News

Check out what has been happening in Utah Golf.

UGA winner Nuny Khamken improves in the LPGA Senior Championship

Playing the other side of Copper Rock Golf Course, Nuny Kham-One Khamken encountered the same gusting winds that bothered the leaders of the LPGA Senior Championship near the end of Friday’s second round in Hurricane.

Nuny Khamken prepares for a tee shot on hole 18 at Copper Rock GC during the second round of the LPGA Senior Championship. (Photo: Fairways Media/Randy Dodson)

Khamken bogeyed her last five holes. Yet she left Copper Rock feeling much better about herself and her golf game, while looking forward to one more round among the Legends of the LPGA.

With the help of a birdie on the par-4 No. 13 (her fourth hole of the day), the reigning Utah Senior Women’s State Amateur champion from West Jordan posted an 85, improving by five strokes in the second round. She might have finished better, if not for the wind that made even putting an adventure during the last hour of play.

In the two-tee starting format, players at the bottom of the leaderboard teed off on No. 10, about the same time as the top players went off No. 1. So Khamken understood what the likes of defending champion Angela Stanford and first-time entrant Cristie Kerr were facing, as they finished just after her on the double green of Nos. 9 and 18.

LPGA Senior Championship defending champ and second round leader, Angela Stanford. (Photo: Fairways Media/Randy Dodson).

Stanford bogeyed three of the last six holes, settling for a 5-under-par 67 after being 6-under through six holes and posting a front-nine 29. At 7-under for the tournament, she’ll start Saturday’s final round with a two-stroke lead over Kerr, who made four bogeys and a birdie on the last six holes. In the event for golfers 45 and older, the final threesome of Stanford, Kerr and Laura Diaz all are in their 40s.

Laura Diaz, a four-time member of the Solheim Cup team, will join Angela Stanford and Cristie Kerr in final pairing Saturday. (Photo: Fairways Media/Randy Dodson)

Khamken became eligible for Utah Golf Association senior (50-over) competition last year and earned an exemption into the LPGA Senior Championship with her win in the Senior Women’s State Am. She liked the way she approached the second round after being too tough on herself Thursday. Khamken took the advice of Penny James-Garcia, Copper Rock’s Volunteer and Event Coordinator, to just relax and not worry so much about comparing herself to some of the best women’s golfers in the world.

That helped. Although she again made some scoring mistakes Friday, Khamken improved by five shots on her first four holes, compared with the opening round. She saved par on No. 10 via a nice chip and birdied No. 13 with a 15-foot putt after hitting a gap wedge onto the green.

Khamken is six strokes ahead of Florida’s Glenda Todd, the only other amateur in the 73-player field, and they’re in the same group Saturday.

Story by Fairways Media senior writer Kurt Kragthorpe. LPGA Senior Championship leaderboard, CLICK HERE.

News

Check out what has been happening in Utah Golf.

UGA champion Nuny Khamken treasures her time among LPGA legends

Exactly eight months after the most exhilarating moment of her golf career, Nuny Khamken patted her heart as a sign of relief Thursday morning. Having launched a drive down the middle of Copper Rock Golf Course’s No. 10 fairway, Khamken could have been forgiven for believing the toughest part of the day was behind her.

2023 Utah Senior Women’s State Amateur champ Nuny Khamken tees off during Wednesday’s LPGA Senior Championship Pro Am at Copper Rock. (Photo: Fairways Media/Randy Dodson)

Not so. The nerves she overcame on that first shot of the LPGA Senior Championship affected every aspect of her game other than driving. A rough start and a poor finish led to a 90 for the West Jordan resident, who had earned an exemption to Copper Rock by winning the Utah Senior Women’s State Amateur in September.

Juli Inkster is T2 (-2) 70 heading into Friday’s second round of the LPGA Senior Championship at Copper Rock GC. (Photo: Copper Rock/Curtis Puzey)

As of Thursday, when she warmed up on the driving range next to seven-time LPGA Tour major winner Juli Inkster, Khamken (who often uses her maiden name of Kham-One in the Utah Golf Association) found herself a long way from that title match vs. Roberta Scott at Wasatch Mountain GC. She was even further removed from her time as a cart attendant at Stonebridge GC in West Valley City, where she came to love golf.

