Quantcast
Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014

Transplanted Utahn B.J. Staten wins Utah Open in playoff

By Mike Sorensen, Deseret News

Published: Sun, Aug. 24 9:35 p.m. MDT

 B.J. Staten hits the ball out of the rough. Staten won a three-hole playoff Sunday to win the Utah Open.

B.J. Staten hits the ball out of the rough. Staten won a three-hole playoff Sunday to win the Utah Open.

(Fairways Media/Garrit Johnson)

PROVO — B.J. Staten, a 36-year-old transplanted Utahn who plays golf both left- and right-handed, has been a regular on the Web.com Tour for much of the past decade. He's also played on the PGA Tour, where he's had a couple of top-10 finishes.

Yet Staten had perhaps his best day in golf Sunday when he came from behind to win the Siegfried and Jensen Utah Open at Riverside Country Club, beating former champion Nathan Lashley in a three-hole playoff.

“This is the most rewarding because of the stage I’m at in my career,” Staten said. “From a mental standpoint and a competitive standpoint, I will take a lot from this win."

Staten started the day five shots behind Lashley, but fired a final-round 64 to catch him, rolling in a 5-foot birdie putt at No. 18. The two went back to 18 in the playoff and tied twice with pars, before moving to the par-4 No. 10 hole.

There, Staten hit a “perfect” wedge from 144 yards to within 18 inches. When Lashley’s 50-foot putt just lipped out, Staten tapped in for the victory.

Las Vegas pro James Drew, the 2012 Utah Open champion, matched Staten’s final-round 64 and tied for third with Houston’s Chase Barnes, one shot back at 215.

Staten, who met his wife, Alisha, while playing in the 2010 Web.com Utah Championship and now lives in Cottonwood Heights, said this past year has been the toughest of his career. He lost his status on the Web.com Tour after making less than $34,000 last year and hasn’t played in a full tournament in 10 months. He has tried Monday qualifiers and worked for friends as a caddy on the PGA Tour.

“It was a very trying year,’’ he said.

Staten got into the tournament with help from the Utah Section PGA and took advantage. After rounds of 69 and 67, he played bogey-free golf, getting three birdies on the front nine, another at 10 and birdies at 13, 15, 16 and 18.

Lashley began the day at 13-under par with a four-shot lead over first-day leader Zahkai Brown and Barnes. Although he didn’t make a bogey, Lashley only managed three birdies, at holes 6, 10 and 11.

“I just didn’t make any putts today,’’ Lashley said.

He did make a 7-footer on the first playoff hole to stay alive and just missed on his 50-footer on the third playoff hole.

“I tried to give it a chance, but it lipped out,’’ he said.

Cole Ogden, who knows Riverside well from playing the course often as a BYU golfer the past three years, finished as the low amateur at 203 after firing a final-round 65. Steve Schneiter finished as the low senior golfer at 214. Riverside assistant Chris Moody was the low Utah Section pro with a 205 total, which put him in a tie with former BYU and PGA Tour player Dean Wilson.

Staten is unusual in that he plays golf left-handed, but putts right-handed. He said he’s ambidextrous, doing some things with his left side and others with his right. But he changed to right-handed putting for a good reason.

“I got the yips in 1999 putting left-handed,’’ he said. “If I wanted to keep playing golf I had to make a switch.’’

It’s served him well for most of 15 years and now he hopes the Utah Open win will be a catalyst for his career.

“I don’t know if it will sink in for a while,’’ he said. “For me, mentally it gives me stability to come out here and tell myself I can still play.’’

The Dallas, Texas, native doesn’t know if he can quite call himself a Utahn yet, but winning the Utah Open trophy and the $21,000 first prize certainly makes him feel more at home.

“It’s been a wonderful three years being here and I look forward to many more,’’ he said.

Utah Open final results

Riverside Country Club

Par-72

a- denotes amateur

*B.J. Staten, $21,000 69-67-64—200

Nathan Lashley $15,000 65-66-69--200

James Drew $8,000 68-69-64—201

Chase Barnes $8,000 65-71-65—201

Jesse Mueller $4,800 67-68-67—202

Nick Killpack $3,500 69-69-65—203

Scott Smith $3,500 68-70-65—203

a-Cole Ogden 71-67-65--203

Martin Trainer $2,750 71-67-66—204

Zahkai Brown $2,750 64-71-69—204

Brandon Brigamon $1,920 68-70-67—205

Nick Mason $1,920 71-66-68—205

Brian Vranesh $1,920 68-68-69—205

Chris Moody $1,920 69-67-69--205

Dean Wilson, $1,920 68-68-69—205

Taeksoo Kim $1,550 70-67-69--206

Clay Ogden $1,550 68-68-70—206

Matt Baird $1,450 73-66-68—207

a-Jordan Rodgers 68-70-69—207

a-Kurt Owen 70-67-70--207

Kurt Watkins $1,375 67-71-70—208

Ryan Hogue $1,375 67-70-71—208

Dino Giacomazzi $1,250 71-69-69--209

Matt Montez $1,250 73-69-67—209

Zach Johnson $1,250 71-73-65—209

a-Jon Wright 70-67-72--209

Darren Angel $1,075 74-66-70—210

Steve Friesen $1,075 68-71-71—210

Todd Tanner $1,075 73-70-67—210

Dustin Volk $1,075 72-72-66—210

Zenon Brown $912.50 71-70-70-211

Peter Lansburgh $912.50 71-71-69—211

Tommy Sharp $912.50 69-71-71—211

Jarrett Hamamoto $912.50 74-68-69—211

a-Devon Purser 74-70-67--211

Jake Eillison $850 71-70-71—212

Nick Travers $812.50 68-72-73—213

Devin Schreiner $812.50 69-71-73—213

a-Brandon Kida 74-71-68--213

Tele Wightman $750 70-70-74—214

Joel Thelen $750 70-72-72—214

Steve Schneiter $750 68-74-72—214

Keith Clearwater $670 71-71-73—215

Jacob Holt $670 73-71-71—215

Grant Doverspike $670 71-73-71—215

Derek Butts $670 74-71-70—215

a-Tommy Higham 73-70-72—215

a-Jason Hargett 69-75-71—215

a-Mason Casper 71-74-70--215

Travis Hofland $600 68-73-75—216

Shawn Edwards $600 71-73-72—216

Ryan Colemere $600 74-71-71—216

a-Brandon Hargett 71-71-74—216

a-Kai Ruiz 71-74-71—216

a-Darrin Overson 74-71-71--216

Stratton Schulz $540 70-72-75—217

Mark Owen $540 70-73-74—217

Barry Schenk $540 73-72-72—217

Ryan Kartchner $495 71-71-76—218

Dan Engle $495 66-76-76—218

Jordan Van Orman $470 74-71-78—223

*Won sudden-death playoff on third hole

Recommended