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Golf: Brandon Kida leads Utah alumni to first ever College Cup

Former Utah star Brandon Kida shot an 8-under-64 to earn medalist honor in the first annual College Cup at the Sand Hollow resort on Tuesday. Kida had 10 birdies and two bogies on her round in a field of former college stars representing her colleges.

Kida had a series of four birdies in the top nine after bogeying at No. 1. His Utah alumni team finished in first place (26 under 334) ahead of a BYU team (18 under 342) comprised of ex stars Peter Kuest and Rhett Rasmussen. Weber State finished third (13 under par), followed by Dixie State, Utah State, Utah Valley and Southern Utah.

Ute's team pocketed $ 35,000 for the Utah golf program, $ 16,000 from their entry fee plus $ 19,000 of additional money from Zions Bank. BYU received $ 4,000 for second place.

Organizers hope that the competition will motivate former players to participate and turn the event into a major fundraiser for all programs.

Behind Kida, Weber State's Tyler Herzog finished second at par 65 of 7 under par. Kuest tied for third at 67 at 5-under with Matt Snyder (Utah) and Chris Korte (Utah). The winning team from Utah had the help of mini-tour players like Korte, a player on the 2020 PGA Tour of Latin America from the University of Denver.

Former Weber State golfer Tyler Herzog competes in the College Cup at Sand Hollow Golf Course in Hurricane, Utah, on September 7 of 2021.
Fairways Media / Randy Dodson

Golf week continues Wednesday with alumni and reinforcements from the Utah Jazz and Oakland Raider facing off in a 27-hole Ryder Cup competition at Sand Hollow Resort.

Rhett Long, a retired newspaper editor and former Southern Utah golfer, created the College Cup as part of Golf Week established by Governor Gary Herbert. It is in conjunction with the Sand Hollow Open and the Charity Cup to benefit prostate cancer. Long's dream was to bring together the state's golf programs with competing alumni to raise funds for their programs.

Utah, Utah State, Weber State, and SUU each contributed $ 16,000 to the event, which led to their respective donor programs. The winning alumni team won a check for their team for $ 19,000 in extra money from Zions Bank.

“Three years ago we were trying to decide the best way that we could help college golf because we had seen a lot of the schools in the East raising money for tennis and golf and we were concerned about what would happen to college golf. Long said. The inaugural event raised $ 102,000 for college golf this week.

This first event attracted eight former amateur Utah State champions and four Utah Open champions, including Jay Don Blake (Utah State) and Clay Ogden (BYU).

Mark Leavitt has invested eight years of sponsorship money into the Sand Hollow Open, which begins Thursday. Affable and jovial, he is an artist in small talk and breaking barriers.

In an exhibition round at Sand Hollow with the official foreign historian at Carnoustie Golf Club in Scotland, David Mackesey, Mark's skills were in full bloom. Running forward on a five, he quickly found errant balls in the desert, tossed them back onto the fairway, chased down bunker shots, and, with forgiveness, returned them to the grass. He jumped like a rabbit, making the round of golf as easy and enjoyable as possible, without some rules and putting 5-foot putts.

Former BYU golfer Peter Kues competes in the College Cup at Sand Hollow Golf Course in Hurricane, Utah , September 7, 2021.
Fairways Media / Randy Dodson

"He has an easy smile and when he shakes your hand, he looks into your eyes," Mackesey said. "He is sincere with his words."

"Friendly, always smiling, he's the perfect host," said Wesley Ruff, sportscaster for ABC4.

"It's one of a kind," according to Adam Jasperson, Sand Hollow Resort Operations General Manager.

Originally from Cedar City, Leavitt is the perfect point man to represent Leavitt Insurance Group. The younger brother of former Utah Governor Mike Leavitt, Mark is a 4 handicap golfer and Utah's ambassador to golfers in Scotland, and is personally associated with the captains of St. Andrews, Carnoustie and other famous Scottish golf clubs that have sent players to Utah on what is a friendship tour from both locations, interrupted in 2020 by COVID-19.

"It's a great golf week," said Mark. “We have sponsored this for eight years and we loved it. We are trying to decide what to do with the Sand Hollow Open and its date falls at a time when we are in conflict with several other events, even if we have tried to synchronize things with the Utah Section calendar. We haven't always filled the field here. "

David Mackesey owns the original and previously lost Wanamaker Trophy, a 27-pound piece of historic golf symbolism that began in 1916 for the PGA Championship winner, whose first star prominent was Walter Hagan in the 1920s.

The history of the trophy, how Mackesey came to possess it and how he left the hands of the PGA is recounted in this article written by Mackesey for, the official site of professional golfers.

Mackesey was at Sand Hollow last week representing Carnoustie, and he brought the trophy with him. "The names on this trophy included all the legends of the game, historical superstars of the game," Mackesey said , who has enlisted the help of PGA designers to update its appearance.

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