Cristie Kerr shot 6-under 66 Thursday at Copper Rock GC to take the first round lead of the LPGA Senior Championship. (Photo: Copper Rock/Curtis Puzey)

Next to Inkster on the range was Cristie Kerr, whose 6-under-par 66 was good for a four-stroke lead over Inkster, Heather Bowie Young and defending champion Angela Stanford to begin the 54-hole event. The LPGA Senior Championship, open to golfers 45 and over, is one of two major tournaments for senior women, along with the U.S. Senior Women’s Open, and is the first major ever staged in Utah for any recognized tour.

Khamken’s opening-round 90 deserves some context. Her score was not the day’s highest, and half of the 73-player field shot 78 or worse. The other amateur, Florida’s Glenda Todd, posted an 89.

One more disclaimer: Has any elite golfer played nine holes, found every fairway and hit the greens on both par-3s, yet shot 46? That’s how Khamken started the day, while looking as good off the tee as LPGA veterans Tracy Hanson and Jackie Gallagher-Smith, the other players in her group. Approach shots, chipping and putting, especially, derailed her.

It’s just nerves,” she said. “I thought I was ready to start off, (but) it just got me.”

Even so, Khamken is thrilled to be in the field and eager to make a better showing over the last rounds, with no cut. “Wow, it’s amazing, first of all,” she said. “And hopefully, the nerves will go away (Friday), because these ladies are great. I just need to have fun.”

That happened on her second nine Thursday, when she made five straight pars on Copper Rock’s front side, even amid strong winds. “That felt really good,” said Khamken, whose husband, Pat, is caddying for her this week.

Her thoughts at the time: “OK, I got this. I can play this game.”

But then trouble struck on the par-4 No. 8, where her second shot failed to clear a second set of fairway bunkers, leading to a triple bogey. On No. 18, having missed only one fairway (and barely so) all day, she flared a drive into the lake on the right side and made a double bogey.

The ending was unfortunate, after Khamken came so close to salvaging a more respectable round. Just the same, for those memorable moments before the round, she was right next to the eventual Day 1 leaders. “It was the greatest feeling, to be inside the ropes with them, to be on the same putting green as them,” she said. “It’s amazing to see these wonderful ladies that you used to see on TV, and to play alongside them.”

Written by Fairways Media senior writer Kurt Kragthorpe. LPGA Senior Championship Leaderboard

News

Check out what has been happening in Utah Golf.

Lila Galea’i’s Final Round

Much like a golf ball in the Utah air, sound travels a long way around the vast property of Copper Rock Golf Course. As she stood on the No. 5 green Saturday morning, Lila Galea’i could hear the tournament leaders being introduced on the No. 1 tee, several hundred yards away.

At that moment, the former BYU golfer felt far removed from the top of the Copper Rock Championship’s leaderboard, as her hopes for a fast start in the final round were derailed by short-game mistakes.

“This isn’t going the way I planned,” she thought to herself.

The script suddenly changed. And even though she finished well behind the record-setting winner, Galea’i could proudly pose alongside Fiona Xu while holding the first low amateur trophy that Copper Rock Championship organizers have awarded in the LPGA Epson Tour event. Of the four area collegians who received sponsor exemptions, only Galea’i made the 36-hole cut in Hurricane.

Lela Galea’i finished her Epson Tour Copper Rock Championship play with a top 20 finish and holding the Low Amateur trophy along side champion Fiona Xu. (Photo: Fairways Media/Randy Dodson)

Galea’i’s 72-69-70 effort was good for a tie for 19th place and topped her T29 finish of 2023, when she was one of two local invitees. “Last year was fun and I was super excited to come back and glad that I played really well,” she said.

Xu was exceptional in her first Utah appearance as an Epson Tour rookie. She posted 67-63-64 for a 22-under-par total and a seven-stroke victory over Kaleigh Telfer in easily the most dominant performance in the Copper Rock Championship’s four-year history.

2024 Epson Tour Copper Rock Champion, Fiona Xu (Photo: Fairways Media/Randy Dodson)

The 19-year-old New Zealand native has a win and a runner-up result in her six starts on the tour, with a tie for 22nd ranking as her lowest finish.

