Bonneville Golf Course

Current Episode - Utah Golf Reround Season 4 Episode 6

VOLUME 27 • ISSUE 4 • NOVEMBER 2018

Utah Golf's

Year in

Review

 

Utah State Amateur

by Kurt Kragthorpe

Everyone involved with the Utah State Amateur Championship is proud of the event's tradition, dating to 1899.

The best part of the State Am is the way its history keeps being updated. Preston Summerhays added another element to his family's chapter of tournament lore, and that's only part of what he accomplished by beating University of Utah golfer Kyle Dunkle 3 and 2 in the final match of the 120th State Am on June 16 at Oakridge Country Club.

About six weeks short of his 16th birthday, Summerhays became the youngest winner of the tournament, topping the legendary George Von Elm, who was 16 in 1917, when he won for the first time. Summerhays will be a sophomore at Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Born in Farmington as the oldest child of Barbara Jean and Boyd Summerhays, Preston moved to Arizona with his family at age 8. They spend the summers in Davis County.

The summary of his State Am victory is simple: Summerhays wore down every opponent with his consistent play, a phrase that may not give him enough credit for making a bunch of birdies. He wobbled slightly in the final match, yet he led for the last 30 holes and never gave Dunkle much of an opening. He's a worthy champion, in every way. And, as has been the case with other members of the extended Summerhays golfing family, his career will be fascinating to watch.

Utah Women’s State Amateur

by Kurt Kragthorpe

October

2018 Issue

Official Monthly Digital Magazine

of the Utah Golf Association

NEW DESIGN

Intuitive Vertical Scroll

Impactful Reading Experience

Multi Media Format

Increased Engagement

The Blair Sisters' style of golf works equally well in stroke play. Yet there's something about the way their consistent ball-striking and ability to make one par after another wears down opponents in match play, and that was illustrated by the way Bingham High School senior Tess Blair dominated the 112th Women's State Amateur.

Blair made a lot of routine pars on her way to the title. Even so, one spectacular par turned the Aug. 2 final match permanently in her favor at Bonneville Golf Course. Blair's chip-in after a taking penalty stroke on the par-3 No. 9 started her run of winning the last five holes, giving her a 6-and-5 victory over Jessica Sloot.

Blair's win came during a big summer for teenagers in UGA championships. Blair, 17, is the youngest winner of the Women's Amateur since Terry Norman Hansen (also 17, but about three weeks younger) claimed her first title in 1980.

The Women's Am outcome followed the 2014 triumph of Blair's sister, Sirene, then a San Diego State golfer and now a professional. Tess Blair, who's committed to Sacramento State, was the qualifying medalist and never had to play beyond the 16th hole in any of her four matches.

Utah Senior State Amateur

by Kurt Kragthorpe

Brigham Gibbs, who won his first Utah State Senior Amateur at Glenwild Golf Club in early June, isn’t well-known in local golf circles, even though he was born and raised in the Beehive State.

In the Senior State Amateur, Gibbs qualified for match play as the No. 8 seed and dispatched of Oakridge club champion Curtis Cook in the first round 2 and 1. Then he went up against 2015 Senior State Amateur champion Craig Wilson in the second round and also took a 2 and 1 victory.

For the quarterfinal round, Gibbs was matched up against No. 1 seed Randy Hicken of Talons Cove GC and Gibbs said later it was his best match of the week as they went to the final hole before Gibbs escaped with a 2 up victory. Then in the semifinals that afternoon, he outlasted Rich Stuart 1 up.

By the final match, whether it was exhaustion from three-straight days of playing or what, neither Gibbs nor Sampson was at his best.

Gibbs started off with a pair of bogeys to quickly fall two down, but got back to even at No. 6 when Sampson made one of three 6s on the front nine. By hole 11, Gibbs was 3 up before he “threw away” three holes and the match went back to even after 15 when Sampson birdied.

Then the match turned at the par-5 16th when Sampson’s drive found the water hazard on the left and Gibbs was able to win the hole with a par. Both players parred No. 17 and when Gibbs lagged a 40-foot putt at 18 to within inches, the match was over.

Utah Women's Senior State Amateur

by Kurt Kragthorpe

JUST CLICK PLAY

Presented by

The reign of the queen continued as the fighter jets flew above at the Utah Women’s Senior Amateur Championship – becoming the third lady ever to win the event at least four times.

Sue Nyhus, along with 45 others, tackled Hubbard Golf Course on Hill Air Force Base for the 26th playing of the senior women’s flagship event for those who are over the age of 50. With the course playing just over 5,000 yards, this northern-Utah gem provided the opportunity for plenty of birdies and low scores. Nyhus – the 2014, 2016-2018 Champion – walked away with the victory by finishing at 5-under par for the tournament. Winning by nine shots over second-place finisher, Roberta Scott (+4), Nyhus appeared to be on cruise control from start to finish – carding six birdies, two eagles and five bogeys over the two days of golf.

