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Brice Garnett’s 21-under total is good enough to win the Web.com Tour’s Utah Championship as the leader fades in the final round

First Published      Last Updated Jul 16 2017 10:44 pm


Golf » Garnett prevails after Oppenheim just misses birdie attempt on 18 that would have forced a playoff.

Farmington • Just enough people surrounded Oakridge Country Club's 18th green to deliver the news of his Utah Championship victory to Brice Garnett.

Preparing for a possible playoff Sunday evening, Garnett heard the response to Rob Oppenheim's tying birdie attempt as he stood on the nearby driving range. "From the sound of it," Garnett said later, "it was pretty close."

That's fair to say. Chipping from behind the green, Oppenheim watched his ball catch a lot of the hole and spin away. He flipped his wedge and just smiled good-naturedly. "Gave it a chance," he said.

When he wobbled in the middle of the round, Oppenheim let a bunch of people into the tournament and Garnett emerged. He claimed the $126,000 check for his first Web.com Tour victory, clinching a return to the PGA Tour with a 21-under-par total that nobody figured would be sufficient — including the champion himself.




Such a winning total sure seemed impossible as of Friday, when the leader (Kyle Wilshire) stood 16 under, or even midway through the final round, when Oppenheim was 22 under. In the end, even after allowing two 61s during the week, Oakridge proved to be a decent test and provided a dramatic finish in the first year of the club's three-year agreement as host.

Garnett started the day three strokes behind and closed with a 6-under 65, two strokes higher than his target number to have any reasonable hope of winning — or so he thought. Thanks to birdies on Nos. 15 and 16 that followed a bogey on No. 14, he caught and passed everybody. He finished one shot ahead of Oppenheim, Abraham Ancer and Austin Cook, and he understood how it happened.

"It's hard to close out tournaments on this tour; there's so much at stake," said Garnett, 33, a former Missouri Western State golfer and a close friend of former Web.com Tour player B.J. Staten of Cottonwood Heights.

Garnett's girlfriend was home in Georgia, so the shouting heard around Oakridge came from Staten's wife, Alisha. The Statens housed Garnett during the week, and they all celebrated a victory that seemed unlikely when Oppenheim moved to 4 under for the day and 22 under for the tournament through seven holes.

When he holed an iron shot from 139 yards for an eagle on No. 1 (No. 10 for club members), Oppenheim figured, "Maybe this is a special day."

That theory almost proved true four hours later, but he just missed in his bid to force a playoff. His downfall came via a three-putt bogey from the fringe on No. 9 and a messy double bogey on the par-3 No. 11. He missed the green to the right with an 8-iron, pitched his ball across the green and into a bunker, blasted out and two-putted.

He recovered only partially, with a birdie on No. 14. An errant drive kept him from birdieing the easy par-5 No. 15, just as Garnett was posting his score. "This tour is so difficult," Oppenheim said. "When you've got a chance to win, you want to be able to pull it off."

Oppenheim earned $52,267 — basically doubling his season earnings and moving to No. 30 on the money list. The top 25 players in the regular season will earn PGA Tour cards for the 2017-18 schedule, beginning in October. Garnett is No. 12 and comfortably inside the top-25 projections, so he'll return to the PGA Tour. The first time he got there, he did so without a Web.com Tour victory, making Sunday's achievement even more meaningful.

"I worked my butt off for two years," Garnett said, "and to be going back is really, really special."

kkragthorpe@sltrib.com

Twitter: @tribkurt

 

AT A GLANCE

Sunday’s scores

Web.com – Utah Championship

At Oakridge Country Club

Farmington, Utah

Purse: $700,000

Yardage: 7,045; Par 71

Final

Brice Garnett, $126,000 64-65-69-65 — 263

Abraham Ancer, $52,267 67-63-71-63 — 264

Austin Cook, $52,267 67-69-63-65 — 264

Rob Oppenheim, $52,267 66-63-66-69 — 264

Blake Adams, $23,730 68-64-67-66 — 265

Jacques Blaauw, $23,730 66-68-61-70 — 265

Nate Lashley, $23,730 67-68-65-65 — 265

Denny McCarthy, $23,730 69-63-64-69 — 265

Ben Silverman, $23,730 66-67-65-67 — 265

Jon Curran, $17,500 68-68-64-66 — 266

Jeff Gove, $17,500 68-67-66-65 — 266

Andrew Landry, $17,500 68-65-64-69 — 266

Matt Atkins, $12,367 62-73-65-67 — 267

John Chin, $12,367 68-65-67-67 — 267

Tom Lovelady, $12,367 65-68-67-67 — 267

Wes Roach, $12,367 64-70-66-67 — 267

Christian Brand, $12,367 67-61-70-69 — 267

Adam Schenk, $12,367 65-67-66-69 — 267

Mark Anguiano, $7,191 68-65-66-69 — 268

Michael Arnaud, $7,191 67-68-65-68 — 268

Vince Covello, $7,191 66-69-66-67 — 268

Jimmy Gunn, $7,191 69-65-68-66 — 268

Bo Hoag, $7,191 67-68-65-68 — 268

Michael Johnson, $7,191 69-66-64-69 — 268

Adam Long, $7,191 67-65-67-69 — 268

Taylor Moore, $7,191 66-63-72-67 — 268

Sepp Straka, $7,191 67-68-70-63 — 268

Dan Woltman, $7,191 68-66-71-63 — 268

Anders Albertson, $3,936 67-68-67-67 — 269

Samuel Del Val, $3,936 67-65-71-66 — 269

Andrew Putnam, $3,936 69-66-70-64 — 269

Alexandre Rocha, $3,936 69-66-67-67 — 269

Blake D. Trimble, $3,936 69-66-68-66 — 269

Roberto Diaz, $3,936 66-68-67-68 — 269

Tyler Duncan, $3,936 63-66-71-69 — 269

Luke Guthrie, $3,936 67-65-67-70 — 269

Brandon Harkins, $3,936 66-70-64-69 — 269

Beau Hossler, $3,936 68-68-65-68 — 269

Billy Kennerly, $3,936 66-66-68-69 — 269

Jim Knous, $3,936 67-65-69-68 — 269

Sam Ryder, $3,936 67-65-69-68 — 269

Greg Eason, $2,326 69-63-72-66 — 270

Michael Gellerman, $2,326 65-68-69-68 — 270

D.H. Lee, $2,326 66-67-71-66 — 270

Michael Letzig, $2,326 69-67-69-65 — 270

Carlos Ortiz, $2,326 68-67-68-67 — 270

Jason Gore, $2,326 67-67-67-69 — 270

Mark Hensby, $2,326 67-68-65-70 — 270

Ben Taylor, $2,326 67-69-66-68 — 270

Kyle Wilshire, $2,326 64-62-74-70 — 270

Scott Gutschewski, $1,931 67-69-68-67 — 271

Jeremy Paul, $1,931 68-68-69-66 — 271

Brian Davis, $1,931 66-69-69-67 — 271

James Driscoll, $1,931 62-68-72-69 — 271

Peter Lonard, $1,931 70-65-65-71 — 271

Roger Sloan, $1,931 67-69-66-69 — 271

Erik Barnes, $1,848 70-64-68-70 — 272

Tommy Gainey, $1,848 67-68-66-71 — 272

David Skinns, $1,848 65-70-67-70 — 272

Zecheng Dou, $1,785 66-67-69-71 — 273

Max Rottluff, $1,785 68-68-67-70 — 273

Charlie Saxon, $1,785 70-64-71-68 — 273

Nicholas Thompson, $1,785 65-71-62-75 — 273

Greg Yates, $1,785 72-64-65-72 — 273

Andrew Yun, $1,785 67-68-68-70 — 273

Zack Fischer, $1,729 67-69-65-73 — 274

Byron Smith, $1,729 66-68-70-70 — 274

Corey Conners, $1,687 66-70-70-69 — 275

Matt Harmon, $1,687 66-68-74-67 — 275

Chris Naegel, $1,687 70-66-71-68 — 275

Dawie van der Walt, $1,687 68-68-65-74 — 275

Ben J. Campbell, $1,645 70-66-67-73 — 276

Kurt Kitayama, $1,645 69-65-72-70 — 276

Lanto Griffin, $1,610 66-65-74-72 — 277

Scott Harrington, $1,610 66-70-70-71 — 277

Aaron Wise, $1,610 70-66-70-71 — 277

Max Marsico, $1,582 66-69-76-68 — 279


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