Check out what has been happening in Utah Golf.

Copper Rock Golf Course to host Women’s Golf Doubleheader in 2024

A double green is one of Copper Rock Golf Course’s signature features. So a doubleheader seems like a logical, if ambitious, step in the venue’s evolution as a women’s professional golf host.

Following three successful years as an LPGA Epson Tour stop, Copper Rock is expanding in a major way. The Senior LPGA Championship will immediately follow the Copper Rock Championship in May, with two Saturday finishes creating a dual dynamic of rising stars and recognizable names of the past competing in Hurricane over a remarkable 12-day period in Utah golf history.

That’s twice the level of commitment for everybody involved with Copper Rock, including Director of Operations Darcy Horman and Volunteer and Event Coordinator Penny James-Garcia. They’re asking a lot of the volunteers who have distinguished the Epson Tour event, and those folks already are coming through. Only two weeks after the portal ( opened in October, 260 volunteers had signed up, with more than half of them committed to both weeks.

No wonder James-Garcia described herself as “pleasantly blown away” by the volunteer response, while sponsors also are “incredibly supportive and excited.”

The doubleheader opportunity stemmed from the way tournament administrators have performed and how southern Utah has supported the Copper Rock Championship. The LPGA Tour oversees the Epson Tour and operates the Senior LPGA Championship, considered one of the two senior women’s major tournaments, along with the U.S. Senior Women’s Open. LPGA administrators looked toward Hurricane among other possibilities in moving the senior event for golfers 45 and older from Indiana.

“Penny and Darcy and the whole team out there at Copper Rock have done a great job of growing the Epson Tour event,” said Tim Kramer, the tour’s vice president of tournament business affairs. “They were game to give it a go. …. All of the stars aligned.”

Kramer cited “kind of a unique twist” of staging two big tournaments in two weeks. That’s certainly unprecedented in nearly a century of pro golf in Utah.

As James-Garcia said, “If we’re going to do it, we’ve already got the structures on site. It just made sense. It’s going to be a lot of work, but it’s going to be a lot of fun too.”

Holman said, “These events are an incredible opportunity to recognize, support and promote amazingly talented female athletes.”

Savannah Vilaubi, 2023 Epson Tour Copper Rock Championship winner.

Copper Rock is contracted to host the Epson Tour through 2028, while promising to increase the purse by $10,000 annually. The 2024 Senior LPGA Championship is a one-year commitment by both parties. All tickets are good for both events. “We’re trying to give people a good value for their money,” James-Garcia said.

Copper Rock Championship supporters have enjoyed seeing players come through Hurricane on their way to the LPGA Tour. Jenny Coleman, a playoff contestant in April, is among the Epson Tour’s 10 graduates in 2023.

James-Garcia boosted Utah women’s golf by awarding sponsor invitations to the BYU (Lila Galea’i, who tied for 29th place) and Utah Tech (Jane Olson) programs in April. The Epson Tour honored that commitment by allowing a rare third exemption next year, when Southern Utah University will be included. BYU graduate Kendra Dalton also remains eligible for the Epson Tour after finishing 58th on the 2023 money list.

Utah Senior Women’s State Amateur Champion Nuny Kham-One has received an exemption into the 2024 Senior LPGA Championship at Copper Rock.

The Senior LPGA Championship will have at least one Utahn in the limited field of about 75 players. Nuny Kham-One earned a spot by winning the Senior Women’s State Amateur in September. “I’m still in awe,” she said of the opportunity. “I’m super excited. I can’t wait. It all sunk in after I won.”

Two pros and one amateur will advance through Monday qualifying. Kham-One and the qualifiers will join a field that features “a lot of names that people will be familiar with,” Kramer said.

Nobody’s promising an appearance by Annika Sorenstam, who has played in recent U.S. Women’s Opens. Regardless of who tees it up, the level of play will be high in the latest chapter of senior golf in Utah, where PGA Tour Champions conducted events from 1982-2002 and a women’s senior tour debuted in Salt Lake City in 1997.

2023 Senior LPGA champion, Angela Stanford.

Angela Stanford is the defending champion, having come from five strokes behind and shooting a final-round 65 to top Trish Johnson by one shot at Sultan’s Run Golf Club in Indiana and earn $60,000 in her senior debut. Karie Webb, the 2022 champion and a winner of seven LPGA Tour majors, finished third. Johnson is a two-time winner of the Senior LPGA Championship; Helen Alfredsson and Laura Davies also took titles.

