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Utah Senior State Amateur: Gibbs, McMillan will play for the title
When they meet Thursday morning on Alpine Country Club’s No. 1 tee, Brigham Gibbs and Shane McMillan can share a couple of good stories about how they got there.
Wednesday’s semifinals played out somewhat comfortably for the finalists in the 30th Utah Senior State Amateur Championship. Before then, though, each survived quite a test in the 32-golfer bracket of match play.
In the other age groups, Alpine member Dan Parkinson will meet 2015 overall winner Craig Wilson (60-over) and Doug Marriott will face Chesley Erickson (70-over).
Gibbs, 59, can earn a third Senior State Am title before moving into the Super Senior division, if he chooses. With his first victory, McMillan might claim a second straight Senior Men’s Player of the Year award in the Utah Golf Association.
To appreciate what Gibbs and McMillan have done so far, let’s go back to Tuesday’s round of 32. McMillan was 4 down to Alpine member Clark Jones through eight holes and 1 down through 16, before winning the last two holes to advance.
Gibbs’ quarterfinal match was even more dramatic. He was 2 down to medalist Jeff Jolley with two holes to play Wednesday morning. Gibbs won the par-5 No. 17 with a birdie and took the next two holes with pars.
Each finalist was a 3-and-2 winner in the afternoon, as Gibbs topped Scott Clark and McMillan defeated Zack Orton. McMillan and Orton were playoff contestants in the Utah Senior Stroke Play Championship, won by Jolley in May.
Jeff Powars’ comeback with winning birdies on the last two holes sent a semifinal match to extra holes, but Parkinson held strong with a par on No. 1 to play another day on his home course.
Wilson, the 2015 Senior State Am winner and 2021 runner-up, has moved into the adjusted Super Senior division (formerly 65-over). He was a 2-and-1 winner over Richard Christensen in the semifinals, after topping Mike Holm 5 and 4 in the morning quarterfinals of the 16-golfer bracket. Parkinson took a 2-and-1 quarterfinal victory over Rob Schiller.
Parkinson caddied his son, Joe, to the 2010 State Amateur title at Alpine.
Chesley Erickson bogeyed the first two holes to fall behind David Fischer, before staging one of the tournament’s fastest turnarounds. Erickson, a former Oakridge Country Club president, won four of the next five holes (three with birdies), surging to a 4-and-3 victory in the semifinals of the newly created Legends (70-over) division.
Marriott, a longtime Riverside Country Club stalwart, was a 2-and-1 winner over Stan Nakano. Marriott, the first Legends champion of the Senior Stroke Play event, was 2 down at the turn before winning three of the next four holes to move in front for good. The Legends’ match-play bracket started with eight golfers.
Utah Senior State Amateur day 3 recap story written by Fairways Media senior writer Kurt Kragthorpe. Photos by Fairways Media/Randy Dodson.