Jeff Green and Kent Easton, a couple of linebacker-sized golfers, held onto the big lead they built up the first two rounds and cruised to the Utah State Best Ball Open title Sunday at Bountiful Golf Course.
Green, the head pro at Stansbury Park and Easton, an assistant pro at Brigham City, combined for a 4-under-par 67 at Bountiful Golf Course which gave them a 54-hole total of 191 and a 4-shot win over Reid Goodliffe and John Evans. With the win, Green and Easton split $2,500."Victory is always nice," said Easton. "You never get tired of winning."
While some partnerships combine long-time friends such as the one between Goodliffe and Evans and others are family affairs the twosome of Kirk and Kris Abegglen, who tied for 4th place, the union between Easton and Green didn't come together until recently.
Easton had procrastinated getting a partner and was asking around at the tournament in Smithfield two weeks ago. He heard that Green was available because his planned partner, Mike Richards, had a wrenched back. He asked Green and a winniing combination was born.
Although they knew each other from playing together from time to time in tournaments, they didn't have a lot in common. Green grew up in Salt Lake and attended the University of Utah. Easton came from California and played golf for Utah State. One thing they did have in common, however, was their size.
They're two of the largest golfers you'll ever find. Easton measures 6-foot-6 and 250, while Green is 6-4 and 240. By comparson, th average PGA pro is about 5-9, 165.
"There's no advantage for your golf swing in being big," said Easton.
"It's a serious detriment," added Green.
Nevertheless being the largest team didn't bother Easton and Green.
On Friday at Davis Park, they took the lead with a 61, then added a 63 at Valley View Saturday. With a 6-shot lead going into the final round, they felt fairly confident.
"When you have a big lead, the others have to go at everything. You've got to make them beat you,"said Easton.
While Goodliffe and Evans helped their cause by missing some short putts, Green-Easton made birdies at 1, a 3-footer by Green, at 7, an 18-incher by Green, at 13 when Easton tapped in after blasting from a sand trap, and at 18 where both had short birdie putts.
For Green, it was his third victory in a month's time. In late June, he won the Sizzler Open in Park City and followed that with a win in Price in early July.
"I'm keeping in a groove by practicing every day," said Green. "I practice every day, even if I just hit one bucket of balls. I haven't missed one day. I've never practiced this much before."
Third place went to Rose Park pros Ron Branca and Wayne Fisher at 197, while Mack Christensen and Jono Herriick tied the Abegglens for 4th at 199.
Among the amateurs, the championship flight was won by University of Utah golfers Matt Johnson and Doug Roberts, who won a playoff with Devin Dehlin and Mike Stone after both finished at 197.
The net winners were Phil Curran and Gene Rooks, whose 185 total was 5 shots better than Bill Burbidge and Van Evans.