The 54-hole (with no cut) event will be one of about seven Legends of the LPGA stops in 2024, a mixture of team and individual tournaments. Senior women’s pro golf is gaining some footing in this decade after a slow start in the late 1990s that included two stagings of the American Stores Challenge, a 24-player, pro-am event at The Country Club.

Nancy Lopez was the biggest name the first year, when she played with Gov. Mike Leavitt and finished second to Lenore Rittenhouse in the 36-hole tournament. Rittenhouse repeated as champion the following year, although the planned Medalist Tour never took hold.

No spectators were allowed in Salt Lake City. The atmosphere will be much different at Copper Rock, where the build-out on the Nos. 1 and 10 tees and the double green of Nos. 9 and 18 have created a setting that resembles an LPGA Tour event. Both the golfers who aspire to play at that level and those who have already been there will appreciate the scene in southern Utah.


Written by Fairways Media senior writer Kurt Kragthorpe. Republished with permission from the November issue of Fairways magazine. Photos by Fairways Media and the LPGA.



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Utah Golf Association names 2023 Service Award Winners

On behalf of the Utah Golf Association Board of Directors, Executive Director Easton Folster has announced the 2023 Service Award winners for significant contributions to the success and growth of the game of golf in Utah.

UGA Gold Club honoree, Devin Dehlin, executive director Utah Section PGA

Utah Golf Association Gold Club Award, Devin Dehlin

Being named the Utah Section PGA’s Professional of the Year in 2022 meant everything to Devin Dehlin, coming from the pros he oversees as Executive Director of the Utah PGA Section. Yet in its own way, being recognized as the 2023 UGA Gold Club Award winner from an outside organization was just as validating.

“Devin is a titan in Utah golf,” said Folster. “His impact and contribution are immeasurable.”

The Gold Club Award’s description supports his approach. The award is presented to “an individual who through significant achievement or unselfish service has contributed to the history and tradition of the game of golf in Utah, and whose personal integrity, sportsmanship, common courtesy, loyalty and friendship earn him the love of his fellow golfers.”

Having worked both as a club professional and municipal administrator before moving to the Section office, Dehlin became the executive director in 2015. He has helped create and manage the Golf Alliance for Utah.

Throughout his career, he has “consistently shown … that he has the greater good of Utah golf in mind,” said Randy Dodson, a former Gold Club Award winner. Dehlin “looks beyond just the Utah PGA.”

2023 UGA Woman Award winner, Kareen Larson, General Manager at TalonsCove Golf Club.

Utah Golf Association Woman Award, Kareen Larson

The award, first presented in 2012 when the UGA merged with the Utah Women’s Golf Association, commends “women’s golf participation, giving back to women’s golf, love and respect for the game, teamwork that makes a difference and being a friend, leader and inspiration to your peers.”

“Kareen has helped establish a golf culture in Utah that is unmatched nationally,” said Folster. “As a golf administrator, an accomplished player and an advocate for women’s golf, her influence is extraordinary.”

When she became TalonsCove Golf Club’s General Manager in 2019 after a career in health care administration, Larson hoped to use her position as a platform to grow women’s golf. The club lacked a women’s league. Within a year, 60 golfers were playing weekly. That number increased to about 72 this year. Larson is known for personally encouraging golfers of all skill levels.

The UGA has selected TalonsCove to host the 2024 Utah Women’s State Amateur after the tournament was staged at country clubs the past three years. Larson also hopes to land a Ladies National Golf Association event in 2025. Hosting the Women’s State Amateur “means everything to me,” she said. “The UGA is confident enough in me that I’ll have my golf course ready for that stage.”

Keith Hansen, already a member of the Utah Golf Hall of Fame, has been chosen as the 2023 UGA Volunteer of the Year award winner.

Utah Golf Association Volunteer of the Year, Keith Hansen

Keith Hansen, in his mid70s, is already a member of the Utah Golf Hall of Fame. His qualifications as the 2023 Volunteer of the Year continue to show why he made the Utah Golf Hall of Fame.

