Golf: Brandon Kida leads Utah alumni to first University Cup victory

by | Sep 8, 2021 | Golf Clubs

Former Utah star Brandon Kida fired an 8-under-64 at the Sand Hollow Resort on Tuesday to win medalists at the first annual University Cup. Kida had 10 birdies and two bogies on his round in a field of former college stars representing their universities.

Kida had a series of four birdies on the top nine after bogeying in 1st place. His alumni team from Utah took first place (26-under 334) in front of a BYU team (18-under 342) consisting of former stars Peter Kuest and Rhett Rasmussen. Weber State finished third (13-under), followed by Dixie State, Utah State, Utah Valley and Southern Utah.

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

The organizers hope the competition will encourage ex-players to participate and make the event a significant fundraiser for all programs.

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

Former Weber State Golfer Tyler Herzog will compete in the University Cup on September 7, 2021 at the Sand Hollow Golf Course in Hurricane, Utah. Fairways Media / Randy Dodson

Golf week continues on Wednesday with Utah Jazz and Oakland Raider alumni and boosters competing in a Ryder Cup-style 27-hole competition at the Sand Hollow Resort.

Rhett Long, a retired newspaper publisher and former golfer from Southern Utah, started the University Cup as part of Golf Week founded by Governor Gary Herbert. It is in conjunction with the Sand Hollow Open and Charity Cup to support prostate cancer. Long’s dream was to match the state’s golf programs with alumni who compete against each other to raise funds for their programs.

Utah, Utah State, Weber State, and SUU each brought $ 16,000 to the event, which they returned from donors to their respective programs. The winning alumni team received a check for $ 19,000 for their team in the form of additional money from Zions Bank.

“Three years ago we were trying to figure out the best way to support college golf because we saw how many schools in the east east raised money for tennis and golf and we were worried about college golf would happen, ”said Lang. The opening event raised $ 102,000 for college golf this week.

This first event featured eight former Utah amateur champions and two Utah Open champions, including Jay Don Blake, Utah and Clay Ogden, BYU.

Mark Leavitt has poured eight years of sponsorship money into the Sand Hollow Open, which begins Thursday. Sociable and jovial, he is an artist for small talk chatter and overcoming barriers.

Mark’s skills were in full bloom during a show round at Sand Hollow with Carnoustie Golf Club’s Official Foreign Historian David Mackesey. He raced ahead in the five, quickly found stray balls in the desert, threw them back into the fairway, chased bunker shots and put them back on the grass in a conciliatory manner. He jumped around like a rabbit, made the round of golf as easy and enjoyable as he could without any rules, and gave 5-foot putts.

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

“He has a slight smile and when he shakes your hand he looks you straight in the eye,” said Mackesey. “He is sincere in his words.”

“Friendly, always smiling, he’s the perfect host,” said ABC4 sports spokesman Wesley Ruff.

“He’s one of a kind,” said Adam Jasperson, Sand Hollow General Manager of Resort Operations.

Leavitt is from Cedar City and is the perfect contact for Leavitt Insurance Group. Mark, the younger brother of former Utah Governor Mike Leavitt, is a 4 handicap golfer and is Utah’s Ambassador for Golfers in Scotland Utah on a friendship tour of both venues interrupted by COVID-19 in 2020.

“It’s a great week of golf,” said Mark. “We have sponsored this for eight years and loved it. We’re trying to decide what to do with the Sand Hollow Open and its date. It comes at a time when we are conflicting with several other events, even after trying to sync things up with the Utah section’s calendar. We didn’t always fill out the field below. “

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

The trophy’s story, how Mackesey came into possession, and how it left the PGA’s hands is told in this article written by Mackesey for, the official website for professional golfers.

Mackesey was at Sand Hollow last week to represent Carnoustie and brought the trophy with him. “The names of this trophy included all of the game’s legends, historical superstars of the game,” said Mackesey, who had the help of PGA designers to update its look.