The past few years, Bruce Brockbank has chased a handful of golf recruits and locked three of them down with letters of intent in November 2015.
It is interesting to see what has happened to the trio he signed. They include Fresno’s Peter Kuest, who won five tournaments in a row in California this spring; Corner Canyon star Rhett Rasmussen, who has chiseled out one of the top amateur seasons in Utah so far, and LDS mission-bound Carson Lundell, who helped lead Lone Peak to, ho-hum, another state championship.
Locally, Rasmussen ranks No. 1 in the Utah Golf Association’s Player Performance Rankings after the Valley View Amateur and is considered to be one of the favorites to challenge for the Utah State Amateur championship in July.
A year ago, Rasmussen, just 17 at the time, beat professional Jordan Rodgers in an extra holes playoff for top honors at the Salt Lake City Amateur at Wingpointe. Rodgers is a former top BYU golfer who had won the Cougar Classic and Utah State Amateur.
That day, Rodgers got the pro money and Rasmussen was given the champion’s belt.
This spring, Lundell impressed the field at the Spanish Oaks Open when he fired a first round 64 and ended up winning low amateur honors for the two-day event. He recently accepted a call to serve a two-year mission in Tucson, Arizona, and leaves the third week of July.
Kuest is an interesting story. BYU found out about Kuest through Ken Leister, a partner with Hall of Famer Johnny Miller in the Silverado Resort in Napa, California. Miller and Leister had watched Kuest play plenty of rounds to know the kid’s reputation around central California was well deserved. It helped that Leister had only to call Johnny’s son, Brockbank’s assistant Todd Miller, and the chase was on.
Todd says Kuest had a partial offer from Fresno State on the table when the Cougar staff put on the rush, got him to take a trip to Provo and then commit.
“I really liked my visit to Provo,” Kuest said Wednesday from his home in Fresno. “It was different than any of the other places I’ve been. I like the feel of the place, the players and the school.”
Since that time, Kuest has torn up plenty of amateur events in California. He finished tied for low medalist honors in his high school central sectional. He was Tri River Athletic Conference MVP.
In his five-tournament win streak, Kuest won the Future Collegiate World Tour (FCWT) at Bayonet and Black Horse at Seaside in Monterey Bay; the FCWT at Silverado Golf Resort in Nampa, California, the NCGA’s Tulare County Amateur; the AJGA at Yellow Fires, and the prestigious 89-year-old Alameda Commuters Amateur.
At the Alameda, Kuest fired rounds of 65-64-67 to break the 36-hole record and then finished his final round with a 73, still good enough for a 15-under-par four-shot win in a field that included a bevy of collegiate golfers. He became the youngest Alameda champion in history.
Kuest, who grew up in the same part of Fresno as PGA Tour veteran Bryson Dechambeau, is known as a ball striker and excellent iron player who can hit his drives long. You don’t card the kind of rounds he did at Alameda unless the putter becomes a magic wand.
Kuest has a full calendar of competitive golf events this summer, including the Utah Open at Riverside Country Club in August.
Brockbank won’t see Lundell this fall, but the Alpine resident led Lone Peak to two national tournament titles before he signed at BYU.
Kuest and Rasmussen make for a solid reload to the Cougar program. Current squad member Patrick Fishburn just won the Salt Lake City Amateur at Bonneville Golf Course with a 5-under-par 136 score.
Rookies Kuest and Rasmussen, with the long-hitting Fishburn?
No wonder Brockbank’s smile is a little wider this summer.