FARMINGTON — Throughout most of the 1980s and 1990s, the Utah Open golf tournament was rarely won by Utahns as out-of-state golfers routinely came to the Beehive State and took home the trophy.
Since 2001, when the tournament was revamped to become more of a Utah event with about 90 percent of the players from Utah, most of the winners have come from the home state, including seven of the past 10.
However, the past two years, out-of-state pros have won the tournament with Denver's Nick Mason winning last year and Nathan Lashley, of Scottsdale, Ariz., the year before that. Lashley also finished second last year to Mason by a stroke.
Local pros will be trying to recapture the trophy this year when the annual tournament, sponsored by Siegfried and Jensen, begins at the Oakridge Country Club.
The 54-hole tournament gets under way Friday morning and runs through Sunday. The 156-man field will be cut to the low 60 players and ties after Saturday's round.
Besides recent champs Mason and Lashley, who will tee off at 8 a.m. and 8:10 a.m., respectively, seven other former champions will be in the field.
Clay Ogden, the 2007 winner, will play in Lashley's group, while Pete Stone tees off at 1:50 p.m., just after 2002 champion Boyd Summerhays at 1:10 p.m. Other former champions in the field include Nick McKinlay (2005), Kim Thompson (2001), Jimmy Blair (1981) and Mike Malaska (1974).
Among the top Utah professionals to keep an eye on are Brett Wayment, Dustin Volk, Todd Tanner, Luke Swilor, Joe Summerhays, Steve Schneiter, Dustin Pimm, Nick Killpack, Adrian Wadey and Zach Johnson.
Out-of-state pros who could contend include Jarett Hamamoto, who finished third last year, Derek Tolan, Doug Garwood and Nick Latimer, James Drew and Tom Glissmeyer, who tied for medalist honors at Monday's qualifier at Glen Eagle.
Top amateurs in the field include last year's low amateur Cameron Crawford, reigning State Amateur champion Jeff Evans, former State Am champion Zac Blair, Salt Lake City Amateur champion Scott Clark, former State Am champion Dan Horner, Mike Branca, Kirk Siddens and Devon Purser.
The tournament purse is $120,000 with $20,000 going to the winner. Utah Special Olympics is the benefiting charity and admission to the tournament is free.