Carson Lundell couldn’t stop shaking his head. He had just made a bogey after hitting his drive some 325 yards, within 80 yards of the green on his final hole in his first round at the Korn Ferry Tour’s Utah Championship at Oakridge Country Club.
Lundell’s shot from deep rough on the final hole came up short of the green and he couldn’t get up and down for par from there.
Despite the disappointing bogey, the BYU senior, who is one of only two amateurs in the 156-golfer field, still finished with a 3-under-par 68, which left him in a tie for 38th place after the opening round of the $750,000 72-hole tournament.
But a 66 or 67 would have been so much better.
Lundell is still in good shape to make the cut with a similar round Friday and he feels he can do even better than his opening round score.
“Honestly I don’t feel I hit the ball well at all, but my short game was good and I made a lot of putts,” said the 24-year-old former Lone Peak High golfer. “Definitely the nerves were going the first few holes and I was all amped up for six or seven holes, but at the end of the day, it’s still golf. I’m just trying to settle in and hit one shot at a time.”
Lundell is one of seven golfers with local ties, all of whom played or play for BYU. The best score of the bunch Thursday belonged to Zac Blair, a former PGA Tour regular, who is coming back from after sitting out for more than a year with a shoulder injury. Blair shot a 7-under-par 64 and sits just a shot behind leaders Jeremy Paul, Ben Silverman and Andrew Kozan, who all finished with 63s.
Blair, 31, had no bogeys on the day and seven birdies, including a 15-footer on his final hole. He has played in three Korn Ferry events this summer in his rehab and finished T-23, T-35 and T-13.
Patrick Fishburn, a Korn Ferry regular, ranking 71st on the money list, is another shot back at 65 after making three eagles and a birdie before suffering his only bogey of the day on his final hole.
Austen Christiansen, who played at BYU from 2015-17, came in at 67, while Peter Kuest, who won the Utah Open in 2020, joined Lundell at 68. Daniel Summerhays, who lost in a playoff in this tournament in 2020, shot a 70, while David Timmins, a current BYU player and the other amateur in the tournament, has work to do after shooting a 73.
Among other players of note, 2016 champion Nicholas Lindheim shot 68, 2019 champion Kris Ventura fired a 70, former Ryder Cup player Boo Weekley shot 71 and 2009 champ Josh Teater came in at 73.