratively cast off the island.
Brock Nielson, another Dixie State University medalist, navigated the Scottish-like terrain with finesse by carding an impressive 3-under-par 69. Along with Nielson, 24 others secured their spots in the Holy Grail of amateur tournaments for the state of Utah – rounded out by a five-man playoff for the final spot.
On a course that required extreme precision from the field, Nielson did it best by making sure his ball striking was on key and the flat stick was rolling. After dropping three birdies on his front nine, Nielson countered his two back-nine bogeys with two additional birdies, including a 10-foot putt on the last to win the medalist spot.
Jordan Pinedo, a Sleepy Ridge player, said the course had a fair balance of difficulty to scoring opportunities. He explained by saying some hole locations were tucked or on small ledges, requiring the players to hit smart and accurate shots into the greens. He countered that by stating there were gettable holes, like the second, where a birdie should be expected.
Nielson’s impressive five birdies were also matched by a few others, including Riverside Country Club’s Rob Harris. Dave Anderson, also one of Sleepy Ridge’s own, dropped a remarkable-eagle chip from off the back of the 17th green – a tricky-downhill chip with several breaks.
As the final groups began to make their way to the scoring areas, players, caddies and spectators gathered around the scoreboard in the castle-like clubhouse with great anticipation for the projected cut to be shown.
With each three-some being posted, the anxiety in the room grew just a little with each group. As the final announcement was read as to who made it and who didn’t, some left the course in disbelief while others thanked their lucky stars for making it.
Pinedo was one of the lucky few who slid inside the cutline by a shot or two. Following his 4-over-par 76, he said he had waited within the clubhouse for an hour and a half for the final results – sweating a few bullets, as did a few others, along the way.
Following Wednesday’s qualifier, seven remain. Anything could happen. We will just have to wait and see.
CLICK HERE for complete qualifier results.