STK - Close up of golf ball on green

Former Arizona State star Steele Dewald shot a 9-under-par 63 to take the lead after the first round of the 79th annual Provo Open Championship at East Bay Golf Course in Provo on Thursday.

Dewald totaled six birdies on the front nine and made par or better on the entire 18.

Dewald has a two-stroke lead on Colorado native Kyler Dunkle — the low amateur — and Justin Keiley of Hawaii at 65 (-7).

A trio of players are at -6, including BYU’s Patrick Fishburn and C.J. Lee as well as former Utah State standout Braxton Miller. Fishburn made a late run with five birdies on the back nine to vault into contention.

Draper’s Mark Owens, amateur Derek Penman and Milo Lines of Mesa, Arizona, are tied for seventh at -5.

Eleven players are tied for 10th at -4.

Amateurs Jacob Boyce, Darrin Overson, Brock Stanger, David Jennings and Tongun LoSarah trail Dunkle by two strokes so far, posting a -3 in the first round. Also at -3 is last year’s Provo Open winner, Chris Moody.

It was a busy day for BYU golfer Naomi Soifua, who combined with teammate Anna Kennedy to win the Utah Women’s Four-Ball Championship at Rose Park Golf Course in Salt Lake City, then sped back to Utah County to tee off in the Provo Open. Soifua was plus-3 (75) in her first-round effort.

The second round is Friday and the final round Saturday.

Follow Darnell Dickson on Twitter @darnellwrites or e-mail him at

Darnell Dickson, who has been covering sports in Utah since 1989 (with a detour to Nebraska for three years somewhere in there), is currently the BYU football columnist and BYU men’s basketball beat writer.

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