“I played solid tee to green,” Nyhus said. “I minimized my mistakes … I knew that I had to because the field was so strong.”

With the victory, Nyhus tied the great Gwen Adams with four titles. With a possibility to win four years in a row and a potential fifth overall, Nyhus will look to tie Annette Gaiotti’s record in 2019.

Mary Lou Baker

by Beaux Yenchik

In the face of figurative giants, a first-time winner took the podium following the final round of the Mary Lou Baker Open.

19-year old Kerstin Fotu claimed her first-ever Utah Golf Association trophy at Wasatch Mountain Golf Course. A 3-under 69 lead Fotu to a four-shot victory - finishing at 8-under par. While paired with Utah power-house Kelsey Chugg – who took third place at 3-under par – and local pro Haley Dunn (-4), Fotu took the “giants” and the rest of the field to town.

“It feels like I can do whatever I set my mind to,” Fotu said. “It feels good. I just told myself to take care of my drives and my putts and just focus on my own game. [Then], everything else will take care of itself and [don’t] really worry about anyone else and how they are playing.”

Women’s Spring Open

by Beaux Yenchik

 A gusty and chilly Spring Open had a first-time duo sweep through the competition – winning by 30 points in the tournament’s team modified stableford format on April 16-17.

Sunbrook and Coral Canyon Golf Courses, along with the rest of the field, saw the A-games of Kareen Larsen and Sadie Palmer – the tournament’s winners – on full display.

The duo, having never played with each other prior to the event, meshed well, while putting up a winning score of 162 points. After being neck-to-neck after day one with last year’s champs (Annette Gaiotti and Nuny Kham-One), the Larsen-Palmer duo pulled away on day two in what appeared to be tougher playing conditions in St. George.

Utah Women's Four-Ball

by Beaux Yenchik

Naomi Soifua and Anna Kennedy, Brigham Young University teammates, claimed victory following the two-day Utah Women’s Four-Ball event at Glendale and Rose Park Golf Courses. Shooting a combined 20-under-par, the duo managed to claim a three-shot victory over second-place finishers and reigning champions, Carly Dehlin and Jessica Sloot, who shot 17-under-par.

“It is fun to be able to be with your teammate and to be able to help each other with putts and compare shots,” Kennedy said. “It brings a whole other element that I really, really like.”

Kennedy and Soifua combined for a total of 21 birdies, two eagles, three bogeys and one double bogey over the two rounds.  Using their distance off the tee to their advantage, the two overpowered each course, giving themselves opportunities to make birdies on almost every hole.

Winterchamps

by Randy Dodson

While four-time Utah Women’s State Amateur Champion Kelsey Chugg may have bigger fish to fry on the national level, she’s not overlooking any chance for tournament wins at home.

Chugging along with 45 points in each round of the Modified Stableford scoring Winterchamps event, the first UGA Championship of the new season, Chugg outpaced BYU freshman Naomi Soifua who scored 43-36 – 79 at Sky Mountain and Bloomington Country Club.

Former champion Dan Horner, high-school rival Cole Ponich and Colton Dallimore had a one point lead after opening round play in the Winterchamps Men’s 1 Flight competition at Bloomington Country Club, but with his 43 points Connor Howe was in a good position to make a move. Howe’s 41 final-round points drove him past some of the biggest names in Utah golf, right into the winner’s circle.

Playing SunRiver Golf Club and Sky Mountain Golf Course, Brigham Gibbs recorded a 37-47 – 84 Modified Stableford point total to take home the Winterchamps Senior Championship flight medal. And with 32 opening round points at Sky Mountain Golf Course and 31 final-round points at Bloomington Country Club, UGA Board of Directors member Kurt Bernhisel’s 63 Modified Stableford point total laid claim to any Winterchamps Super Senior division bragging rights in the board room.

Utah Four-Ball Championship

by Beaux Yenchik

Leading the 16-team field after the Valley View Qualifier of the UGA Four-Ball Championship, plus the eight teams in the senior division, John Wright and Brigham Gibbs looked to tackle Park Meadows Country Club – a 6,981-yard course nestled just northeast of downtown Park City – and bring home the trophy for the second year in a row.

The duo never flinched as they made relatively short work of each opponent – not once seeing holes 16-18 in any of their four matches. Just like they had done in their previous three matches, the tantalizing duo used their light-hearted nature to fuel their match and eventually lead them to victory. Gibbs and Wright defended their title by defeating Matthew Lupinacci and Aaron Robbs, 5 and 3.