As for Galea’i, Saturday’s 70 is only tied for third best among her six rounds in Hurricane, but this may have been her most impressive performance. Starting with a challenging two-putt opportunity for a birdie on the par-5 No. 5, she made four birdies and no bogeys over the last 14 holes to salvage what began as a frustrating round.

“That was something I learned about myself, that I can stay composed and finish like I want to,” Galea’i said.

She regrouped nicely after bogeying the short par-4 No. 3, where she nearly drove the green before chipping and putting poorly, and then lipped out a par attempt on No. 4. Her day got a lot better, as she hit every fairway on the back nine and never came close to making a bogey. She ended up one stroke worse than last year’s 72-70-68 performance, but better in relation to the field.

This year’s Utah Women’s Four-Ball Championship may be one of the last amateur events for Lela Galea’i, the 2021 Women’s State Am champion. (Photo: Fairways Media/Randy Dodson)

And that’s encouraging, as she targets life as a touring pro. “I still have time to get better and get consistent,” she said. “Overall, I came out of here learning a lot about myself, and I wasn’t really nervous throughout any part of the whole week.”

Galea’i will play with Kareen Larson later this month in the Utah Women’s Four-Ball Championship as they seek a third title. That may be one of the last amateur events for the 2021 Women’s State Am champion, although her pursuit of LPGA Tour Qualifying won’t begin in earnest until after she completes her BYU degree in 2025 (her college eligibility ended in April).

Saturday’s round officially marked the end of her BYU affiliation, using one of the Copper Rock Championship’s collegiate exemptions. “I’ve got to turn in all my clothes,” she joked.

Actually, she can wear them this summer, when she joins her former Cougar teammates on a two-week tour of Ireland.

 

Story written by Fairways Media senior writer, Kurt Kragthorpe.

News

Check out what has been happening in Utah Golf.

Lila Galea’i will play another Championship Saturday at Copper Rock

Referring to Lila Galea’i as a former BYU golfer sounds strange, barely three years after she graduated early from high school to join the Cougar program for the spring season.

Regardless of the label, the former Women’s State Amateur winner is seemingly both a different player and the same person in her second Copper Rock Championship appearance. Galea’i’s 3-under-par 69 in Friday’s second round enabled her to comfortably make the cut again at Copper Rock Golf Course in Hurricane, as she performed by far the best of the four collegians who received sponsor exemptions.

Lila Galea’i’s 3-under-par 69 in Friday’s second round enabled her to comfortably make the cut again at the Epson Tour Copper Rock Championship. (Photo: Fairways Media/Randy Dodson)

Galea’i moved into the top 25 on a day when New Zealand’s Fiona Xu tied the course record with a 63. Xu is 14 under par for the tournament, entering Saturday’s final round with a two-stroke lead over Kaleigh Telfer.

Former Utah Women’s State Amateur champ, Kendra Dalton (Photo: Fairways Media/Randy Dodson)

LPGA Epson Tour veteran Kendra Dalton, another former Women’s State Am champ in her BYU days, struggled in the afternoon wind and missed the cut. Dalton posted an 80 after an opening-round 70.

Galea’i took advantage of much more favorable conditions in the morning. A day after lamenting a bunch of missed putts, Galea’i solved that issue on her first and last holes of the day. Starting on the par-4 No. 10, she chipped in for a birdie. And she finished with a 25-foot birdie putt on the par-4 No. 9, completing a 72-69 start that almost duplicated last year’s first two rounds at Copper Rock. Competing as an amateur, she’s promising to play aggressively Saturday, “just to see if I can put up a good number,” she said.

What’s becoming clear is that she can thrive as a pro someday, if her scoring ability catches up to her ball-striking strength. Maybe there’s some reduced pressure because she’s not yet trying to build a professional career, unlike Dalton and others in the field, but Galea’i sure looks like she belongs at this level.

I definitely feel comfortable out here and don’t really get nervous at all,” she said. “That putt on (No. 9), I’m sure last year I would have been shaking.”

Galea’i is in position to top her tie for 29th place in 2023, when she shot 72-68-68. None of the players from schools in Southern Utah and Nevada made the cut, although Utah Tech’s Grace Williams (72), UNLV’s Toa Yokoyama (76) SUU’s Anais Guibal (78) each improved in the second round.

