PAYSON The redesigned Gladstan Golf Course is already proving to be a pretty good test of golf.
In Saturday's first round of the third annual Gladstan Open, sponsored by Reams and Temkin International, only four players managed to break par. In fact, only 16 players shot 77 or better.
"On this course, it all depends on where you hit it," Gladstan pro Tracy Zobell said. "You have to be on the right side of the hole with these hole locations to score well."
Apparently, Zobell knows his stuff and used his local knowledge to take a one-shot lead into today's final round. With a 3-under par 69 that featured five birdies and two bogeys, Zobell is one up on Riverside assistant Chris Moody and Provo amateur Jeff Jolley, and two up on Salt Lake pro Mike Borich. Jeremy Ranch's Tom Costello, winner of the this year's Provo Open, is three shots back at 72. Amateur Steele Dewald also shot even-par 72.
Three pros Aaron Brown, Henry White and Ryan Rhees are still in the chase after firing 2-over 74s in the first round.
Zobell and Moody were actually tied heading into the par-5 18th, where a birdie by the host pro gave him the lead. A 66-yard lob wedge to within two feet set up the easy birdie.
"I just managed not to make a high number today," Zobell said.
Moody only managed to make par on the final hole. Still, Moody is in good position considering he made bogey on two of his first three holes on Saturday. He got it to 3-under with a birdie on the difficult downhill par-3 13th but gave the stroke back a hole later when he bogeyed the difficult, uphill par-5 14th.
Pin placements for today's final round should be a little more challenging, so scoring likely won't be any lower. A 36-hole score of minus-three or four might be good enough to win.
"I really don't think the scoring will be very low, I really don't," Zobell said.
This year's tournament has a total purse of nearly $10,000. The first-place professional will take home a check for $2,000.The leader group with Zobell, Moody, Borich and Costello tees off today at 1:30 p.m.
First-round scores par-72
69 Tracy Zobell
70 Chris Moody, Jeff Jolley (a)
71 Mike Borich
72 Tom Costello, Steele Dewald (a)
74 Aaron Brown, Ryan Rhees, Henry White
75 Weston Maughn, Garrett Moss (a)
76 Clark Rustand