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Kelton Hirsch Defeats Braydon Swapp 7&5 to Become 2017 Utah State Amateur Champion
By Megan Terry, Programs Administrator
Brigham Young University’s Kelton Hirsch and Utah State University’s Braydon Swapp went head-to-head for the 119th Utah State Amateur Championship victory during the 36-hole match play final on Saturday, July 15th at Ogden Golf & Country Club. Swapp was the No. 1 seed following the two-day stroke play qualifying portion of the tournament due to earning medalist honors with 67-66—133 (-9). Hirsch earned the No. 3 seed after carding rounds of 69-67—136, just two strokes behind teammate and defending champion Patrick Fishburn. Swapp defeated 2016 semifinalist Kyler Dearden 2&1 to advance to the final, while Hirsch sunk a 15-foot birdie putt on Ogden G&CC’s par-3 No. 18 to earn the 1up, semifinal victory over Fishburn.
Swapp went 1up on the first hole of the day after knocking his approach shot within six inches. Nevertheless, Hirsch answered on No. 2 by sinking a 20-footer for birdie. The match was back and forth through the first eight holes; Swapp would gain the advantage, and then Hirsch would rise to the challenge and bring the match back to all square. However, the tables turned as soon as Kelton Hirsch hit the ground running. Kelton went 1up on No. 9 and stayed up on Braydon from then on out.
The BYU redshirt freshman stuck his approach on No. 10 to three inches to go 2up. Despite only being home for 14 months from an LDS mission to Mexico City, Hirsch remained calm and collected from beginning to end and appeared as though winning the championship would simply be another day in the books. Being 4up through 18 holes, Hirsch was in great position heading on to the second 18.
Swapp got one back with a birdie on the 20th, but Hirsch quickly closed Braydon’s window of opportunity by winning Nos. 21 and 22 to go 5up. Through 27 holes, Kelton was 6up and looking more like a champion with every shot. After going dormie six, Hirsch’s drive on the 31st hole ended up five yards short of the green, and his chip shot for eagle stopped six inches short of the hole. Swapp conceded the putt, and Hirsch defeated him 7&5 to become the 2017 Utah State Amateur champion.
“This week has been so surreal. It hasn’t sunk in it yet,” admitted Hirsch. “There were so many great players out here. Every match I played was a struggle, and everyone played great golf. This win is such a big confidence booster and means so much to me.”
CLICK HERE to view the final match play bracket.