As for Dalton, a rough back nine ended the momentum she had generated in the first six events of her sixth Epson Tour season. She was inside the cut line after birdieing the par-5 No. 1 (her 10th hole), but a double bogey on the par-5 No. 5 pretty much ended her hopes of playing Saturday.

 

Story by Fairways Media senior writer Kurt Kragthorpe.

News

Check out what has been happening in Utah Golf.

Add a third Utah Mid-Amateur title to Dan Horner’s Career Win Column

As one of the older players in the tournament, Dan Horner captured his third Utah Mid-Amateur title Friday at Bonneville Golf Course.

The 46-year-old hung on to win by one shot over Kenny Palmer in the annual tournament for golfers aged 25 and older.

After missing the green, Dan Horner “got refocused ” and “made a great up and down on 17 and played 18 really solid.”

Horner, who won Mid-Am titles in 2011 and 2017, went into Friday’s final 18 with a two-shot lead over St. George’s Daren Johnson, and finished with a 73 for a 54-hole total of 210.

“It’s nice to win,” said Horner. “I still have some ability to play good golf. A lot of it comes down to concentration at times, depending on what you have going on in life, work, or whatever it may be. It’s sometimes hard to get a clear mind at this age with a lot of responsibilities.”

Glenwild’s Kenny Palmer, runner-up to Dan Horner, finished 1-stroke off the lead.

Palmer, a 38-year-old who plays out of Glenwild GC, had the best round of the day with a 5-under-par 67, but a bogey at the par-3 17th when he hit it long off the tee, hurt his chances,

The 17th was key to Horner’s victory. As he left the tee after what he called a “terrible” tee shot he asked a  UGA official where he stood and was informed he was one ahead.

“I was getting a little sloppy, but that locked me back in and got me focused,” Horner said.

Horner’s tee shot was a good 30 yards left of the pin, but he made a superb pitch shot that rolled up within five feet from where he sank the par putt. The he hit two good shots at 18 and two-putted from 25 feet for the victory.

Four golfers, JT Timmons, Devin Tovey, Brandon Hargett and Steele DeWald, tied for third at 214. Hargett won low senior honors by five shots over Jon Wright.

Brandon Hargett won the Senior Division at (-2) 214 on rounds of 67-76-71 – 214.

Click here for the Utah Mid-Amateur final leaderboard.

 

Story by Fairways Media senior writer Mike Sorensen. Photos by Fairways Media/Garrit Johnson.

News

Check out what has been happening in Utah Golf.

Former Women’s State Am champ’s eagle highlights Utahns’ Day 1 of the Copper Rock Championship

The “Y” flag posted next to Copper Rock Golf Course’s No. 9 green was not even moving when Kendra Dalton stood in the fairway Thursday morning. The absence of wind was a rare occurrence in Hurricane. So was the shot the former BYU golfer and Utah Women’s State Amateur champion delivered.

Struck with a pitching wedge from 120 yards out, Dalton’s ball one-hopped into the hole. The eagle highlighted Dalton’s 2-under-par 70 in the opening round of the LPGA Epson Tour’s Copper Rock Championship.

“Golf’s hard,” Dalton said with a smile, “so it’s nice when things work out, you know?”

Epson Tour member Kendra Dalton won the 2016 Utah Women’s State Amateur at Victory Ranch Golf Club.

Dalton is the only professional in the field with Utah ties, but three golfers from in-state schools, plus UNLV, are playing this week via sponsor exemptions. The BYU flag, honoring 2021 State Am champ Lila Galea’i, is flying next to those of Southern Utah University (Anais Guibal), Utah Tech (Grace Williams) and UNLV (Toa Yokoyama).

Galea’i, who completed her BYU eligibility in April, tied for 29th in last year’s Copper Rock Championship. She opened this tournament with a 72, a fourth straight round of par or better, and is just inside the cut line. Williams (78), Guibal (80) and Yokoyama (81) have considerable work to do Friday.

Utah Tech’s Grace Williams, a 2023 Women’s State Am semifinalist, will need a low round Friday to make the cut.

Dalton’s “2” on No. 9 moved her to 4 under par for the day, making a 70 seem mildly disappointing as Dalton tried to keep up with the eventual leaders. Alena Sharp and Kaleigh Telfer each posted a 64.

