CHEYENNE – The Tyrrell Wyoming State Open has had little trouble filling its professional field.
There has rarely been a shortage of young golfers eager to earn their first paychecks, hopeful the money and experience help them climb the ladder to the PGA Tour. However, filling the pro portion of the Wyoming Open has been even easier the past few years.
This year’s field was full by early June, tournament director Mike Lepore said. A confluence of tournaments has created a wait list for spots.
The Laramie Open – which is approaching its 10th anniversary – is the weekend before the Wyoming Open. The Korn Ferry Tour’s TPC Colorado Championship at Heron Lakes also started Thursday. The qualifying round for that 3-year-old tournament was Monday in Berthoud, Colorado. There are several players who didn’t clinch one of the four qualifying spots who will play at Airport Golf Course starting today.
“The combination of the three events really helps,” Lepore said. “They can play Laramie, try to qualify for the Korn Ferry event Monday and come play here if they don’t qualify there.”
The increased interest also has improved the level of play. Joe Zawaski shot a 12-under-par 58 during the Thursday morning portion of the pro-am. That’s a scorching score, even with the prime tee and pin placements of the pro-am.
“I think it’s an indication of the level of play,” Lepore said. “There also are guys out there who aren’t playing in the pro-am, so we don’t know what they can do here yet.”
One of those pros is Zahkai Brown, who shot an 18-under 195 to claim the Laramie Open by a single stroke.
“The course is going to get harder throughout the weekend, but it will still be receptive,” Lepore said. “These guys should go out there and light the place up. I’d enjoy the hell out of that. I like seeing guys go low.”
The tournament will crown two new champions because 2020 winners Kent Hagen (pro) and Easton Paxton (amateur) are not in this year’s field.