(KSEE/KGPE) — There’s a fresh new face from the Valley, who will be teeing it up for the first time on the PGA tour this week — former Clovis West star Peter Kuest.
After the coronavirus pandemic ended his senior season at BYU prematurely, Kuest turned pro, and thanks to a sponsor’s exemption, he’s got a spot in the field at the Travelers Championship, which begins Thursday at the TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut.
His former high school golf coach at Clovis West, Jason Simonetti, texted Peter on Monday.
“I just told him, I was thinking about him and I was proud of him, and I’m excited for this next chapter in his career, and watching it unfold,” said Simonetti, whose first year as Clovis West’s golf coach coincided with Kuest’s senior year of high school. “And he replied back, ‘he was on the driving range with Jason Day and Patrick Reed, and now was his turn to go kick their butt.'”
At Clovis West, Kuest helped lead the Golden Eagles to two Central Section team titles, and really burst onto the scene during the spring of his senior year, when he won five straight junior tournaments.
“He won everything,” says Simonetti. “He blistered the fields in every event he played.”
Peter continued his impressive play at BYU, where he established himself as one of the top amateurs in the country.
His senior year alone, before the COVID-19 outbreak ended things in March, Kuest had already won three tournaments, and posted the best scoring average in BYU program history (69.42).
If his final college golf season hadn’t been interrupted, Kuest was in the mix to possibly finish off his college career with an individual national championship in May, and his BYU team had its best chance in years of winning a team championship.
For all these reasons, Simonetti thinks Kuest, who turned 22 on Wednesday, can more than hold his own with the best golfers in the world this weekend.
“The sky’s the limit for the kid,” says Simonetti. “If he made the cut, and finished in the top 25, it would be a great event. And if he did better than that, I wouldn’t be surprised at all. He’s got so much talent, so much potential. It’ll be exciting to watch.”
Because of concerns about the coronavirus, the Travelers Championship will be played without fans this week, just like the previous two events on the PGA Tour, and Simonetti thinks that could work to Kuest’s advantage.
“It’s gonna be just like a college event. The only difference is somebody is gonna be carrying his golf bag,” says Simonetti. “It’ll just be him and his golf ball and the golf course.”
According to Peter’s mother Cindy, this week’s event is one of four PGA Tour sponsor’s exemptions that have been confirmed for Peter this summer. He’ll also be in the field for the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit, Michigan (July 2-5), the Memorial in Dublin, Ohio (July 16-19), and the Barracuda Championship in the Lake Tahoe area (July 30-Aug 2).
No matter what kind of result Peter ends up posting at the Travelers this week, or at those other events this summer, his high school coach has no doubt, in due time, great things are ahead for Kuest on the golf course.
“I know he’s got the drive and ambition, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up being one of the top players in the world,” says Simonetti.