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Arch Rivals Garner, Blair Share Medalist Honors in Utah Women’s State Am; Match Play Begins
Lea Garner and Sirene Blair, two arch rivals from high school days, shared medalist honors in the qualifying rounds of the 107th Utah Women’s State Am Championship with two under par scores of 142 and now the tournament shifts from stroke play to match play.
Defending champion Kelsey Chugg is the automatic first seed and drew Kalea Heu as her first round opponent. Heu was the 16th qualifier with scores of 74-77-151. She edged Elizabeth Jones for the final match play spot by one shot. No playoff was needed.
Some mighty fine players failed to reach match play, including former champions Sue Nyhus and Melanie Christensen, and a star of last year’s tournament, 14-year old Naomi Soifua, and several collegiate players.
There are some very good first round matches, but the highlight pairing features the two oldest players in the field, Annette Gaiotti (pronounced gee-otti) at age 60 and former champion Julie McMullin, 45-years old. This could be deja vu for McMullin and a do-over for Gaiotti. They met each other in the opening round of match play in 2011 with McMullin winning, 3 and 2, and she went on to win the championship. They are both fine players and it was sad to see them paired against each other in the first round, but one will survive and assure the older set a spot in the quarterfinals. Both Gaiotti and McMullin have been featured on the cover of Fairways Magazine for their golfing achievements.
Another problem facing Gaiotti and McMullin is that they are also in the same bracket with co-medalists Lea Garner and Sirene Blair and so there is a rough row to hoe in that bracket. If Garner and Blair survive the will face each other in the semifinals, not the finals.
The defending champion, Kelsey Chugg, is in the other bracket, and while she is a heavy favorite in her opening match against 16th seed Kalea Heu, she should have her hands full the rest of the way.
The scores and schedule are as follows:
Utah Women’s State AmQualify Scores142- Lea Garner, 71-71; Sirene Blair, 70-72145- Tara Green, 72-73; Rynae Bacca, 70-75; Kelsey Chugg, 72-73 (defending champion, #1 seed)147- Randi Stephens, 74-73; Annette Gaiotti, 73-74149- Haley Dunn, 74-75; Kristie Jensen, 74-75150- Julie McMullin, 77-73; Brooke Whittaker, 76-74; Madi Rooker, 75-75151- Sadie Palmer, 77-74; Hannah Herman, 77-74; Carly Oldroyd, 76-75; Kalea Heu, 74-77
Did not advance to match play152- Elizabeth Jones, 79-73153- Jordyn Dougal, 79-74155- Allison Cluff, 79-76; Naomi Soifua, 78-77; Mary Bischoff, 78-77; Nicole Begay, 76-79; Selu Fotu, 75-80156- Heather Mathison, 84-72; Courtney Smith, 78-78157- Nicole Thomas, 78-79158- Sue Nyhus, 78-80159- Rina Slade, 80-79160- Haylee Chugg, 83-77161- Cobair Collinsworth, 85-76; Roberta Scott, 81-80165- Monica Yeates, 87-78; Shantell Spackman, 84-81; Lauren Okutsu, 83-82166- Annika Afoa-Kahaiali’I, 80-86167- Sara Fredrico, 85-82; Kimberly Nyhus, 83-84169- Kareen Alton, 83-86170- Kiselya Plewe, 85-85; Stephanie Hoffee, 85-85; Melanie Christensen, 82-88176- McCall Uyematsu, 87-89178- Ashley Stubbs, 89-89; Melissa Stockton, 86-92179- Mallary Marx, 85-94180- Alisha Terry, 92-88182- Madison Baca, 99-83183- Sabrina Naulu, 93-90190- Amy Mayberry, 97-93211- Ciaran Burton, 108-103
Match Play PairingsTuesday morningWasatch Mountain Lake CourseRound of 169:40- Kelsey Chugg vs. Kalea Heu9:48- Kristie Jensen vs. Haley Dunn9:56- Tara Green vs. Sadie Palmer10:04- Rynae Bacca vs. Madi Rooker10:12- Lea Garner vs. Carly Oldroyd10:20- Annette Gaiotti vs. Julie McMullin10:28- Sirene Blair vs. Hannah Herman10:36- Randi Stephens vs. Brooke Whittaker
QuarterfinalsTuesday Afternoon2:45- Winners of 9:40 and 9:48 matches2:53- Winners of 9:56 and 10:04 matches3:01- Winners of 10:12 and 10:20 matches3:09- Winners of 10:28 and 10:36 matches
Semifinals Wednesday at 7:35 am
FinalsWednesday at noon