Brandon Bonner had more than first place on his mind when he joined Jim McGregor in a sudden-death playoff Friday for the Spalding Salt Lake City junior golf title at Bonneville Golf Course.
There was the matter of money. Not that the winner would earn money like a professional. But the winner would get a large chunk of his expenses paid to the Junior World golf tournament in San Diego next month by the Utah Junior Golf Association.The 17-year-old Bonner, who will be a senior at Wasatch High next year, birdied the first playoff hole to capture first place and make his trip to San Diego more bearable.
"That's a bonus - it makes it a lot easier," said Bonner of the expense money. "This is probably the best (junior) tournament to win."
Bonner's final-round 75 gave him a three-day total of 218. McGregor had the best round of the day with a 71. The first two rounds were played at Rose Park and Glendale.
Besides Bonner and McGregor, the next 10 top golfers in the boys 15-17 age division earned spots in the Junior World tournament, which is played July 15-19 at Torrey Pines.
Other qualifiers included Troy Lashley, Ryan Oldroyd, Justin Burt, Jon Morgan, Jon Fister, Chris Moody, Steve Garcia, Clint Christiansen, Michael Evans, Anthony Prince and Michael Jacks. The boys' 13-14 division winner was 11-year-old phenom Boyd Summerhays, whose final-round 75 gave him a 228 total.
The younger golfers had played earlier in the week, but Summerhays is much too good for his own age group, let alone older golfers, In fact, last weekend, Summerhays finished fifth overall in the Ben Lomond Amateur, beating many top adult amateurs. He also won the net division.
Benji Pond took second among the 13-14-year-olds at 230, Steve Day was third at 233, and Jono Gardner and Scott Hailes tied for fourth at 234. Gardner actually won a playoff for fourth by making eagle on the first playoff hole after making an eagle there earlier in the day.
Some 280 junior golfers competed in the three-day tourney another 200 competed earlier in the week in the 12-and-under divisions.