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Utah Takes Shootout by One Point in Tight Match
Front row: Patrick Murphy, Ryan Brimley, Cameron Crawford, Sue Nyhus
Back row: Jeff Powars, Kelsey Chugg, Ben Jorgensen, Darrin Overson, David Jennings, Kurt Owen, Dan Horner, Preston Alder
By Jesse Dodson, USGA Boatwright Intern
Team Utah claims the annual Utah/Arizona Shootout by a slim one-point margin over Team Arizona on October 18th at Oakcreek Country Club in Sedona, Arizona.
Historically, the Ryder Cup-style Shootout was determined by home-course advantage, each team winning when playing on their own soil. However, the past seven years have told a different story. Team Utah, since 2010, has won six Shootouts with winning margins up to 27 points in 2013.
Arizona put up quite the fight this year to break the streak. After the morning foursome matches on day one, the teams were all square at nine points each. Sue Nyhus, Utah Valley University Women’s Golf head coach, and Kelsey Chugg, three-time Utah Women’s State Amateur champion, secured all three points against Shelby Martinek and Mary Driscol of Arizona to start Team Utah off on the right foot.
The last pairing to finish in the morning, 2016 Utah Mid-Amateur Champion Kurt Owen and 2016 Sand Hollow Amateur Champion Cameron Crawford, also secured all three possible points in their morning match against Ken Tanigawa and Shankar Natarajan to tie it all up.
Going into the afternoon four-ball matches all square, Jeff Powars, UGA Invitational Senior Division champion, and Pat Murphy, 1st in the UGA Senior Player Performance Ratings, came through with a 2.5-0.5 win over Arizona opponents Roger Kraig and Tom Sweigart to help Utah stay in the hunt.
Crawford and David Jennings, Utah Four-Ball Championship winner, were able to come through in the clutch and secured a 3-0 victory over Greg Cesarek and Natarajan to end day one tied at 18 overall. They were the only Utah duo to secure a point for the front nine, back nine, and the overall match in the afternoon pairings.
Anything could have happened going into the final round singles matches all tied at 18. Of the 12 total matches, Utah won five and tied three.
In the end, it was Nyhus, U.S. Mid-Amateur Qualifier Ryan Brimley, and U.S. Four-Ball Qualifier Dan Horner who helped Team Utah secure its one-point win. All three players dominated their singles matches winning 3-0, which was a tremendous boost to keep Utah alive and to bring home the Shootout trophy once again.
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