PROVO — The annual Utah Open golf tournament is moving south this year and will be played at Riverside Country Club for first time since 1975.
The tournament, sponsored by Siegfried and Jensen law firm, has been played at Oakridge Country Club in Farmington for the past seven years, but the Utah Section PGA decided to move the tournament to Riverside, which was the home for the Ben Hogan Tour back in the 1990s.
Eight pro-ams have been contested this week at Riverside and the actual 54-hole tournament begins Friday morning and runs through Sunday afternoon.
Defending champion is Zach Johnson, an assistant pro at Davis Park Golf Course. He came from behind on the final three holes to beat Jesse Mueller of Arizona after Mueller bogeyed the final two holes. Johnson had a 54-hole total of 200.
The Utah Open is basically a Utah event with 127 of the 156-player field coming from the Beehive State. The field includes 30 amateurs, led by recent State Amateur champion Jon Wright, 2008 State Am champion Dan Horner and former State Amateur champions Cole Ogden and Joe Parkinson, who both play for BYU.
Eleven former champions are in the field, including 2012 winner James Drew of Las Vegas, 2010 champion Nick Mason of Colorado, 2007 and 2011 champion Clay Ogden of Farmington and 2006 winner Pete Stone of Salt Lake.
Also playing this year is former PGA Tour regular Dean Wilson, who won the 1999 Utah Open at South Mountain Golf Course and Keith Clearwater, a two-time PGA Tour winner, who played for BYU and lives in Orem.
The charity for the tournament is Special Olympics of Utah with $40,000 being raised for the local charity last year.