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123rd Utah State Am : A Crazy Couple of Days

The wild adventure of match play began with the Round of 64

By Kurt Kragthorpe

The 20th hole played out conventionally Wednesday afternoon, with Max Brenchley making a fairly routine birdie on Alpine Country Club’s par-5 No. 2 to outlast David Jennings in a first-round match of the 123rd Utah State Amateur Championship.

Until then, though? Wow. The match became a wild adventure, with one player or the other winning the last six holes, and each of them barely missing an opportunity to win on the first extra hole. And then came a 40-minute weather delay, with the lightning arriving just in time to affect only that match in the round of 64.

When they resumed playing, Brenchley needed only two excellent swings and two solid putts to complete his mercurial first three days of the State Am, including being 2 down to Jennings with two holes to play. In the end, he could smile and say, “Yeah, we’ve covered all the emotions, right?”

He hopes the drama lasts through Saturday on his childhood course adjacent to Lone Peak High School, where he played for state championship golf and basketball teams before moving on to BYU. He’ll face Braxton Leetham, a friend and high school rival from Pleasant Grove, in Thursday morning’s round of 32. Another round will be staged in the afternoon, followed by the quarterfinals and semifinals Friday and the 36-hole final match Saturday.

There’s a lot more to cover about the Brenchley-Jennings match. First, though, here are some of Wednesday’s other headlines.

Click here to read the complete Utah State Amateur Day 3 recap for Fairways Photo Journal by Kurt Kragthorpe: