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Christensen grabs First Security lead

AMERICAN FORK -- Spanish Oaks pro Roy Christensen fired a 6-under-par 66 Saturday to grab the first-round lead at the First Security Invitational at Tri City Golf Course.

American Fork's Kim Thompson is second among the pros at 67, followed by Ogden's Jimmy Blair at 68 and Sandy's Steve Schneiter at 69. Former PGA Tour pro Jim Nelford and Tom Costello shot 71s.Among the amateurs, Orem's Scott Fairbanks and former State Am champ Todd Barker both shot 68, while Dan Brown and Jason Wight both shot 70.

Former PGA Senior Tour regular Bob Betley and Kean Ridd lead the senior division at 72, a stroke ahead of Jon Fister.

Top prize for pros is $1,400, while the top senior earns $900. The leading groups will go out between 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. for today's final round.

The tournament is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

UTAH OPEN CHANGES VENUES: Because of delays in construction at the new Stonebridge Golf Club, the Utah Open Players Championship will change venues and be played at South Mountain Golf Course in Draper.

The tournament, scheduled for Aug. 3-8, is moving from Willow Creek Country Club after 18 years because the Nike Utah Classic will be played at Willow Creek in September.

Eighteen of Stonebridge's 27 holes opened in May and the other nine, which was to be used for the Utah Open, is scheduled to open in July. But Stonebridge and Utah Open officials decided it would be best not to try to host the tournament this summer.

"The golf course itself is in good condition and getting better every day," said general manger Gordon Wagner. "We originally hoped to have our clubhouse facilities completed and open to the public by July, but construction delays have made that impossible. Everyone felt it would be wise to wait a year or so to stage an event like the Utah Open."

Wagner did emphasize that the course remains open to the public seven days a week.

South Mountain, designed by former U.S. Open champion David Graham and Gary Panks, opened last year. Recently it was purchased by Salt Lake County, which will take over operation of the course July 15. It will mark the first time in 44 years that the Utah Open will be played at a Salt Lake County--operated golf course.