Provo • In five tournaments as a PGA Tour rookie this summer, former BYU All-American Peter Kuest has made a total of $7,525. He can top that figure this weekend in the Siegfried & Jensen Utah Open at Riverside Country Club, BYU’s home course.
Amid secondary sponsorship issues attributed to the COVID-19 economy, the host Utah Section PGA is advertising a $15,000 first prize. That’s down from $20,000 in recent years, although tournament director Devin Dehlin credited the title sponsor law firm for ensuring the event would be played in 2020. The runner-up will receive $10,000 – again, more than Kuest has made since turning pro and receiving sponsor exemptions into PGA Tour events.
After four missed cuts, he played 72 holes in the recent Barracuda Championship in the Reno-Tahoe area and finished 65th to earn his first check. Asked during that event about the biggest challenge of playing the PGA Tour, Kuest said, “Just staying within yourself and honing in to what you can do and what you do really well and just sticking to that. I mean, my college career and how I played in college got me here, so there’s no reason for me to really try to go out of my way to really change anything. If I just stick to my game plan and try to play the way I know I can play, then I think I’ll be able to compete out here.”
He should do well at Riverside, where BYU golfers of the past and present have thrived in recent Utah Opens. Kuest will play the first two rounds Friday and Saturday with Kelton Hirsch, a current Cougar who lost to New Mexico pro Samuel Saunders in a playoff last August. They’ll be joined by two-time State Amateur champion Preston Summerhays, whose triple bogey on the last hole of stroke-play qualifying cost him a berth in match play in this week’s U.S. Amateur at Bandon Dunes in Oregon.
Another interesting pairing includes Jimmy Blair, Steve Schneiter and BYU golf coach Bruce Brockbank, former State Am winners in their mid-50s or older.
Saunders will defend his title, while former PGA Tour winner Keith Clearwater is in the field at age 60 and UNLV golfer Veronica Joels, who won this month’s Utah Women’s Open, also will compete.
BYU’s Lundell ousted in U.S. Amateur
BYU golfer Carson Lundell reached the round of 16 in the U.S. Amateur before being eliminated Thursday at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Oregon.
Lundell, a Lone Peak High School graduate, lost 7 and 5 to Southern Methodist golfer Charles Osborne.
In a starting field of 264 players, Lundell had qualified for match play as the No. 22 seed and won his first match on the 19th hole. He then defeated Tennessee golfer Hunter Wolcott 3 and 2 in the round of 32. Lundell advanced further in the U.S. Amateur than any Utahn since 2001, when BYU’s Manuel Merizalde reached the semifinals and Davis High School’s Daniel Summerhays made the quarterfinals.