A couple of professionals from Mesa, Ariz., led a group of 62 golfers at Monday's qualifying for the University Hospital-Utah Open.
Jason Spitler and Jay Pennypacker both shot 6-under-par 66s in nearly perfect conditions at Wingpointe Golf Course. All they really needed was a 73 or possibly a 74 as 15 of the 22 golfers who shot 74 qualified.Another Arizona golfer, Chris Endres of Phoenix, was third overall with a 67. Four golfers, Jack Steinicke of Mentor, Ohio, Eric Hoos of Louisville, Keith Flatt of Las Vegas and amateur Don MacKenzie of Alamo, Colo., all came in at 68.
Randy Robertson of St. George was the top Utah qualifier with a 69.
Other Utahns who qualified were Ryan Job and Devin Burns at 70, Brandon Bonner, Kirk Abegglen, Brad Sutterfield and Mike Huey at 72, Greg Slack, Troy Lashley, Ron Branca, Kevin Haslam, Graydon Pearson, Goshi Hoshino, Robby Kaas, Ed Ingram, Jeff Kinney at 73 and Jon Wright, Tom Bonner, Mike Evans, Kenny Hollifield, Steve Campbell, Johan Elliot, Kirk Bowler, Sharm Newbold at 74.
To prevent an extended playoff, it was determined beforehand that ties would be broken by scorecards. The golfers at 74 with back nine scores of 37 or less qualified while the seven who shot 38 missed and must sweat it out as alternates.
The tournament proper starts Friday morning at Willow Creek Country Club after three days of pro-ams. Among those who have already qualified are former champions Perry Arthur, Jimmy Blair, Eric Hogg and Mike Malaska and top out-of-state golfers such as John Miller Jr., Warren Schutte, Bill Loeffler, Danny Briggs and Brandt Jobe.
Perennial contender Bruce Summerhays will not play at this year's tournament because he qualified Monday for the Senior PGA event in Minnesota.