SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah — More than 150 golfers teed it up on Monday at Talons Cove Golf Course, competing for one of eight qualifying spots in this week's Utah Championship. A Utahn earned one. BYU sophomore Cole Ponich birdied seven of his first nine holes, and finished tied for second place with a 9-under par 63 to earn a spot.
"It was exciting at first, but it actually became pretty emotional for me, looking back on all the hard work and all time times were the game wasn't quite at its best," said Ponich. "It was pretty cool. It was a great experience for me."
Cole had an outstanding junior career. He was a 2-time All-American and he played for the USA in the Junior Ryder Cup, but he said qualifying for his first professional tour event was amazing.
"It might be actually on top of my list," said Ponich. "Just knowing you have just one day against some of the world's best players, everyone in that field knows you have to shoot something low, so it was kind of cool to see myself stack up against those really respected players."
Now the former Davis Dart will play with the professionals on his home course at Oakridge Country Club.
"I've been looking forward to playing in this tournament since they announced it was coming here," said Ponich. "I had a pretty boring weekend scheduled but hopefully now I can work my way into the cut and have something to do on Saturday and Sunday."