The historically challenging Cross Creek Golf Club played host to 94 of the Toyota Tour Cup’s best this past weekend of April 25th & 26th. Course designer Arthur Hills, known for his risk-reward design philosophy, requires precision on every shot if you hope to challenge par. This is no “hit it and find it” type of course. Players learned quickly, that simply hitting fairways and greens wasn’t enough. The golf course is all about angles, with menacing tree limbs and severe undulations to contend with if you were out of position. The winners would need to be patient, know when par or even bogey was a good score, and possess mental toughness because bogeys were inevitable.
As if the thick kikuyu rough and firm table top greens didn’t present enough of a challenge, round one brought some cooler temperatures with steady 15 mph winds. Connor Howe from Ogden, Utah had the low round of the day with a two under par 69 in his first ever Toyota Tour Cup event. Close on his heals was Koichiro Sato who shot a one under par 70, totaling 7 birdies, including 5 in a row from holes 13 thru 17. Kaitleen Shee and Mallory Muehlbauer separated themselves from the pack after round one shooting 72 and 73 respectively, with the nearest competitors at 76.
As they typically do, overall scores improved by about a stroke and a half for both the Girl’s and Boy’s fields. Hannah Ko shot a tournament low three under par 68 to get into second place. However, it was not enough to catch the incredibly consistent play of Kaitleen Shee who shot a two over par 73 to win by two shots over the charging Ko for her first Toyota Tour Cup title! Connor Howe continued the theme of first time winners by shooting a three over par 74 giving him a three shot victory over 2014 Summer Q School graduate William Mouw.
The SCPGA would like to thank the host facility, Cross Creek and their staff, for their continued support through the years. Also our volunteer rules officials; Ron O’Connor, PGA, Keith Reinking, Terry Startzel, Gary Albin, John Cochran, and Bill Demint. And our event sponsors Cleveland/Srixon for the custom wedges and logoed golf ball and hats.
The Toyota Tour Cup takes a two week break before heading North to Lompoc, CA to play La Purisma. La “P” or La “Pirahna” as it is often called is ranked the 33rd most difficult golf course in America, according to Golf Digest.