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Jeff Evans Wins 113th Utah State Amateur Title With Strong Afternoon Round
Cedar City’s Jeff Evans birdied the 17th and 18th holes of the morning round to take a 3-up lead on Vernal’s Stratton Schulz into intermission of the Utah State Amateur championship match Sunday at Soldier Hollow and after the short lunch break he birdied the second and third holes to increase the margin to five, and then pretty much sewed things up by winning six, seven, and eight to gain a formidable 8-up lead with just ten holes to play. He won the championship with a lopsided 8 and 7 victory margin.
The afternoon round was far different than the morning round. In the morning both players were sharp and each made three birdies on the opening front nine. Right out of the starting gate Schulz birdied the second and third holes to take a 2-up lead, but Evans made back-to-back birdies on four and five to square the match. They each had three birdies on the back nine, and although Evans had birdied 17 and 18 and was up three after 18, he was in no way dominating the contest at intermission.
In the afternoon session Evans continued with his steady barrage of birdies and Schulz couldn’t match it and failed to win a hole after the break.
Evans is the son of Cedar City professional John Evans and has intentions of turning professional after his collegiate career. He has just finished his junior year at SUU. His coach, Richard Church, said, “He’s the best we’ve ever had.”
Schulz is just beginning his college career at Utah Valley University and will have several more chances at the Utah State Amateur title. He made a very impressive showing in his first effort. He defeated Weber State’s Casey Halliday, 3 and 2, and then knocked off HAFB’s Tommy Wingert, 2 and 1. In the quarterfinals he upset one of BYU’s top players, Cameron Edens, 3 and 2, and disposed of Jeremy’s club champion Greg Wojtkun, 6 and 5.
Evans had an easy opening round match, downing David Madsen, 6 and 4, and then edged former State Am runnerup Scott Clark, 1-up. He had a long day on Friday when he was forced into 21 holes in both his quarterfinal and semifinal matches against John Busby and Connor Jones. He trailed by two holes in both matches with just three to play, but tied them with birdies on the 18th hole and then won with birdies on the 21st hole.