Provo • The players chasing Peter Kuest in Sunday’s final round of the Siegfried & Jensen Utah Open want to believe it is too early to write his name on the winner’s check for $15,000. He already may have earned another tribute, though.

After what he has done through two rounds in the northwest section of the Riverside Country Club property, that four-hole phase could become known as Kuest Corner.

The rookie pro from BYU holds a five-stroke lead over Riverside teaching pro Matt Baird, thanks mostly to playing Nos. 13-16 — two par-5s and two short par-5s — in 5 under par each day.

“It’s a good stretch of holes for me,” Kuest said in Saturday’s biggest understatement, after posting an 8-under-par 64 that actually seemed high, considering some missed opportunities late in the round. Kuest is 17 under, tying the 36-hole mark of former teammate Patrick Fishburn, who went on to post a final-round 63 in dominating the Utah Open as a collegian in 2017.

That’s roughly the number Kuest is targeting Sunday. Asked about his approach, he said, “Go out and shoot 10 under. Just keep the hammer down and go after it.”

Siegfried & Jensen Utah Open
Second-round scores
(a-amateur)
127 – Peter Kuest (63-64). 132 – Matt Baird (66-66). 134 – Zahkai Brown (67-67), Craig Hocknull (65-69). 135 -- a-Kelton Hirsch (68-67), Neil Johnson (67-68), Kavan Eubank (67-68). 136 – a-Mitchell Schow (69-67), Blake Cannon (67-69). 137 – Eric McCardle (66-71), Joe Summerhays (68-69), Jimmy Gunn (69-68), Hayden Christensen (69-68). 138 – a-Tyson Shelley (69-69), Phillip Reedy (67-71), Edward Olson (69-69). 139 – Nick Mason (70-69). 140 – Chris Moody (70-70), Drew McCullough (72-68), TK Kim (71-69), a-Simon Kwon (71-69), a-Elijah Turner (71-69), Brandon Kida (72-68), Casey Fowles (68-72), Isaac Merry (66-74), Justin Keiley (68-72), Derek Fribbs (68-72). 141 – a-Preston Summerhays (68-73), Bruce Brockbank (71-70), a-Tristan Mandur (70-71), a-Tyler Jones (64-77), Luke Vivolo (68-73), Samuel Saunders (71-70), John Murdock (70-71), Tyler Weworski (71-70). 142 – a-John Bender (72-70), Mitch Carlson (72-70), Joseph Harrison (69-73), Jere Pelletier (70-72), Chris Dompier (71-71). a-Parker Reese (71-71). 143 – Zach Johnson (72-71), Perry Cohen (70-73), a-Dan Horner (70-73), Matt Snyder (72-71). 144 – Tommy Sharp (69-75), Colby Dean (72-72), George Markham (71-73), Derek Ackerman (71-73), Josh Anderson (75-69), Ty Chambers (70-74), a-Ryan Brimley (69-75). 145 – B.J. Staten (73-72), Jordan Rodgers (76-69), a-David Jennings (73-72), a-Davis Heslington (74-71), CJ Lee (74-71), Steele DeWald (68-77), Clay Ogden (74-71). 146 – a-Brock Stanger (74-72), a-Noah Schone (71-75).
Failed to qualify
147 – Brock Padilla (73-74), Tele Wightman (71-76), Joel Skarbo (75-72), Ryan Rhees (73-74), Steve Schneiter (69-78), a-Denny Job (78-69), Logan Holt (75-72), Jordan Bloxham (74-73), Kent Hagen (72-75). 148 – Thomas Cook (75-73), Todd Tanner (74-74).

Counting his last seven holes of the first round and the first seven of the second round (all on Riverside’s back nine), Kuest played 14 holes in 11 under — with two eagles on the par-5 No. 13. His only flaw Saturday was failing to birdie the par-5s on the other side, not getting up and down from a greenside bunker on No. 5 and three-putting on No. 7.

“Those feel like bogeys,” he said. Overall, though? “No complaints.”

Baird quibbled somewhat about his second straight 66, having played Kuest Corner in only 1 under par, with no birdies on the par-5s. Asked how he felt about the round, Baird said, “A split-decision,” before concluding, “I’ll take it.”

In the tournament’s seven years at Riverside, Baird and host pro Chris Moody have dealt with home-course expectations as two of the Utah Section PGA’s top players. “I come out here and play with my members and I shoot really low, so they expect me to play well,” Baird said. “It always plays different in the Utah Open, though. It’s not the same golf course.”

Craig Hocknull, Glenwild Golf Club’s director of instruction, is tied for third at 10 under with Zahkai Brown of Colorado, the 2016 winner and 2017 low pro.

The 36-hole cut came at 2 over par. BYU golf coach Bruce Brockbank (71-70) was the only senior player to qualify, earning a $750 bonus from the tournament sponsor. Cougar golfer Kelton Hirsch (68-67), a playoff loser to Samuel Saunders in last August’s Utah Open, has a one-shot lead over Utah’s Mitchell Schow (69-67) for low amateur.