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Upsets Show Up in the March-Madness like Round of 64
By Beaux Yenchik, UGA Intern
Farmington, UT – The round of 64 proved one thing to the field, and that is no one is safe.
In an almost March Madness type of setting, players 1-64 took to the course to begin the match-play portion of the tournament. Based on their two-day scoring, seeds were determined and set for the upcoming-grudge matches. The field faced hot conditions and a course that was beginning to dry out – creating firmer greens and harder fairways. With no wind, players still faced the need to work the ball around the tree-lined Oakridge Country Clu.
Though Blake Tomlinson, the No. 1 seed in the bracket setting, breezed through his match with Southern Utah’s Ali Hameed (No. 64), the real story came from the match of potential favorite Cole Ponich (No. 2) and his Davis High School teammate, Jack Sargent (No. 63) – the last man to get into match play.
Down one, after the opening nine, Sargent began to his push against the Junior Amateur winner from a week ago. Tying it up with a birdie on hole No. 10, Sargent looked to make headlines with hope in advancing to the round of 32.
Heading into the par-5 16th all square, Sargent capitalized on the gained momentum by winning the hole with a birdie to go up one. Never looking back, Sargent stunned Ponich on the next hole by winning it and the match, 2&1.
The Sargent victory wasn’t the only major upset to happen Wednesday. University of Utah’s Mitchell Schow was dropped by Dixie State University commit, Triston Gardner, in extra holes. Having a fairly even match on the front nine, Gardner found himself up two as the duo approached the 15th tee box.
Schow, failing to give up, made a strong push over the last few holes – including a crucial par on the 18th to force the match to go into extra holes. Gardner, having snuck into the round of 64 through the playoff, walked away with the victory by making a par on the par-5 1st.
Defending champion Kelton Hirsch won his match over Christopher Romney, 3&2. Hirsch kept his possibility of repeating alive, with said victory. Hirsch will face Utah Valley University’s Aaron Yeates in the round of 32.
Dan Horner and Darrin Overson, past champions, won their matches Wednesday while Brad Sutterfield, newly reinstated amateur, fell to John Owen, 3&2.
For complete results from the round of 64 and live scoring from the round of 32, CLICK HERE.