GOLF

Five former BYU golfers get cut at Korn Ferry Tour Utah Championship

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FARMINGTON — If nothing else, Peter Kuest is rewarding the people who decided to grant him a sponsor exemption for the Korn Ferry Tour’s 2022 Utah Championship golf tournament.

The former BYU golfer, who won 10 varsity tournaments for the Cougars from 2016-2020, is tied for fifth place (under 14) over 54 holes of the scheduled 72-hole event at sodden Oakridge Country Club by the rain.

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Kuest, 24, was No. 170 on the KFT points list when he entered the tournament, but he climbed the standings on Saturday and is just two shots off the lead heading into Sunday’s final round.

A win could change his career, but Kuest refuses to get ahead of himself.

“It was fun. I’ve always loved coming to Utah and I’ve always loved playing in Utah. That’s an added bonus, and it was cooler this week, so that was good. – Mark Anderson, leader of the Utah championship on 54 holes.

“My mindset tomorrow is just (hitting) the fairways and greens and seeing how many birdies I can make,” the Fresno, Calif. native said. “I’ll keep it simple, nothing crazy.”

Kuest was actually tied for the lead at one point on Saturday despite a double bogey on the No.10 in which his approach shot found water, but he bogeyed the No.16 to pull back a little.

He was on the No. 18 tee when the horn sounded for a weather delay that lasted just over two hours.

He said he had “no idea” he was tied for the lead, saying he was not a big scorecard watcher.

“I was just playing,” he said. “It’s a Saturday, a Sunday.”

Meanwhile, another former BYU star – Patrick Fishburn of Ogden – shot a 4-under 67 on Saturday and is tied for 13th at 13-under, three strokes behind 54-hole leader Mark Anderson, a former University of South Carolina golfer who had two stints (2012 and 2014) on the PGA Tour.

Although Kuest doesn’t plan to play any more aggressively than he usually does on Sunday, his teammate in 2017 and 2018 at BYU certainly does.

“I’ll try to shoot a 64 or a 63 and see what happens,” Fishburn said. “Yes, I think I have it in me. I’ve done it here before, and I’ve done it in other places.

“The conditions will be (more favorable than Saturday). Whoever gets hot will have a chance to do so.

Anderson, 36, shot a 64 on Saturday, finishing just before the weather delay arrived at 3:04 p.m., and is the only lead under 16.

“It was fun. I’ve always loved coming to Utah and I’ve always loved playing in Utah,” said Anderson, a two-time winner on that tour. “It’s an added bonus, and he was doing cooler this week, so that was good.”

Anderson said his overall game is much better now than when he was on the PGA Tour, and he plans to stay aggressive on Sunday.

The winner “will definitely need a low ride,” Anderson said. “Don’t be complacent and still try to aim for a small number” is the strategy.

Seven golfers with BYU ties entered the tournament on Thursday, and five were able to make the cut – a remarkable performance for the local guys.

Former BYU golfer and assistant BYU men’s golf coach Daniel Summerhays was the last Utahn, but just barely.

Summerhays had to return to the course, his home course, early Saturday morning as he was unable to complete his second run on Friday due to multiple weather delays.

Summerhays missed an 8-footer for a birdie at 17 but blocked his approach on 18 within 4 feet and sank the birdie putt to enter the number.

The former PGA Tour regular shot a 67 in the third round and is tied for 41st at 9 under.

Only 14 golfers were still on the course when the weather delay arrived, including Zac Blair, Summerhays and Kuest. Play resumed at 5:10 p.m.

Blair shot a 70, birdie-putting the 18th, and is tied for 26th.

Fishburn provided one of the biggest highlights of the day, stepping in just off the 18th green for a birdie.

The ball clung to the edge of the hole for a split second and then fell, much to the delight of the large crowd gathered around the 18th green.

“It was awesome. It kind of felt like I was gonna do, really, because it was a really good lie,” he said. “And the way it happened was kind of funny , how it caught on the lip and fell in there.”

Fishburn said he had to be patient on Saturday because of the wind and some tricky pin placements. On Sunday, his state of mind will change.

“I’m going,” he said.

Former BYU golfer Austen Christiansen, who left Provo after a few years to play closer to home at Sam Houston State, shot a 68 on Saturday and is tied for 30th.

“It wasn’t my best. I had two hard exits at 40 feet. You can’t expect the 40ft to go, but when they’re in line, you hope,” he said. “

And then on the 17th and 18th I also burned the edges, so I feel like I left a few there.

Christiansen said he still considers himself a Cougar and left on good terms. He practices at the BYU facility in Utah County whenever he is back in town.

“I love it here,” he said. “I come here most summers. My parents have a house in Park City. …I grew up a Cougar. My dad played football for a year at BYU.

Australian Harrison Endycott is in a group under 15 after shooting a 28 under 8 from the front nine (back nine for the members of Oakridge) before the winds picked up. It was the lowest nine-hole score ever at Oakridge during the tournament.

Endycott hit the first par-4 hole, piercing “103 yards”, he said. It’s about 112 meters.

“Just a little landed a little short. He jumped up and walked in,” he said. “I was watching golf last night on TV, and I was like, ‘Oh, I’m kind of due for a hole,’ so it was good to do that.”

Endycott’s putter went cold on the back nine, and he made nine straight pars to card a 63.

“It was a bit windy and windy today so obviously it was going to be tough to keep the momentum going,” he said. “But hey, I’ll take a 28 on the front.”

The fourth round begins at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, with golfers going out in pairs. The leaders will leave around 3 p.m.

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