“The Utah Golf Association is what it is today due in large part to the countless hours Keith Hansen has spent developing its identity,” said Folster.

It all stems from a personality trait dictating that the Cache Valley resident never merely dabbles in an activity. “There’s no use doing anything unless you go full-bore on it,” Hansen said. “I’ve learned that I don’t commit to anything unless I’m fully on board.”

Hansen is the UGA’s 10th Volunteer of the Year, recognizing the fabric of the organization: “These extraordinary people give their time and energy back to the game we all love in many different capacities,” and the annual honoree has “demonstrated outstanding commitment and contribution to the UGA,” according to the award’s description.

George Marks and Mark Passey, fellow members of the Utah Golf Hall of Fame, long ago were instrumental in Hansen’s becoming a Rules of Golf expert. “What I enjoy most now is teaching the Rules to new people,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of good people in this state (administering) the Rules, and they take a lot of pride in it. I hope I’ve had a little bit to do with it.”

Hansen received the UGA’s Gold Club Award in 2009. The United States Golf Association honored him with the Joe Dey Award for meritorious service in 2016.

Each award winner will be recognized at the annual UGA awards banquet scheduled for early next year.


Check out what has been happening in Utah Golf.

Utah Golf Association names 2023 Player of the Year award winners

The Utah Golf Association (UGA), the governing body of amateur golf in Utah, has announced the 2023 Players of the Year award winners today.

Annually, men, senior men, super-senior men, women, and senior women compete in hopes of finishing at the top of the UGA’s Player Performance Rankings (PPR) in their respective divisions. Players at the top of the rankings at the end of Utah’s golf season etch their names in history, earning the coveted UGA Player of the Year award.

Kelsey Chugg hits her tee shot on hole 11 during the round of 64 at the 2023 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur at Stonewall (North Course) in Elverson, Pa. on Monday, Sept. 11, 2023. (Jeff Haynes/USGA)

Women’s Player of the Year, Kelsey Chugg: With 290 PPR points Chugg clinched her sixth Women’s Player of the Year title in the 12-year history of the award. In the last half-century of golf in this state, no female player in her late 20s or early 30s (a “mid-amateur,” by definition) has come close to matching Chugg’s achievements locally and nationally. This season Chugg won the Utah Women’s Stroke Play title and finished second at the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship. She finished third in the Mary Lou Baker Open.

2023 Utah Senior Women’s State Amateur champion, Nuny Kham-One.

Senior Women’s Player of the Year, Nuny Kham-One: By winning the Utah Senior Women’s State Amateur this year, her first year playing in the senior circuit, Kham-One claimed the trophy and a sponsor’s exemption into the 2024 LPGA Senior Championship to be held at Copper Rock Golf Club next spring. The win also wrapped up the Senior Women’s Player of the Year PPR points race for Kham-One.

2023 UGA Men’s Player of the Year, Boston Bracken.

Men’s Player of the Year, Boston Bracken: Talent and drive carried the Crimson Cliffs High School senior from St. George to the title with 400.5 PPR points in his top 10 events. In the award’s 41 seasons, Bracken has joined Daniel Summerhays, Tony Finau, Rhett Rasmussen, Preston Summerhays and Cooper Jones as Players of the Year who were still in high school. Bracken won the St. George Amateur, the Dixie Red Hills Amateur and the UGA Winterchamps title. He also qualified for the U.S. Amateur by shooting 67-66 on Soldier Hollow’s Silver Course. He completed his high school career in October by shooting 65-68 (even with a four-stroke penalty he called on himself for having a 15th club in his bag) at The Ridge GC to repeat as Class 4A medalist. Bracken led Crimson Cliffs to a second straight team victory.

2023 UGA Senior Men’s Player of the Year, Shane McMillan.

Senior Men’s Player of the Year, Shane McMillan: After winning the Utah Four-Ball Championship with Matthew Lyons, McMillan spoke of “a stressful year” on the course. That was his own doing, having put himself in contention so frequently. McMillan also delivered stellar performances in the Golfweek International Senior Invitational, the Utah Senior State Amateur, and the Senior Stroke Play Championship. He won the UGA Winterchamps Senior division, he shared first place finishes in both the Utah Senior Open (Low Senior Amateur) and the Birch Creek Senior Amateur. McMillian was also a runner-up, after a playoff, in the Senior Stroke Play Championship. In 2024, McMillan will have a chance to become the first golfer to win three straight Senior Men’s Player of the Year awards.

