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UGA Crowns Women’s Champs at Spring Open
By Randy Dodson
For the second time in three years Nuny Kham-one and Annette Gaiotti played to each other’s strengths and were crowned champions of the Utah Golf Association’s Women’s Spring Open.
Starting the final round at St. George City, Utah’s Sunbrook Golf Course four-points behind the Park City duo of Karen Seaman and Connie Barnhart, Gaiotti thought they would have to get to 63 points on the day to take home the champions’ medals.
They got there and then some.
On the strength of seven total birdies Team Kham-one/Gaiotti scored a final round 68 points in the team modified Stableford scoring championship, a women’s Player Performance Rankings event, to catch and pass Seaman and Barnhart.
“We both made good putts on the downhill par 5 6th hole on the Pointe nine to get us going and provide some momentum, said Gaiotti, a veteran of many UGA women’s championships.
“I’ve been just skiing all winter but for the last month I’ve been in Hawaii putting on Bermuda greens, so it took a little while for the putter to warm up here.”
Gaiotti contributed five birdies in the final round compared to just two birdies the day before at Sky Mountain Golf Course in Hurricane, Utah. Kham-one/Gaiotti turned in a 36-hole effort of 59-68 – 127 points edging Seamon/Barnhart’s 63-57 -120 points for the win.
“I think the difference for us was the back nine here at Sunbrook,” said Park Meadows Country Club member Barnhart. “Neither one of us were that familiar with the Black Rock course.”
Seamon, a member at Jeremy Ranch Country Club, and Barnhart could only manage three total birdies for the final round.
“We help each other a lot,” said Kham-one. “Playing with Annette is really great. She keeps me focused and helps me manage my game.”
Kham-one contributed a couple birdies of her own today at Sunbrook. “My chipping played a huge part over the last two days. I was able to make better putts being closer to the hole.”
The Utah Golf Association hosts the Women’s Spring Open as an early season “ice breaker” event for association’s members providing another opportunity to play in a competitive but flighted event on the heels of Winterchamps and before the tournament season begins in northern Utah. The combined team Stableford scoring provides for a fun team event with the forgiving nature of Stableford scoring for women looking to knock off a little winter rust.
UGA Executive Director Jacob Miller said, “Before the merger of the UGA and the Utah Women’s Golf Association, this event was hosted in Mesquite, Nevada every other year. We are in discussions with the Southern Nevada Golf Association to potentially co-op this event in the future.
“Many of the ladies miss playing the event in Nevada so we see an opportunity to partner with a neighboring association to not only add more players to the field but to allow for our ladies to be hosted by a neighboring association. We hope to make this discussion a reality in 2020.”
Click here for complete results of the 2019 UGA Women’s Spring Open: https://www.golfgenius.com/pages/1770851