Former Corner Canyon golfer enjoying success at the collegiate ranks
Aug 05, 2019 04:26PM
● By Catherine Garrett
Former Corner Canyon High golfer Rhett Rasmussen has finished in the top 20 in 22 tournaments through his first three years on the BYU golf team. (Photo courtesy BYU Photo)
By Catherine Garrett | [email protected]
Former Corner Canyon High School golfer Rhett Rasmussen has continued his successful golf journey since he won the 2016 individual 5A state title as well as three region championships during his playing days in the Chargers program.
Following his sophomore season playing for Brigham Young University last year, he qualified locally — placing fifth out of 100 golfers — for a U.S. Open sectional in San Francisco, where he grabbed a third of the top five places with rounds of 66 and 71, to be invited to the 2018 major championship held at Shinnecock Hills Golf Course in New York.
“It was an awesome experience and a childhood goal of mine to be there,” Rasmussen said. “It was pretty surreal to be warming up next to Tiger. It was amazing.”
At the U.S. Open, Rasmussen shot an 80 and a 74 to finish tied for 112th overall, missing the cut by six strokes.
“Just being there and competing absolutely makes you so hungry to get back there,” he said.
The 6'1" senior-to-be at BYU recently wrapped up his third year of collegiate golf with a first-place finish at the NCAA Regionals in Pullman, Washington — with two rounds of 63 for a score of 15-under to win by two strokes. Rasmussen birdied his final three holes to secure his top finish, which helped the Cougars to their second consecutive appearance at nationals.
“That was really cool to win regionals,” Rasmussen said. “I had kind of been struggling individually and we were as a team as well, but I won and the team advanced.”
“For Rhett to get on a roll and shoot the scores that he did, it was such a key for us to have success,” BYU head coach Bruce Brockbank said. “Even when he’s not playing his best, he still finds a way and that tournament just shows that he can bounce back from adversity and really shoot some low scores.”
Rasmussen has been playing golf since he was 3 years old and became the first Utahn since 1995 to claim a Junior World Golf title when he won the 13–14 age division in 2014.
“I saw him sink a 10-foot putt at the Junior Worlds in San Diego over a kid that was two feet taller than him and I remember thinking that I wanted to do anything I could to get Rhett to BYU,” Brockbank said. “So, we worked very hard to get him here and we feel very fortunate to have such a talented kid in our program.”
“I wanted to go to a school that would give me the best chance to get onto the (PGA) tour,” Rasmussen said.
At BYU, he won the Goodwin Tournament at Stanford as a freshman amidst tough windy conditions, according to Brockbank. “Shooting low scores just doesn’t happen in the wind, but Rhett did and won the tournament,” he said.
During Rasmussen’s first year with the Cougars, he also placed third in the USF Olympic Intercollegiate Tournament and tied for sixth at the William H. Tucker Invitational. As a sophomore, he tied for third at the WCC championships, tied for eighth at the Saint Mary’s Invitational and tied for ninth at the Geiberger Invitational.
This past year, as a junior, he placed third at the Nick Watney Invitational, tied for fourth at the Olympic Club and tied for ninth at Saint Mary’s and has 22 top-20 finishes currently during his collegiate career.
“From day one, Rhett has contributed to our program,” Brockbank said. “His short game is phenomenal. Not many guys have the touch and feel that he has around the green. And he really hasn’t played his best stuff yet. I think he’s ready to bust out and have a great year.”
Rasmussen said his “super competitive” nature drives him to practice every day as he prepares for his final collegiate season and beyond — with his eyes set on finishing his degree and playing on the PGA tour. He said the game has taught him “way too many lessons to count,” including patience and perseverance — skills he also uses off the course.