2023 UGA Super-Senior Men’s Player of the Year, Randy Hicken.

Super-Senior Player of the Year, Randy Hicken: At 64, Hicken became the first official winner of the Super Senior Player of the Year award. He edged Paul Cannon by four PPR points (241.6-237.26). Hicken’s 2023 highlights included tying for first place in his division of the Utah Senior Open and winning the TalonsCove Senior Amateur. He also finished second in the Utah Senior Stroke Play Championship.

Each award winner will be recognized at the annual awards banquet scheduled for early next year.


Story written by Faiways Media senior writer Kurt Kragthorpe. Photos by USGA and Fairways Media.


Check out what has been happening in Utah Golf.

UGA names Max Butcher as Director, Member Services

On behalf of the Utah Golf Association Board of Directors, Executive Director Easton Folster has announced the selection of Max Butcher, current UGA Manager, Operations, as the new Director, Member Services, beginning immediately.

This new position within the UGA staff is responsible for all aspects of the Member Services Department of the UGA including course rating, handicapping, member club communication and education and will work directly with Colin Clawson, the UGA’s Director, Championships and Golf Operations.

“I am excited about the opportunity to take this new role created by the UGA and make it my own, with guidance from the rest of the staff,” said Butcher. “I look forward to diving right in and learning as much as possible so that I am ready for next season, including obtaining my course rating calibration and handicap certifications as well as my advanced certification in the Rules of Golf.”

Butcher will manage all aspects of the UGA’s course rating program and will oversee the course rating volunteer team including the coordination of schedules and training.

“I am looking forward to getting to know the volunteers. Course rating is a team effort and it would not be possible to do all that we do without them,” Butcher said.

A vital role of this position will be overseeing handicapping services with UGA Member Clubs and individual members. Included in this role are managing handicap inquiries and reviews. Butcher will be the UGA’s liaison with local golf courses and clubs.


Check out what has been happening in Utah Golf.

The Utah Senior Women’s State Amateur Championship crowns a new champion at Wasatch Lake Course

Nuny Kham-One won nearly half of the holes she played at Wasatch Mountain Golf Course in two rounds of match play in the 31st Utah Senior Women’s State Amateur. One of the holes she tied ultimately made a big difference in Saturday’s final match.

Two-time champion Roberta Scott was cutting into Kham-One’s lead. And then she hit a great approach shot on the par-4 No. 12, only to have her opponent respond with what became a tying birdie. Kham-One surged to a 4-and-3 victory on a spectacular September morning in the color-splashed setting of Wasatch’s Lake Course.

Seven time winner Annette Gaiotti was on the bag for champion Nuny Kham-One.

Turns out, having a seven-time winner as your caddie can be helpful. Kham-One followed Annette Gaiotti’s advice on the12-foot putt that maintained her 2-up lead.

I had to make that putt, I really had to,” Kham-One said, “because I know (Scott’s) going to make her putt.”

Both of those things happened, which amounted to a victory for Kham-One at that stage. “Thanks to Annette for keeping me calm and telling me to stay still, and I did it. I was really happy to see it drop,” said Kham-One, who lives in West Jordan and, like Gaoitti, plays out of Park City Golf Club.

Kham-One and Gaiotti teamed for three consecutive titles in the Women’s Spring Open. The Senior Women’s State Am is Kham-One’s first Utah Golf Association solo victory.

I feel like a champion,” she said.

Having turned 50 on June 1, Kham-One is right where Gaiotti was 20 years ago, having won her first UGA senior event. So there could be many more of these trophies in her future. More immediately, she will look forward to using an exemption into the LPGA Senior Championship at Copper Rock Golf Course in May, as a benefit of winning the Senior Women’s State Am..

Holy cow, I’m ecstatic,” she said, reminded of that opportunity. “It pushes me to another level, it really does.”

Robert Scott, who plays out of Schneiter’s Riverside, was proud to make the semifinals for a third straight year.

Scott, 74, shot her age in Wednesday’s first round of stroke play and was hoping to add a third title to her 2007 and ‘21 victories. Her driving distance and accuracy were almost identical to Kham-One’s. But other than that nice approach on No. 12, her iron game lapsed on the back nine.

