Monday qualifiers: Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank
June 22, 2020
By Kevin Prise, PGATOUR.COM
- June 22, 2020
- Chris Naegel shot 63 in Monday's Utah Championship open qualifier to secure a tee time Thursday at Oakridge CC. (Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Hayden Buckley led the way at open qualifying for this week's Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank, scorching TalonsCove GC in Saratoga Springs, Utah, to the tune of 10-under 62, securing a tee time Thursday at Oakridge CC in the Salt Lake City metroplex.
Beginning his round on No. 1, Buckley opened with a birdie and quickly caught fire, carding seven consecutive birdies on holes 4-10 to assert himself as firmly in the driver's seat. The Missouri alum added three more birdies on Nos. 13, 15 and 16, and a bogey at the par-3 17th served as no issue.
The 24-year-old Tennessee native entered 2020 with conditional Korn Ferry Tour status, knowing that any start could prove monumental as he aims to earn Points to better his standing in future reshuffles. Buckley has previously competed in three Korn Ferry Tour events, his best finish a T41 at the 2019 Panama Championship.
The third-year pro played the Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada full time last summer, winning the ATB Financial Classic and finishing sixth on the Order of Merit. Buckley also successfully Monday qualified for The Honda Classic earlier this year, making the cut for the second time in two PGA TOUR starts.
Chris Naegel and Cole Ponich matched 9-under 63s to comfortably join Buckley in this week's field. Naegel went bogey-free with nine birdies, while Ponich made 10 birdies against a single bogey.
Naegel, 37, has made 67 career Korn Ferry Tour starts, highlighted by a solo fourth at the WinCo Foods Portland Open last summer, where he carded a final-round 64 that included an electrifying hole-in-one at the par-3 12th.
Ponich, competing this week as an amateur, recently completed his freshman year at Brigham Young University, and hails from Farmington, Utah. With Oakridge CC situated in Farmington, Ponich will enjoy a brief commute to the tournament site.
Also advancing into this week's Utah Championship field were Brady Sharp (64), Zahkai Brown (64), T.J. Mitchell, Yuwa Kosaihira and Harry Hall. The latter three survived a 7-for-3 playoff at 7-under 65, with Patrick Flavin, Justin Suh, Peter Creighton and Jake Staiano falling just shy of tournament entry.
In all, 148 players competed for eight available spots in the field at Oakridge CC.
For all scores from Monday's open qualifier at TalonsCove GC, click here.
Chris Naegel makes an ace at WinCo Foods