SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A pair of Utah locals are in the field ahead of next week’s inaguaral Copper Rock Championship, Utah’s Symetra Tour stop.
Haley Sturgeon and Kendra Dalton will both be looking to climb the leaderboard at next week’s event with the hopes of securing glory at their home event.
Sturgeon graduated from Dixie State University in 2016 and currently works as an Assistant Pro at the Salt Lake Country Club. She is without Symetra Tour status, in fact, she was only able to secure a spot in the field after Copper Rock Head Pro John Horton granted her a sponsor’s exemption.
Her golfing adventure thus far has included many injuries, unfortunately, and she has battled to stay healthy. Sturgeon’s Symetra Tour status fell by the wayside roughly a year ago, when the pandemic put a halt to the sporting world. Since then, she has been patiently awaiting her chance to return to tournament golf.
“I have gone to Q School, I’ve missed the cut, always by like 1 or 2 [shots],” Stuegeon told KSL Sports. “So they give you baseline status and every year I have had an injury or had to have surgery or I have been working too much,” she added.
Fortunately, Sturgeon can return to the professional golfing circus with a big week at Copper Rock. If she wins the tournament, she will receive full Symetra Tour status for the remainder of the season. Or, if she finishes in the top 10, she will receive an invitation to the following week’s stop.
Dalton is currently on the Symetra Tour. She is living the not-so-glamourous life that the Symetra Tour provides, or at least that is how she put it.
Lots of driving from destination to destination is how Dalton explores America. She is playing in Tucson, Arizona this weekend before getting on the road and travelling to Hurricane, Utah, then, she will jump back in her car and travel to Garden City, Kansas.
Nonetheless, Dalton is living her dream and is thoroughly enjoying the weekly pressures that golf provides.
“I enjoy being in new places all the time, I enjoy travelling, it doesn’t bother me” Dalton told KSL Sports. “There is like an art to it in how to conserve energy and how to get things done most efficiently because a lot of it falls on you,” she added.
After graduating from BYU in 2018, Dalton has spent the previous two seasons vying for her LPGA card. In both 2019 and 2020, she has competed in 31 tournaments and has made 24 total cuts. Her best finish came in 2019 when she ended in a tie for sixth at the Prasco Charity Championship. Last year, her best finish was a tie for ninth at the IOA Golf Classic.
So far, Dalton has competed in two events in 2021 and has placed in a tie for 41st and a tie for 17th.
A Winning Formula
Both Dalton and Sturgeon believe their best attribute is driving the golf ball. Being long off the tee and utilizing their power and precision. A trait that will certainly come in handy at the tricky Copper Rock course.
Dalton admits that her chipping and putting can let her down occasionally, whereas, Sturgeon admits that her iron play is what she needs to fixate her attention on.
The tournament boasts a prize purse of $200,000 with the winner taking home $30,000.
KSL Sports is a sponsor of the Copper Rock Championship.