I am getting older,” she acknowledged. “Four days in a row; I’m not used to playing that much golf consecutively.”

Scott, who lives in Washington Terrace and plays Schneiter’s Riverside, still was proud to make the semifinals for a third straight year in her 70s in an event she described as “great fun.” She also complimented the consistency of Kham-One, who moved into the lead of the Senior Women’s Player of the Year race in the final event of the UGA’s 2023 championship schedule.

In Friday’s semifinals, Kham-One won the last four holes in a 6-and-5 victory over Sharon Briggs and Scott took a 2-and-1 win over No. 1 seed Karen Seaman in a match that was tied through 13 holes. Seaman won Nos. 11-13 to pull even, before Scott took No. 14 with a par and No. 15 with a birdie and held on for the victory.

A solo UGA Championship win calls for a selfie for Nuny Kham-One.

Seaman (75-73) was the qualifying medalist by three strokes over Kham-One (75-76) and Briggs (75-76). Scott (74-79) was the first-day leader and took the fourth semifinal spot by two strokes over Gaiotti (78-77).

Gaiotti made a back-nine run in an attempt to make the semifinals at age 70, birdieing No. 13 and moving into a tie with Scott, who bogeyed No. 14. Scott steadied herself and parred the last four holes, while Gaiotti bogeyed Nos. 16 and 17.

Kareen Larson (80-80) finished eighth in her first Senior Women’s State Am, after leading the competition for the UGA’s Senior Women’s Player of the Year. Other notable names missing the top four included 2011 Women’s State Am winner Julie McMullin (79-78), 2022 semifinalist Mona Stevens (78-80) and 2022 finalist Melanie Christensen (81-84).

The field of 24 was divided into three flights. Alice Harper (86-84) won Flight 2 by seven shots over Kristine Oderkirk (87-90) and Elaine Daines (90-95) took Flight 3 by five strokes over Mary Amidan (94-96).

Net winners were Briggs (69-70) in Flight 1, Odekirk (70-73) in Flight 2 and Amidan (67-69) in Flight 3.

Final Match Play Bracket Scoring


Story by Fairways Media senior write Kurt Kragthorpe. Photos by Fairways Media/Randy Dodson.


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U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, a tale of two nines for Kelsey Chugg

It was a tale of two nines at Stonewall for the championship match of the 36th U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur, as Kimberly Dinh, of Midland, Mich., overcame a 3-down deficit to stun 2017 champion Kelsey Chugg and earn her first USGA title.

“In college, I never really played in any USGA events, mostly because by the time the summer came around, I was burned out and I didn’t want to travel. So having an opportunity to compete in a USGA championship after grad school, after college, has been awesome, and to win it, just incredible.”

The victory also earns Dinh a place in the 2024 U.S. Women’s Open at Lancaster (Pa.) Country Club.

Kimberly Dinh, right, hands a ball marker back to Kelsey Chugg after Dinh conceded hole four during the final round at the 2023 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur at Stonewall (North Course) in Elverson, Pa. on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023. (Jeff Haynes/USGA)

Chugg, who was playing in her third U.S. Women’s Mid-Am championship match in the last six iterations, looked like she would become the first since 2016 to earn multiple titles, jumping out to a 3-up advantage through the first seven holes.

Everything was looking relatively easy for the 32-year-old from Salt Lake City, hitting fairways and positioning herself well on Stonewall North Course’s tricky greens. She would win four holes on the front side, two with birdies, and lose only one, when Dinh hit her approach shot on the 319-yard, par-4 fourth hole to just three feet. The result? A 3-up lead for the former champion through seven holes, and after tying the next four holes with her opponent, a 3-up lead through 11, with just seven holes to play.

Kelsey Chugg hits her tee shot on hole 15 during the final round at the 2023 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur at Stonewall (North Course). (Jeff Haynes/USGA)

But that’s when things would take a turn. The two competitors would not tie a hole the rest of the way, with Dinh remarkably winning six of the last seven (Chugg would momentarily stop the bleeding by taking the 15th hole), ultimately resulting in a Dinh 2-up victory. It was the first time a competitor came back from a deficit as large as 3 in the championship match since 2003.