In her sixth Epson Tour season, though, Dalton has a healthy perspective, not dwelling on how a good round could have been even better. Her bogeys on the par-4 Nos. 13 and 14 “could have been avoided,” she said, “but I played really solid. … It was a good start.”

And a continuation of her strong play in 2024. Dalton has made the 36-hole cut in five of six events, with best finishes of ties for seventh and 13th places. BYU coach Carrie Roberts is caddying for her this week, and likes the way Dalton is swinging.

Dalton’s ambitions go well beyond merely making cuts, but advancing to Saturday’s final round would be an improvement over her last two visits to Hurricane. She tied for 45th place in the inaugural Copper Rock Championship in 2021.

Galea’i, the reigning Siegfried & Jensen Utah Women’s Open champion, is considering turning pro while targeting her BYU degree in 2025. Her academic and college golf calendars were altered by her early graduation from Lehi High School in December 2020.

Lila Galea’i, the 2021 Utah Women’s State Amateur champ, is hoping for a better putting round Friday in order to make the cut at Copper Rock.

Having shot 72-68-68 at Copper Rock last year, Galea’i was left wishing for something better than even par Thursday. “That’s always been my problem, just making putts,” she said. “I can hit good drives, I can hit pure irons, but sometimes my putting is just inches off. Honestly, it’s just my putting that I wish I could have done better, but I’ve been saying that for a minute now.”

Galea’i blasted several drives of more than 300 yards, but she birdied only one of Copper Rock’s four par-5 holes and missed a short birdie attempt on the par-3 No. 17.

Epson Tour Copper Rock Championship opening round leaderboard.

 

Written by Fairways Media senior writer, Kurt Kragthorpe. Photos: Fairways Media/Randy Dodson.

News

Check out what has been happening in Utah Golf.

Challenging Conditions at the Senior Stroke Play Championship

The dates look good on the calendar, but the Utah Senior Stroke Play Championship’s early May slot tends to produce some of the toughest playing conditions of the Utah Golf Association season.

Regardless, Utah’s senior major tournaments keep bringing out  the ball-striking best in Brigham Gibbs.

With his win at Fox Hollow GC, Brigham Gibbs is now a two-time champion in the last four playings of the Utah Senior Stroke Play Championship. (Photo: Fairways Media)

Each of those traditional elements was on display at Fox Hollow Golf Club in American Fork, where Gibbs gave himself enough cushion to absorb some early and late lapses in the final round. With a second Stroke Play title to go with his three Senior State Amateur victories, Gibbs further stamped himself as Utah’s best senior men’s player of this century.

Gibbs’ latest performance came in chilly, challenging conditions that Legends division winner Rob Bachman labeled “windy and difficult and frustrating.”

Gibbs will have one more shot at greatness in his 50s before his birthday in August, the day after the Senior State Am concludes at Hill Air Force Base’s Hubbard GC. A three-stroke win over Eric Rustand at Fox Hollow followed his Senior State Am victory at nearby Alpine Country Club last summer. Craig Wilson is the only other player to hold both trophies at once.

Gibbs (72-69-78) acknowledged “just kind of losing focus for most of the round; luckily, so did everybody else,” as he started and finished three shots ahead of the field with a 3-over-par total. Rustand, another reinstated amateur who appeared briefly on the PGA Tour, got within one stroke after the final round’s front nine. Gibbs birdied the par-5 No. 10 and eventually built a five-shot advantage in the wind.

Tougher conditions, I’ve always played well in, so I kind of like it and look forward to it,” Gibbs said.

Senior golf has been “kind to me,” said Gibbs, when asked for a career reflection. “I’ve been fortunate. I wasn’t here for most of my amateur career, and when I moved back (from Florida), I was a senior. So I’ve been fortunate to play well.”

Rustand (78-70-74) jumped into second place, ahead of Darren Kuhn (76-70-77), Matthew Lyons (72-72-81) and Tommy Johnson (75-75-78).

SUPER-SENIORS

Mark Gardiner is a new name in the UGA, and he’s likely here to stay. Playing from the blue tees in the Super-Senior (60-over) division, Gardiner (74-72-72) was solid throughout the tournament.

Utah Super-Senior Stroke Play champion, Mark Gardiner. (Photo: UGA)

Having retired after 26 years in the U.S. Air Force as a fixture in military golf, amid other duties, Gardiner recently moved into a home near Green Spring GC in Washington, Utah. The three-time Missouri senior champion said, “Golf has allowed me many opportunities. I’m looking forward to Utah golf.”

