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Dehlin’s Wire-to-Wire Victory
By Kelsey Chugg, Membership Director
A firm and fast Hobble Creek proved to be a test for the field at the Utah Women’s Stroke Play Championship, but not for Carly Dehlin. She went wire-to-wire to win her first UGA Women’s Major at her college team’s home course.
After sleeping on the lead, UVU senior Dehlin had some nerves going into the final round with a two-shot lead over BYU senior, Annie Yang, and a one-shot lead over Westminster senior, Karen Valcarce, but she had a game plan, “Stay steady and even keel, and not get ahead of myself.” She was able to calm herself and execute – after a very clean front nine with two birdies and seven pars, Dehlin had a three-shot advantage on Yang, and a five-shot advantage on Valcarce when they made the turn.
Although Yang began making a charge, Dehlin kept moving along and found herself three-under for the day through 16-holes with a two-shot lead. This is where the nerves began to creep back in for Dehlin, “I knew I had a two-shot lead and I think the nerves started up again. I hit my drive left off the tee on 17 into the hazard.”
She knew nerves and adrenaline sometimes make your body and golf swing do strange things, so although it took two strokes to get out of the hazard and three-putted when she got on the green, she was able to keep herself calm and move on to the final hole with a clear mind.
It probably helped that Yang was in a bit of trouble herself on the 17th, and ended up with a bogey, leaving Dehlin with a one-shot cushion going into the final hole. All it took was a par on the last to break through in a UGA event for the first time.
She credits her consistency and course knowledge for her great two-day performance. “I was very consistent, I had no big mistakes, other than the 17th, and I made a lot of birdies and great par saves. I think the golf course was playing tougher than usual because of the dry conditions, but I felt comfortable because of how many times I’ve played it. I know where to hit it and how everything breaks.”
Dehlin’s biggest takeaway from the championship is confidence. “I learned to be comfortable with the lead and how to deal with nerves coming down the stretch.”
Ironically, her college coach at UVU, Sue Nyhus, claimed low-senior honors, making it a full-sweep at the top for the Orem university. Nyhus, who leads the UGA Senior Women’s Player Performance Rankings, claims her third low-senior honor this season.
The next UGA Women’s Championship is the Utah Women’s State Amateur, which will be held at Bonneville GC, July 30 – August 2. Spectators are welcome and encouraged to come out and watch the best women in the state compete for the title on the historic grounds.
Overall Championship – Top 10
1 Carly Dehlin -4 70 72 142
2 Annie Yang -2 72 72 144
3 Kelsey Chugg +2 78 70 148
4 Karen Valcarce +3 71 78 149
5 Kyla Smith +4 73 77 150
6 Carissa Graft +6 74 78 152
T7 Grace Summerhays +7 77 76 153
T7 Sue Nyhus +7 77 76 153
9 Naomi Soifua +8 80 74 154
T10 Lydia Austin +9 80 75 155
T10 Tyler Erickson +9 77 78 155
Click here for complete championship results