“I’m disappointed,” said Chugg. “It was a good battle. I think I lost it — like the ball striking just left me the last two matches, so I didn’t have my best stuff. Yesterday I got it in the hole a little bit better than I did the back nine today, but I’m proud of myself for making it this far.”

For Chugg, the tale of two nines were really a tale of putting. After playing steady for the first part of the match, her putter betrayed her starting on the 11th hole, and while she was able to tie the hole and keep her 3-up lead, she missed a six-footer for birdie that would have pushed the lead to 4. Dinh, on the other hand, drained a ten-footer for par that seemed to shift the momentum.

Kelsey Chugg and her caddie Lynsey Myers line up their putt on hole eight during the final round at the 2023 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur. (Jeff Haynes/USGA)

“To lose a couple holes pretty quickly was a little bit frustrating, but I just kind of dug deep and never really panicked,” said Dinh. “Kelsey was playing great golf, but both of us were going to make mistakes at some point, so I just kind of had to weather that and keep playing. I said to myself, ‘I’ll keep putting one good swing on the ball after another and see where it takes me.’”

On the next two holes, Chugg would miss three to four footers for par on both, giving Dinh her first hole wins since the fourth. Dinh would make a 15-footer for birdie on the 14th hole to tie the match, and after Chugg regained the lead with a par on 15 (Dinh would have her own putting woes with a short miss), the 31-year-old University of Wisconsin grad would win the last three holes with a bogey, and two finishing birdies, to seal the win.

Kelsey Chugg plays an approach shot on hole three during the final round at the 2023 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur. (Jeff Haynes/USGA)

“I have learned something every time I’ve gotten to match play, just every time I’ve played it, I’ve gotten more comfortable with it. I’ve learned that even if you get down to not panic. At [the Michigan Amateur] this past year, I had a couple matches that went to extra holes and I had to make putts to get to extra holes, so I’ve been in high-pressure situations and have gotten used to it.”

For Dinh, it’s the icing on an incredible mid-amateur career that has included a win at the Michigan Women’s Amateur (as the oldest player in the field), as well as two wins at the Michigan Women’s Mid-Amateur. Earlier this year, Dinh played in her first ever LPGA event, the Dow Great Lakes Invitational, sponsored by her employer, Dow, where she works as a senior research specialist.

*Note* Runner-up Kelsey Chugg receives a silver medal, an exemption into the 2024 U.S. Women’s Amateur and exemptions into the next three U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championships. 

U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship recap story by USGA/Joey Geske. Photos by USGA/Jeff Haynes.


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Kelsey Chugg advances to U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur final

Kelsey Chugg is in familiar territory in a match-play golf tournament.

The five-time Women’s State Amateur champion will make a third appearance in the final match of the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur. Thursday’s 18-hole duel at Stonewall’s North Course in Pennsylvania starts at 7 a.m. MDT.

Kelsey Chugg watches her tee shot on the first hole during the quarterfinals at the 2023 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur at Stonewall (North Course) in Elverson, Pa. on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023. (Jeff Haynes/USGA)

Having held off her opponents’ rallies in a pair of 1-up victories Wednesday, Chugg described herself as “just really, really excited to be back in the final again.”

She won the 2017 U.S. Women’s Mid-Am title and reached the final stage again the following year, before dropping a tough, 1-up decision.

Chugg, the associate director of Salt Lake City Golf, qualified for the 64-golfer match-play bracket as the No. 14 seed, thanks to a second-round 69. She has been in command throughout all five matches, even while having to go to No. 18 in both the quarterfinals and semifinals Wednesday.

“I really fought hard today … I’m proud of myself for grinding it out down the stretch,” she said.

The Women’s Mid-Am is open to golfers 25 and older. Chugg, 32, will face No. 16 seed Kimberly Dinh of Michigan in the final match.

Chugg was 3 up through 14 holes vs. No. 11 Taryn Walker of Kentucky in the quarterfinals and held on after losing two holes. The pattern was similar in the semifinals vs. No. 2 Jackie Rogowicz, who had a home-state following. Chugg was 2 up at the turn, lost No. 15, then tied the last three holes to earn the victory.

