University of Utah football coach Kyle Whittingham lost his golf match against BYU football coach Kalani Sitake’s team on Monday at Hidden Valley Country Club.

Whether Whittingham won the services of a big-time recruit — a tight end, apparently — in a hastily arranged meeting that forced him to withdraw from the friendly competition after about nine holes remains to be seen.

“Some hot recruit came in and they called and said, ‘you gotta come in quick, and so (Whittingham) left. We totally understand,” said tournament organizer Deen Vetterli, CEO of the National Kidney Foundation of Utah and Idaho.

“What makes this work is the humanitarianism and the sportsmanship of the coaches. They make it all possible.” — Deen Vetterli, CEO of the National Kidney Foundation of Utah and Idaho.

The event was the annual Coaches Legacy Golf Invitational, which for 35 years now has benefitted National Kidney Foundation of Utah/Idaho. In past years, it has been known as the Rivalry for Charity, but the competition has remained constant, first starting in 1989 when LaVell Edwards and Jim Fassel directed the football programs.

Vetterli said the real winners are patients with kidney disease, which takes more lives nationally than breast and prostate cancer combined. She said some $60,000 was raised this year.

“The tournament is in a great place,” Vetterli said. “It has left a legacy of success that has been unbelievable. … We still have affiliates all over the country calling and asking, ‘how do you guys do that? And I tell them it is the coaches. They are why it has been such a big success.”

Vetterli said upward of 90 golfers participated Monday, the highest number in a number of years.

“What makes this work is the humanitarianism and the sportsmanship of the coaches,” she said. “They make it all possible.”

Even when Whittngham has to leave early. For his part, Sitake totally understood, saying that the month of June has totally changed for college football coaches the past few years as recruits make more official visits and get them out of the way before their high school seasons start in the fall.

“It is really busy,” Sitake said. “Yeah, a lot of official visits, camps and things like that. It is not like it used to be, with just camps. But now even your evenings are tied up. But that’s just the schedule now. It will make the vacation in July mean even more.”

Sitake was a happy camper himself because for first time in a long time his side was victorious.

BYU’s team won the competition against the Utes, firing a 17-under 55 in the four-person scramble. BYU’s team consisted of Sitake, Rob Brough of Zions Bank, BYU football chief of staff Jon Swift and Angus Klintworth, a 6-foot-6 freshman on the BYU men’s golf team who is from South Africa.

Whittingham’s Utah team consisted of Utes defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley, former Utes golfer Jon Morgan and Utes booster Greg Jenson. They shot a 16-under 56 to lose by a stroke.

Scalley said when Whittingham left, the other three golfers took turns hitting what would have been Whittingham’s shot in the four-person scramble format.

Scalley called himself a “just OK golfer,” even as his teammates said the former Utah safety “hits and ball hard” and was hitting 6-irons from 245 yards out.

“I think I am the kind of golfer you would expect to see when you only get two months out of the year to golf,” he said.

Scalley said the recruit, who he isn’t allowed to name due to NCAA recruiting rules, arrived on Saturday will be in Utah through Monday.

“Kyle just took off to kinda finish the visit,” Scalley said.

Last year, Whittingham’s team won resoundingly, firing a 54 while Sitake’s team carded a 64.

Sitake said the difference was Klintworth, who redshirted last season and wasn’t a part of the BYU team that made the NCAA Finals in Scottsdale, Arizona. After carrying the crew most of the day, Klintworth rolled in an 18-foot eagle putt on BYU’s final hole to secure the victory.

The head coach said he’s gradually improving at golf, but not as quickly as Whittingham, who said before the day began that the sport has “grown on” him as the years have gone by.

“I play better when I am with great golfers, for some reason,” Sitake said. “It just helps my game a lot. I like to play. I just like being on the golf course and around other people. It is just a fun thing to do with others, so I don’t mind hanging out with people and getting to know them.

“You can do your work and play golf at the same time. We are multitaskers, so we can listen to music, organize our schedule and golf at the same time,” Sitake continued.

Coaches usually speak a bit about their prospects for the upcoming season at the luncheon after golf, but since Whittingham was gone, host Alex Kirry of KSL Radio and The Zone Sports Network helped attendees get to know Sitake and Scalley better.

For instance, Sitake’s first car was a 1978 Toyota Tercel. Scalley’s first car was a Hyundai Sonata. 

Sitake took his wife, Timberly, to Tepanyaki restaurant on their first date. Scalley took wife Liz to the movie “Rush Hour 2.”

The Sitakes most recent television binge-watching was “Full Swing” on Netflix, which is documentary on the lives of PGA Tour stars such as Utah’s Tony Finau. The Scalleys have been watching “Ted Lasso” (Morgan) and “Gilmore Girls” (Liz).

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Sitake said if he were to get a name, image and likeness deal (NIL), it would be with any fast food restaurant in Provo; Scalley said his would be with a dessert shop called Spilled Milk, or Panda Express.

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Scalley won the men’s long drive contest for the second straight year — then awarded the golf bag he won to a Utah fan sitting nearby at the luncheon. Ryan Wood won the closest-to-the-pin prize, knocking his tee shot to 5 feet, 9 inches on No. 2 (Lakes Course) at Hidden Valley.

Of the “qualifier” teams that met the combined handicap of 43 or higher, another BYU-based team took home the first prize. Former BYU quarterback Robbie Bosco, BYU deputy athletic director Brian Santiago, BYU booster Vaughn Pulsipher and Pulsipher’s son Brandon shot a 15-under 57 to win drivers and $200 each in pro shop merchandise.

It has been a pretty good month for Santiago. He played in Steve Young’s “Bay Area Classic” golf tournament in April and made a hole-in-one on the famed No. 12 hole at Pebble Beach Golf Links and won $50,000 for the shot.

The qualifying team of Dan Hansgen, John Hansgen, Jasmine Hansgen and Quint Chipman placed second with a 58 and will represent the state in the National Kidney Foundation national tournament in Big Cedar Lodge, Missouri, next May.

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