By Randy Dodson for Deseret News
HURRICANE — It’s not the largest check of his young professional golf career, that came last year at the Major Series of Putting in Las Vegas, but Taylor Montgomery won the champion’s check of $18,000 presented by the Sand Hollow Leavitt Group Open on Saturday.
Montgomery, a former UNLV men’s golf team member, survived a four-man, one-hole playoff on the 18th hole at Sand Hollow Resort to claim the first-place purse and the Leavitt Group’s sponsor exemption into the 2019 Web.Com Tour Utah Championship.
In terms of importance, the confidence gained by beating a strong field a few weeks ahead of Q-school ranks right up there with the trophy, cash and exemption.
Montgomery shot rounds of 65-65-69 for 199 to finish 17-under, tied with defending champion Tom Whitney, Ben Geyer and Eric McCardle. McCardle had turned in the low round of the tournament on the final day with a 9-under 63, one shot shy of the course record.
Montgomery’s best drive of the day left him with just a little over 100 yards to go on the 440-yard playoff hole. He then “hit a chip 52″ wedge to about 5 feet and watched Whitney, Geyer and McCardle leave their birdie attempts to tap-in range. With a good size crowd, including his parents and girlfriend watching from the clubhouse balcony, he sank the winning putt.
A good portion of the field, including Montgomery, now head to Q-School in early October to pursue the dream of playing golf next year on the Web.Com Tour.
“This tournament win is my biggest by far because of the Web.Com Tour exemption,” Montgomery said. “Now I know I get at least one start on the Web Tour (next year), it’s nice. This win tells me I am playing well going into Q-School.”
Rounding out the top five was former Utah Open champion Zahkai Brown with a 16-under finish. The low Utah professional was former Utah State Aggie Seokwon Jeon at 11-under and alone in 18th place.
Past winners of the Sand Hollow Open include Taylor Aldridge (2014), Zac Blair (2015 and 2016) and Whitney (2017), all who have or are now playing on the PGA Tour or Web.Com Tour.
Final results of the 2018 Sand Hollow Leavitt Group Open are available here: https://www.golfgenius.com/pages/4569614945653638907
The Resort at Sand Hollow is a premier destination to Escape. Play. Discover. Relax. Home of Utah’s favorite golf course, the resort also offers local opportunities for boating, motor sports, biking, and hiking at Sand Hollow Reservoir, the Sand Mountain Dunes, and Utah’s top-rated Zion National Park. Reasonably-priced full time, seasonal, and overnight rental options provide a spectacular backdrop to relax and unwind.