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BYU-bound Kerstin Fotu edges Grace Summerhays 1-up in exciting Women’s Amateur final

By Mike Sorensen, Deseret News

The two best golfers in the Utah Women’s Amateur made it to the match-play finals Thursday afternoon and put on quite a show at Logan Country Club with a bushel of birdies and a close match for 18 holes. In the end Kerstin Fotu was just a little better in the battle of teenagers with their “Daddy-caddies,” and took a 1-up victory over Grace Summerhays.

Fotu is a 19-year-old middle child of 13 children who will attend BYU as a freshman later this month. She was the golfer to beat right from the start of the tourney as she won medalist honors with a 3-under-par score, won her first two matches by large margins, and held off a tough challenge by Southern Utah golfer Kyla Smith in the semifinals before edging Summerhays with a par on the final hole in the afternoon finals match.

Fotu relied on a superb short game in the final match and made several putts in the 4- to 6-foot range, including a nerve-wracking 5-footer at the final hole to end the match. She had come to the 18th green with a 1-up lead, but she needed the putt after lagging up from 50 feet to avoid extra holes.

“Oh my gosh, I didn’t want to think about it too much,” she said. “Just hit it, because I had been making them all day, the same putt. I just wanted to make sure I hit it firm because a lot of these putts break a lot.”

Fotu never trailed all day, but never led by more than two holes. She went ahead at No. 4 with a birdie, but bogeyed No. 6 and the match went back to even. Fotu felt the turning point came at No. 9 when she hit her wedge shot within 6 feet and sank the putt to go ahead for good.

“You can’t really ask for a better match,” said Summerhays, who lives in Arizona, but spends her summers in Utah. “We were getting birdies and there weren’t holes given. She played great and her short game was amazing. She played awesome, so I can’t be too mad.”

Fotu plans to play in next week’s Utah Women’s Open at Thanksgiving Point GC, while Summerhays will play in a Nike event in North Carolina in two weeks. Then it will be back to school for Fotu for her freshman season at BYU and, for Summerhays, her sophomore year of high school in Arizona.

Read the complete Deseret News feature here:


Photo Credits: Fairways Media/Randy Dodson

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