A few golfers complained about the less-than-perfect conditions. Some weren't happy about playing only 18 holes instead of 36 holes. Three golfers, however, had no complaints whatsoever at Monday's U.S. Open local qualifying at Park Meadows Golf Club.
Milan Swilor, Steve Schneiter and amateur Eric Hogg were the three low scorers in the 27-man field and earned the right to move on to the next stage - the U.S. Open sectional at Denver's Columbine C.C. on June 5. If any of the three Utahns play well enough there, they will advance to next month's U.S. Open at Oak Hill C.C. in Rochester, N.Y.Swilor, 30, an assistant pro at Mulligans in Ogden, fired a 2-under-par 70 to capture medalist honors, although in this event third is just as good as first. At the start of the day Swilor set even-par 72 as his target score, but after he "stiffed a 5-iron" at the par-3 fourth hole, he added birds at 6, 8, 13 and 17.
"I've been playing pretty well for about a month," he said. "I've won a couple of one-day pro-ams - I'm good at one-day events."
Swilor was pleased that the format for the local qualifying was changed this year from 36 holes to 18 holes. "I'm glad," he said, "the fewer holes the better for me."
Some of the other golfers were grumbling that a 36-hole event was a truer test for selecting qualifiers.
Schneiter didn't mind playing just 18 holes. He had qualified twice before in the 36-hole format - in 1983 and last year. His 72 tied him with Hogg and was two shots better than six golfers at 74. Schneiter's birdie at No. 18 was a little out of the ordinary. His drive hit a bunker as did his second shot. But he blasted out from 45 feet into the cup for a bird.
Since leaving BYU early two years ago, the 25-year-old Schneiter has been working for his father as an assistant pro at Schneiter's Pebblebrook Course in Sandy.
Hogg, who was a two-time high school champion at Skyline High, an all-WAC performer for the University of Utah and a former State Amateur champion, hasn't been heard from much around this area lately. He's been living in Phoenix the past four years and spending much of his time working as a caddie on the PGA and LPGA Tours.
Now at the age of 26, Hogg is back, living in Park City as he prepares to try for the PGA qualifying school next fall. He made it out of the local qualifying for the first time thanks to birdies at 14 and 17. Hogg feels caddying helped him learn to manage his game much better.
Many golfers complained about the sandy greens that were a result of some broken machinery.
But Schneiter disagreed, saying, "I didn't think they were that bad. It's the guys who didn't make it that are complaining."