HURRICANE — While the Sand Hollow Leavitt Group Open opening round leaderboard shows Zahkai Brown, Jake Sarnoff and Tom Whitney tied at the top with rounds of 2-under 70, it was the infamous winds of Hurricane, Utah, that won the day.
With nearly half of the field still on the golf course, tournament officials called for the suspension of play due to excessive winds at 4:24 p.m. Thursday afternoon. With wind gusts bending flagsticks to nearly 45 degrees, many players were having difficulty marking their golf balls on the putting surface.
Drawing an early tee time, this year’s Siegfried and Jensen Utah Open low professional Zahkai Brown navigated the Championship Course at Sand Hollow Resort with five birdies against three bogeys.
“I played pretty solid in this wind condition, which is nice, but I made a few dumb errors that kept me from being three or four under," Brown said. "Really anything under par was going to be great today. I tried to ride the wind a lot, which is hard to do since you kind of have to aim out into the desert.
"I was just trying to let the wind do it. If you get out here and you try and control the wind, like hit a draw into the wind, you’ll get a gust and end up in the stuff. Bogeys on nine and 18 were dumb mistakes and hurt a little.”
Sarnoff, who qualified for the Web.com Tour’s Utah Championship at Oakridge Country Club on Monday, said conditions called for some different strategy.Comment on this story
“I played pretty conservatively today and just tried not to make too many mistakes," Sarnoff said. "My putting within 10 feet was dead on the whole day so I made probably three or four par-saves from 6 to 8 feet on the backside to keep my round going.”
Players not completing their opening rounds began play this morning, where they left off.
The fourth-annual, 54-hole Sand Hollow Leavitt Group Open offers an exemption into the 2018 Web.com Tour Utah Championship and a first-place check of $12,000 to its winner.