Gardiner finished three strokes ahead of Randy Hicken (79-72-70), the UGA’s reigning Super-Senior Men’s Player of the Year. Even with mixed results on No. 16, Gardiner played Fox Hollow’s par-5s in 7 under par for the tournament, including an eagle on No. 9 in the first round.

Dan Hatch (73-72-80) placed third after being the 36-hole leader, and was followed by Craig Wilson (78-72-80) and Steven Borget (80-76-76).

LEGENDS

Bachman (79-78-79) was the steadiest player in any division and happily accepted the 70-over trophy. But he would have preferred an ending other than having himself and Michael Hacker both bogey No. 18 in regulation and miss short putts on the par-5 No. 10 in a playoff.

Utah Legends Stroke Play champion, Rob Backman. (Photo: Fairways Media)

Even so, Bachman was happy with his back-nine effort, making two birdies to post a 38 after shooting 41 and 42 on that side in the first two rounds. “I guess I just figured with those four or five holes left to play, I needed to get aggressive, and it worked out,” Bachman said.

Playing in the group ahead of Bachman, Hacker (79-80-74) had a shorter par attempt on No. 18 and also bogeyed the playoff hole to conclude an otherwise impressive day. Steven Smith (80-79-76) finished third, one-stroke ahead of two-time defending champion Doug Marriott (83-77-76) and 36-hole leader David Fischer (79-76-81).

Story by Fairways Media senior writer Kurt Kragthorpe.

News

Check out what has been happening in Utah Golf.

Annual Winterchamps Crowned Champions in all UGA Membership Divisions

The 2024 championship season for the Utah Golf Association kicked off in triumphant style as BYU-affiliated players dominated the annual Winterchamps competition across all divisions.

BYU redshirt, Tyson Shelley

BYU Sophomore, Berlin Long

Tyson Shelley and Berlin Long, both current players for BYU, claimed victory in the men’s and women’s divisions, while former BYU player Eric Rustand and BYU booster Ron Davis emerged as co-champions in the weather-shortened senior division.

Berlin Long, transitioning from junior to college golf, showcased consistency and skill over 36-holes of modified Stableford scoring format, March 16-17 at Sky Mountain Golf Course and Bloomington Country Club.

Reflecting on her performance, Long, a BYU sophomore said, “It’s been a big adjustment moving from junior golf to college golf. I’ve been grinding, made a swing change, just trying to get better.”

Berlin Long carded rounds of 45-43 points defeating runner-up & Cougar teammate Lily McCauley by 8-points.

Her focused approach paid off as she clinched the Women’s Winterchamps title with a total of 88 Stableford points. Long carded rounds of 45-43 points defeating runner-up and Cougar teammate Lily McCauley by 8-points. Utah Tech’s Jane Olsen (76-points) and juniors Ali Muhall and Kate Walker (74-points each) rounded out the top five players.

In the men’s division, Tyson Shelley displayed a stellar performance, scoring a total of 96 points with rounds of 67 and 68. Shelley’s course management and precise putting propelled him to victory, marking a return, of sorts, to competitive golf for the Cougar redshirt.

Tyson Shelley’s aggressive play paid dividends as he emerged as the Winterchamps champion.

“I’m happy to be out here playing competition golf again,” Shelley said. His aggressive play paid dividends as he emerged as the Winterchamps champion.

Despite adverse weather conditions leading to the cancellation of the opening round, the Senior division saw a thrilling conclusion with Eric Rustand and Ron Davis sharing the top spot.

Rustand, hailing from Tucson, Arizona, expressed his delight at the win, emphasizing the joy of hitting quality shots and sinking crucial putts. Davis, along with Rustand, showcased resilience and skill, culminating in a shared victory.

“It was fun to win,” Eric Rustand said. “This is a good event. It’s always fun to hit good shots and make a few putts. It’s always fun to be back in Utah.”

The Winterchamps Senior flight saw a thrilling conclusion with Eric Rustand and Ron Davis (photo) sharing the top spot.