In the senior division, Kirk Siddens and Brett Sampson defended their 2017 title by beating Guy Child and Kurt Jamison, 2 and 1.

Utah Mid-Amateur

by Kurt Kragthorpe

Darrin Overson was unaware of his position in the UGA Mid-Amateur Championship as he stood over a 15-foot par putt on Alpine Country Club's 18th green. He just knew he wanted to make it.

As it turned out, Overson's smooth stroke just made his four-stroke victory appear a bit more convincing. It also was a nice way to finish a bogey-free final round that gave him satisfaction as he held the traveling trophy on July 10.

“It's about time my name gets on this trophy,” he said.

The timing of his name's engraving is significant. It comes 20 years after he won the State Amateur, during the tournament's centennial observance. So it would have made a good story if either Overson or runner-up Dan Horner had won the Mid-Am title, considering that 2018 is the 10-year anniversary of Horner's State Am title.

Playing aggressively, Horner hit his approach shot long and left on No. 18 and triple-bogeyed the hole. Overson's rounds of 69-71-69 were good for a 7-under-par total, followed by Horner (71-70-72), Kirk Siddens (68-71-75), Blake Murray (66-74-75) and Alpine member Steven Borget (73-72-71).

Doug Vilven Utah Senior Open

by Beaux Yenchik

Having already won twice this calendar year, Ron Davis – the Doug Vilven Utah Senior Open Champion – captured perhaps the biggest-personal victory of the year Thursday, July 26th at Toana Vista GC in Wendover by sinking a birdie putt on the first-playoff hole. With a 3-under-par 69 on day two, Davis (-4) came from behind to force a playoff with Darren Kuhn and overnight co-leader Steve Poulson in perhaps one of the strongest fields outside of the Senior State Amateur.

Utah Women’s Stoke Play

by Jared Lloyd

Late in the second round of the Utah Women's Stroke Play tournament at Hobble Creek golf course in Springville on July 19, the sun reached a point where it was directly overhead and was beating down on the participants.

UVU senior Carly Dehlin-Hirsch's caddie – her father and Utah PGA Section Executive Director Devin Dehlin – appeared to be getting a little sunburned.

When asked whether he wanted to put on a hat, however, he quickly refused.

You see, Carly was playing well and leading the tournament, so he didn't want to do anything to mess up her karma.

"I feel like all golfers are a little superstitious," Carly said after the round. "I'm not surprised my dad said that because you can't mix things up. He definitely is a little superstitious."

She admitted that she has her own notions on what can affect her play. "Depending on how I am putting, I'll have my hair in front or in back," she explained.

Whether it was her father enduring a little sunburn or having her hair in the right place when putting, Carly proved to be better than any of the other golfers at the event as she led wire-to-wire to get the victory with a score of 142 (4-under-par).

Utah Senior Stroke Play

by Beaux Yenchik

Late in the second round of the Utah Women's Stroke Play tournament at Hobble Creek golf course in Springville on July 19, the sun reached a point where it was directly overhead and was beating down on the participants.

UVU senior Carly Dehlin-Hirsch's caddie – her father and Utah PGA Section Executive Director Devin Dehlin – appeared to be getting a little sunburned.

When asked whether he wanted to put on a hat, however, he quickly refused.

You see, Carly was playing well and leading the tournament, so he didn't want to do anything to mess up her karma.

"I feel like all golfers are a little superstitious," Carly said after the round. "I'm not surprised my dad said that because you can't mix things up. He definitely is a little superstitious."

She admitted that she has her own notions on what can affect her play. "Depending on how I am putting, I'll have my hair in front or in back," she explained.

Whether it was her father enduring a little sunburn or having her hair in the right place when putting, Carly proved to be better than any of the other golfers at the event as she led wire-to-wire to get the victory with a score of 142 (4-under-par).

UGA Invitational

by Kelsey Chugg

Three champions were crowned at the end of the 2018 UGA Invitational hosted by Jeremy Ranch Golf and Country Club. The championship signifies the end of the UGA Championship season and offers any player who has won a tournament at the club level, national level, qualified for a USGA Championship, or won a UGA Championship the opportunity to compete.

With a par on the 36th hole to close out a two-under-par round of 70, Darrin Overson, the reigning Utah Mid-Amateur Champion, squeaked by first round leader in the men’s division, Mitchell Schow, to claim victory by one shot.

2018 Utah Senior State Amateur Champion, and defending UGA Invitational champion, Brigham Gibbs, started the day with a two-shot lead and held on wire-to-wire in the Senior division. While Facing the toughest conditions and finishing the final hole of the day in near-darkness, the Women’s division title was claimed by all-star senior, Annette Gaiotti, on her home track.

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