For years, amateur golfers have dominated the Rose Park Open, winning five titles since 2000.
Now it's the seniors turn.
Senior professionals ruled at Rose Park Golf Course on Saturday, with 57-year-old Roy Christensen and 62-year-old Kean Ridd tying for first with sparkling 7-under-par 65s. Three more from the over-50 set finished in the top 10 with 68s.
"I don't know what's happening," said Christensen. "We seniors have been playing pretty well this year."
Christensen claimed the $1,600 first-place check by default because Ridd was already back home in Springville when he was informed that he had tied for first. However, he wasn't about to turn around and drive 50 miles to try to make an extra $400 in a playoff. PGA Section rules state that if a player isn't available for a sudden-death playoff, the person he tied with gets the title first prize money.
Christensen had finished with his 65 shortly after 6 p.m., about 45 minutes after Ridd finished.
"I'm staying until someone beats me," said Christensen, who has been good friends with Ridd for decades and currently works as a teaching pro at East Bay, where Ridd is head professional.
Dustin Volk and Dave DeSantis tied for second at 66, while Henry White, Marco Stevanoni and amateurs Chance Cota, Chris Gresn, Tyson Lund and Afa Vasi all shot 67. Pro Chris Moody and amateur Jeff Kitches joined seniors Tom Costello, Kim Thompson and Mike Borich with 68s.
For Christensen, it was his second local professional victory in a row, after winning the Spanish Oaks Open a week earlier in his hometown of Spanish Fork. Christensen retired as the head pro at Spanish Oaks last year and is finding more time to play golf and keep his game in shape.
"It's like when you're younger, the more you're working on your game, the better you are," he said. "I've been working on it pretty good and it makes a difference."
He called Saturday's round "solid" with his driving, iron play, chipping and putting all working well. After bogeying the first hole, Christensen played 3-under the rest of the front nine. On the back, he made five birdies with no bogeys and finished with a flourish, making birdies on the final three holes for his 65.Christensen mostly plays local events but occasionally will play in national tournaments and has tried to qualify for Champions Tour events.
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