Justin Keiley wasn’t going to allow himself to coast to victory in the Provo Open.
Keiley’s remarkable consistency allowed him to push aggressively through to the very end on Saturday, shooting a 5-under-par 67 to win on a windy day at East Bay Golf Course.
The former BYU golfer grabbed the lead at -14 after two rounds play, shooting back-to-back 65s on Thursday and Friday. Former BYU and Lone Peak standout Garrett Fotu set a high bar on Saturday and went to the clubhouse with an 8-under-par 64, finishing at -13. But Keiley fought through the wind to maintain a high level of golf all day.
“I was just able to play consistent golf the whole tournament,” said Keiley, who was born and raised on Maui. “I made putts and played the par 5s well. I always left myself good spots to make putts. I had to think my way around the golf course because the pins were so tough.
“The wind started to pick up on the first hole, so it was a different golf course today. The last nine holes got pretty tough with the wind so I had to dig deep, grind hard and think about every shot. I just did everything right you have to do to win.”
Keiley had just one bogey during the 54-hole event. On Saturday, he had three birdies and then chipped in for eagle on the 507-yard, par-5 12th hole.
But Keiley knew his work wasn’t done just yet.
“I still wanted to make birdies,” Keiley said. “I didn’t want to coast in. I still wanted to play good golf. I’m not going to hit the brakes ever. But I knew on 17 that it was over.”
Keiley played in Hawaii during the winter months, finished second in the Hilo Open and fourth at the Mid Pac Open on Oahu. He came to Utah on April 30.
“I stayed sharp and played every day,” Keiley said. “My parents told me when it gets warm enough to come back to the mainland and try to win golf tournaments.”
Next up for Keiley is the Navajo Trails Tournament in Durango, Colorado, and state opens in Wyoming and Colorado.
“I’m just going to play in a bunch of small state opens and I’m saving up money,” Keiley said. “I haven’t been to Q School in three years, so I’m going to do that and then try to get my Web.com card.”
Keiley took home $4,000 for his Provo Open victory. Milo Lines, the teaching pro at TalonsCove, shot a 66 on Saturday to finish at 15-under-par and pocketed $2,500.
Steele Dewald, the first-round leader after shooting a 63 on Thursday, tied with former BYU athlete Joe Summerhays for third at -14. Fotu was fifth at -13. Three players — former Utah State standout Braxton Miller and former Cougars Patrick Fishburn and Jordan Rodgers — tied for sixth at -12.
Last year’s winner, Riverside Country Club pro Chris Moody, tied for ninth at -9.
The top amateur was Clay Bingham, who carded a 66 on Saturday to finish at -8 and tied for 11th.
Fishburn — playing in his first professional tournament — was three strokes behind Keiley after two rounds and shot a 71 on Saturday. The two were part of the final group along with Dewald.
“Justin played very well,” Fishburn said. “He was pretty much flawless all tournament. He chipped in for eagle and had no bogies. He was very impressive.
“I wasn’t very good with the wind today. I had a hard time judging my distances. I had some decent long putts but then I had a few three-putts, too. It’s always a good experience to play against professionals. This was a great event with a lot of good players.”
The careers of Fishburn and Keiley at BYU overlapped just one year.
“I’ve followed Patrick’s career,” Keiley said. “For the last three years he’s been a beast for BYU. I think Patrick is going to be successful as a pro. He hits it a mile and has good touch. He’ll make it on the PGA Tour for sure one day.”