No stranger to Utah golf, Rustand said, “It was fun to win. This is a good event. It’s always fun to hit good shots and make a few putts. It’s always fun to be back in Utah. Looking at the live scoring I knew I had to make birdie on my last hole (Par 5 4th hole) and kind of went for the green in two. I hit it into a short-sided bunker, played a really good bunker shot to about 12-feet and happened to roll it in. I missed a couple of points during the day that were certainly makable and would have made a difference but that one (at the last) was a big one for sure.”

Winterchamps Super-Senior Division champ, Rick Lloyd.

“It is always an honor to win a UGA championship,” claimed Super-Senior champ, Rick Lloyd. I plan my tournament schedule for the year around them. It is amazing how good the Super-Seniors are, there are a dozen or so players that can still score under par on a regular basis. You have to be on your game to compete and have a chance to win.” Lloyd carded 45 total points to best Jeff Powars by five points.

In the Legends division, Steve Smith emerged victorious with a standout performance, highlighting his consistency with the driver and short-iron shots as his key to victory. Smith’s win signified a return to form and a determination to continue competing in UGA senior events this season.

Winterchamps Legends Division winner, Steve Smith.

Click here for the final leaderboard of all Senior divisions.

Overall, the Winterchamps event was a testament to the strength of BYU golfers, earning the moniker “Coug Fest” on the Utah Golf Radio Podcast. With impressive performances across all divisions, the Winterchamps served as a thrilling start to the UGA championship season, setting the stage for further excitement and competition in the days ahead.

Click here to see the final leaderboard for all flights.

Click here to listen to the Utah Golf Radio Podcast champion’s interviews with host, Paul Pugmire.

Story and photos by Fairways Media/Randy Dodson & Garrit Johnson

News

Check out what has been happening in Utah Golf.

Mulhall Sisters Back-to-Back Champs at Women’s Spring Open

With 164 points, 87 at Green Spring Golf Course and 77 in the final round at The Ledges Golf Club, sisters Ali and Molli Mulhall (four years apart) successfully defended their UGA Women’s Spring Open title April 23rd with a 33 point win over the team of Kareen Larson & Jessica Smith.

The Mulhall sisters, 15-year old Molli and 19-year old Ali, successfully defended their title as champs of the Women’s Spring Open.

Three-time champions Annette Gaiotti & Nuny Khamken finished in third place with 128 points.

“It feels really good to be the defending champion,” 15-year old Molli said. “I love that Ali was my partner again. We made a lot of putts together. Feels good to get the win.”

15-year old Molli Mulhall tees off on the 18th hole at The Ledges Golf Club.

Over the 36-hole event the Mulhalls combined for 18 birdies and an eagle. Molli birdied four consecutive holes during round one at Green Spring, the girls home course, and Ali eagled the 16th hole at the Ledges to finish with a 4-under par 68.

Kareen Larson

Jessica Smith

The Mulhalls will play a full Utah Junior Golf Association schedule heading into the Utah Women’s State Amateur at TalonsCove Golf Club in July. Ali has her eye on the new U.S. Women’s Amateur exemption offered to the Women’s State Am champ while Molli has her sights set on qualifying for the Utah team of this year’s Girls Junior Americas Cup to be played at Soldier Hollow July 28-August 1, hosted by the UJGA.

Keeping it in the family, the youngest of the Mulhall sisters, 11-year old Palmer, won the second flight with partner Kindra Hirasuna, winning the event in their rookie season with 104 points, 12 points better than McKell Sweet and Montyne Anderson.

Gaiotti and Khamken took a 5-point lead over Larson and Smith heading into the final round at The Ledges but Larson/Smith (photos above) closed strong with 67 points on the day to finish in second place with 131 points in the modified Stableford format. Gaiotti/Khamken (photo below) carded 59 points in the final round to finish with 128 points total.

Annette Gaiotti (left) and Nuny Khamken close out their final round on the 18th hole at The Ledges.

Final results from all divisions, gross and net, are available here: https://tinyurl.com/apdhx45f

News

Check out what has been happening in Utah Golf.

Fairways College Golf Weekly

It was an exciting week for Utah college golf with first time individual wins by Braxton Watts and Cooper Jones, a team win by the BYU Cougars and a runner-up finish for the Utah Utes among other top 10s by Utah schools.

Get the recaps in this issue of Fairways College Golf Weekly, Click Here: https://tinyurl.com/4p5h797r