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Lea Garner Wins Medalist Honors With Back-to-Back 67s

Lea Garner Wins Medalist Honors With Back-to-Back 67s
Lea Garner did it again—and that’s saying something. She blew away the field with her first round of 67 in the opening round of the Utah Women’s State Am at Ogden Golf and Country Club on Wednesday and in Thursday’s second round she shot another 67. She blew away the field again except for Sirene Blair who was close on her heels with a 68.
Garner’s ten under par tally of 67-67-134 won medalist honors by a whopping nine strokes over Blair (75-68-143) and 12 shots over third place Allison Cluff (73-73-146). Garner had an eagle, and 10 birdies in the two days and only two bogeys, both the second day.
The field was cut to 16 for match play and it was a clean cut at 157 and did not require a playoff. Annette Gaiotti earned the 16th spot and gets first crack at two-time defending champion Kelsey Chugg who is the automatic first seed by virtue of winning the championship last year.
Failing to make the cut was former champion Julie McMullin. She shot 79-81-160 and missed match play by three shots. Haley Dunn missed it by two and young Naomi Soifua missed it by five.
Former two-time champion Sue Nyhus advanced to match play on rounds of 78-76-154 and her daughter Kimberly Nyhus beat mom by five shots on rounds of 75-74-159. They are in opposite brackets and won’t face each other unless they both reach the finals.
This year’s bracketing is eerily similar to last year’s and it looks like a re-run could unfold.
Chugg is in the Upper Bracket and will be the favorite to win her first two matches and advance to the semifinals and could reach the finals for a third straight year.
Last year’s runner-up Sirene Blair is in the Lower Bracket and will be favored to advance to the semifinals. Also in the Lower Bracket is medalist Lea Garner and she will be favored to advance to the semifinals, and baring an upset along the way that will put Garner and Blair in a rematch of last year’s semifinals which was won on the last hole by Blair.
Put on your seat belts. We’re in for a good ride.
Top Qualifying Scores
134- Lea Garner, 67-67
143- Sirene Blair, 75-68
146- Allison Cluff, 73-73
148- Sadie Palmer, 74-74
149- Tara Green, 79-70; Kimberly Nyhus, 75-74
150- Emily Podlesny, 75-75
151- Kendra Dalton, 76-75; Madi Rooker, 75-76
153- Annie Yang, 77-76
154- Sue Nyhus, 78-76
155- Kristie Jensen, 78-77
156- Xena Motes, 78-78
156- Brooklyn Anderson, 76-80
157- Annette Gaiotti, 79-78
158- Kelsey Chugg, 78-80
Missed the Cut
159- Haley Dunn, 79-80
160- Julie McMullin, 79-81; Carly Oldroyd, 77-83
First Round Pairings
Friday Morning
Upper Bracket
8:30- Kelsey Chugg vs. Annette Gaiotti
8:37- Emily Podlesny vs. Kendra Dalton
8:44- Allison Cluff vs. Kristie Jensen
8:51- Sadie Palmer vs, Sue Nyhus
Lower Bracket
8:58- Lea Garner vs. Brooklyn Anderson
9:05- Kimberly Nyhus vs. Madie Rooker
9:12- Sirene Blair vs. Xena Motes
9:19- Tara Green vs. Annie Yang
Friday Afternoon
(Times dependent on morning finishes)
Winner of Chugg-Gaiotti vs. winner of Podlesny-Dalton
Winner of Cluff-Jensen vs. winner of Palmer-Sue Nyhus
Winner of Garner-Anderson vs. winner of Kimberly Nyhus-Rooker
Winner of Blair-Motes. Vs. winner of Green-Yang
Saturday Morning
Saturday Afternoon
Complete results can be followed on: