Golf: St. George's Dusty Fielding gets confidence-building Provo Open win
Provo • Dusty Fielding's timing could not have been worse.
The 31-year-old former Dixie State golfer earned Web.com Tour playing privileges last year after turning pro in 2008, then had a horrible season, by his own description. After making an equipment change, Fielding earned only around $30,000 all season and finished outside the top 100, losing his tour card in the process.
Without status on any major tour, but feeling like his game is as sharp right now as it has ever been, Fielding set his sights on the 75th annual Provo Open, hoping to regain some lost confidence.
Fielding, of St. George, fired a three-round total of 14-under-par 202 at East Bay Golf Course and won the event on Saturday by two shots over Ogden pro Davis Garner, pocketing the $3,000 first-place check. Former BYU golfer Clay Ogden was third at 9-under 207.
Ogden's brother, current BYU golfer and defending State Amateur champion Cole Ogden, was the low amateur for the second straight time and third time in four years with a 209.
Two-time defending champion Tony Finau is No. 29 on the Web.com Tour money list and did not return to defend his title although there is no event this week, opting to rest up for a stretch of 14-straight weeks on that tour.
Garner and Fielding dueled all day Saturday after starting the day at 8-under, but Fielding took control for good with a birdie on the par-3 17th hole while the former Weber State golfer was making a bogey and finished with a 66.
"Probably the main thing was my putting was good all week," Fielding said. "For sure, the short game is kind of what did it for me."
Kai Ruiz, the 17-year-old Maple Mountain High senior who has committed to play for BYU, also started the day with a piece of the lead, but ballooned to a 76 while trying to keep up with the long-hitting pros.
Former PGA Tour player Keith Clearwater was the low senior pro with a 2-under 214.
But Saturday's spotlight was on Fielding, who is in professional golf limbo right now as he tries to get some playing status back. He will have to Monday-qualify for the Utah Championship in July at Willow Creek Country Club, but likes his chances now.
"I really struggled last year," he said. "I couldn't keep the ball in play, and then it just funneled down. I lost confidence and I really played horribly all year. It was the worst year I have every played, actually."
Cole Ogden just edged Devon Purser for low amateur honors as Purser made a late run with a 68 on Saturday. Ogden, who will be a senior at BYU next fall, said the golf course was more difficult than it usually is this week because the wind blew hard a lot of the time.
"I like the way I am playing right now," he said. "Shooting three solid rounds here this week wasn't easy."
At East Bay Golf Club, Provo
Dusty Fielding 67-69-66202
Davis Garner 66-70-68204
Clay Ogden 68-70-69207
Zach Johnson 70-69-70209
a-Cole Ogden 69-70-70209
a-Devon Purser 69-73-68210
a-CJ Lee 68-72-70210
Nick Killpack 66-73-71 210
Milo Lines 66-72-72)210
Matt Baird 74-68-69211
Chris Moody 71-72-69212
a-Kai Ruiz 69-67-76212
a-Brett Sampson 72-72-69213
Dustin Volk 74-68-71213
a-Tommy Higham 76-69-69214
Keith Clearwater 69-73-73)214
Rob Taylor 71-70-74215
a-Jeff Jolley 73-68-74215
Blair McKeithen 70-71-74215
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