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Defending Champ Makes His Move at Sand Hollow Open

By Randy Dodson

Since winning the 2018 Sand Hollow Leavitt Group Open, Taylor Montgomery has spent the last year “trying to get better,” not unlike any of the other mini-tour professionals in this year’s field. Such is the life of aspiring tour professionals.

Montgomery, who plays out of Shadow Creek Golf Club near Las Vegas, Nevada, shot the low round of the tournament Friday finishing with a 7-under 65. He takes the second round lead by three shots at 10-under par 134, heading into Saturday’s final round on the Championship Course at Sand Hollow Resort.

Thirty-one players made the 36-hole cut at 2-over par 146.

“I still made a couple of mistakes today,” said Montgomery following his low round that included eight birdies and one bogey. “I drove the ball really well, a lot better than yesterday, and that helped me set up some birdies. I made some 10-12 footers and had some two-putt birdies on the par fives. Just have to eliminate the mistakes”

St. George, Utah amateur Hayden Christensen holds on to the low amateur spot after 36-holes with rounds of (-5) 69-70 – 139. Preston Summerhays sits a 1-over par 145 on rounds of 73-72 and is the only other amateur to make the cut.

Utah’s Steele Dewald slipped to a second round even-par 72 after opening with a 5-under 67 Thursday. Dewald is tied with first round leader Redford Bobbitt, Shane Bertsch and Christensen at 139.

Former Utah Open champions Dusty Fielding and Patrick Fishburn are tied with Phil Reedy in the 14th spot at (-2) 142. Other Utahns playing in tomorrow’s final round include Braydon Swapp and Brandon Kida T18 (E) 144.

The champion’s purse this year includes a check for $20,000 and an exemption to the 2020 Korn Ferry Tour Utah Championship. Having experienced those spoils last year, Montgomery is eager to have that in his back pocket headed into next year.

Montgomery said, “I loved playing in the Utah Championship this year. There are not too many tournaments that offer that kind of exemption. That’s why it’s so nice to play here. I am going to have to play pretty aggressive tomorrow, a 3-shot lead (over David Cooke and Kolton Lapa (-7) 137) here isn’t much.”

Photo Credits: Fairways Media/Randy Dodson

Photo Caption:

Taylor Montgomery, the Sand Hollow Leavitt Group Open defending champion, made a move up the leader board Friday on the Championship Course at Sand Hollow Resort with a 7-under 65 to take a 3-shot lead into Saturday’s final round.

Hayden Christensen of St. George, Utah, remains the 36-hole low amateur in the field on rounds of (-5) 69-70 -139.

Utah’s Steele Dewald is T6 (-5) 139 and 5-strokes off the lead heading into Saturday’s final round in the 6th annual Sand Hollow Leavitt Group Open.