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Last-Chance Contestants Faced Fair but Tough Qualifier


By Beaux Yenchik, UGA Intern


Millcreek, UT – The silence was thick Friday as it surrounded the clubhouse and those that played in the season’s last-chance qualifier.

TalonsCove Golf Club, settled on the west bank of Utah Lake, hosted 80 players for the final spots into the Utah State Amateur. Fully exposed to lakeside winds and long fescue, contestants plotted their way around the Gene Bates design. With birdies in short supply, Nathan Ouimette did it best as he claimed the medalist position with a 2-under-par 70. With only 10 percent of the field making it in, the cutline indeed was lower than normal.

“[I’m] not surprised where the scores are,” Ouimette said. “The greens are really fast. I play here all the time and haven’t had the greens play this quick.”

Needing to go as low as possible on his back nine, due to a lackluster 1-over-par front nine, Ouimette carded four birdies on the back – starting with three straight on holes 10-12. Ouimette, knowing the lower the better, birdied his final hole of the day to win by one.

As the morning became afternoon, players began to gather around the clubhouse’s back patio – anxiously awaiting each group to come in – having some desperate hope their score holds up against the field. The putting green reached its maximum compacity, players paced back-and-forth while biting their lower lip, and last-minute swing analyses were being checked.

The time came and the silence broke– six players were announced to be tied at the projected cutline of 2-over-par. With only four spots available, the six-announced contestants made their way to the tee box and battled it out for the remaining spots.

Upon completion of the last-chance qualifier, the field is now set. The qualifiers are finished. It is safe to say the biggest tournament in the state is now just a week away.

Gentlemen and lady, best of luck to you in your journey to claiming the crown.

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