The Brigham City Golf Course, in its final year of existence, has seen a lot of good golf played on it over the years.
Sunday in the annual Brigham City Open, it saw perhaps the finest round ever as Mike Malaska fired a 9-under-par 65 to win by a shot over Kim Thompson.The 65 by the 34-year-old Hidden Valley assistant was the best competitive round ever on the course which will be cease to exist after this year as a new 18-hole course will open on the other side of town.
For Malaska, who has won nearly every major pro event in the state, it was his first Brigham City victory.
"I've never shot well here because I've always thought this was an easy course and I've been haphazard in my approach to it," said Malaska. "Today I was more mentally ready to play. There are a lot of birdie opportunities here and my plan was much better."
Malaska didn't make a single bogey all day. He started with a bang by eagling the par-4 1st hole with a 70-foot chip-in. He added birdies at holes 3, 7 and 9 to make the turn at 5-under 32. On the back side, which is actually the same as the front since the Brigham City layout is a 9-hole course, he birdied 13, 14, 16 and 18.
Malaska figured his score in the one-day event was good enough to win because most years a 68, 69 or even 70 wins it. But Thompson, who had finished a couple of groups ahead of Malaska, was thinking the same thing when he came in with his 66.
"When I walked in, I thought I would win it," said Thompson, an assistant at Alpine. "I thought it (he 66) was pretty strong, but I was wrong."
For Malaska Sunday's triumph was just another in a long line of successes this year.
There have been a half dozen major pro events this year and among Malaska's finishes were a 1st at the Wasatch Open; 1st in the U.S. Open Local Qualifying; 2nd at the Provo Open; and 3rd at the Tri-Ciity Open. Only at the Spanish Oaks Open where he could only manage even-par and at the PGA Match-Play Tournament, where he lost in the quarterfinals, did he fail to have a top-three finish.
Malaska credits much of his success to a program he and three others started - something called "Biomechanical Golf." It's a program involving nutrition, flexibility, strength and balance things, designed to improve a golfer's consistency.
"I've played well this year, better than I ever have," he said. "And I've never had more fun. I'm practicing less and feel much better physically."
Malaska will be conducting some golf camps in Wyoming and California later this summer and soon hopes to conduct some camps in Utah. He says he'll pretty much given up his desire to make the PGA Tour and he'll play in most local pro events this summer, although he will play in the PGA Tournament in August.