Kelsey Chugg and her caddie Lynsey Myers discuss options on the No. 17 tee box during the quarterfinals. (Jeff Haynes/USGA)

Chugg is a former Weber State golfer and Utah Golf Association staff member. Her caddie this week is longtime coach Lynsey Myers, the head professional at Forest Dale Golf Course. “She just has been amazing,” Chugg said. “She knows my swing and game better than anybody.”

Follow USGA live scoring of the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship match Thursday morning, click here:

U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship story written by Fairways Media senior writer, Kurt Kragthorpe. Photos courtesy of the USGA/Jeff Haynes.


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Utah Four-Ball champions: Coburn-McVay, Lyons-McMillan, Cannon-Lloyd

Tate McVay nearly became famous in Utah golf in June when he led defending champion Zac Jones in the late stages of a first-round match In the State Amateur.

Reminded of that missed opportunity, McVay said, “Would’ve been a good story.”

Well, so is this one: McVay and his replacement partner, Brennan Coburn, completed a two-day, four-match run in the Utah Four-Ball Championship with a 2-up win over Jeff Appelbaum-Justin Shluker on Wednesday at Davis Park Golf Course.

(L-R) At-Large Utah Four Ball Champions Brennan Coburn, Tate McVay.

Their win followed Coburn’s victory in Sunday’s Davis Park Amateur. They topped a strong field of 16 teams in the At-Large Division. Except for the presence of high school stars Parker Bunn and Cole Taylor in the semifinals, the Four-Ball tends to resemble a mid-amateur competition, with college golfers unavailable. McVay and Coburn validated that theory, having become acquainted during a round of U.S. Mid-Amateur qualifying at Wasatch Mountain GC this summer.

As they walked off the 18th green Thursday, McVay reminded his partner, “It all started with a Facebook message a month ago.”

With his original partner having to withdraw, McVay reached out to Coburn. They teamed up, as former college golfers in their mid-20s who now work in sales. McVay, who won a state mid-am title in his native South Dakota last summer, played at West Texas A&M. He was affiliated with Dinaland GC in Vernal as of the State Am, but has since moved to Lehi. Coburn is a Layton High School graduate who played for Utah State and now lives in the Salt Lake Valley.

They emerged as champions during a week marked by upsets, although the depth of the field made those results somewhat less surprising. Top-seeded John Owen-Derek Penman lost in the first round to Steele Dewald- Kenny Palmer. Three-time winners Ryan Brimley-David Jennings fell to Reed Nielsen-Zach Markham and defending champions Andrew Cottle-Peyton Hastings also lost in the round of 16 to Dylan McDaniel-Jackson McDaniel.

The twist is that none of those winners advanced to the semifinals, in which Coburn-McVay topped Bryce Till-Thomas Young 5 and 4 and Appelbaum-Shluker outlasted Bunn-Taylor in 19 holes.

In the final match, McVay was credited with a stroke-play 67, with five birdies that won holes (including the par-4 No. 18 as punctuation). Coburn contributed an eagle on No. 3 to tie the match, and the winners were on their way.


The Four-Ball came at the end of what Shane McMillan labeled “a stressful golf year.” That’s his own fault, having put himself in contention in two Utah Golf Association majors, the Senior Stroke Play (losing in a three-way playoff) and the Senior State Amateur (losing in the final match).

He finished first in the Four-Ball. McMillan received considerable help from Matthew Lyons as they successfully defended the title they won last year at nearby Valley View GC, where Lyons is a former head professional.

(L-R) Shane McMillan, Matthew Lyons.

Lyons’ 12-foot birdie putt on No. 18 delivered a 1-up victory over Brandon Hargett-Tommy Johnson, after Hargett’s birdie on No. 17 had tied the match.

“Not a lot of pressure on my putt,” Lyons insisted, with McMillan positioned just inside of his ball.

The victory in the eight-team Senior bracket extended McMillan’s already large lead in the UGA Senior Men’s Player of the Year race.


Rick Lloyd is the constant amid change in the UGA’s age groups, and he presumably helped partner Paul Cannon clinch the first Super Senior Player of the Year award. The Super Senior minimum age is now 60, instead of 65, which makes Lloyd’s repeat win all the more impressive. He won last year with Karl Avant.

(L-R) Paul Cannon, Rick Lloyd.

Cannon-Lloyd went 3 up at the turn vs. Randy Hicken-Mike Jorgensen on the way to a 3-and-2 victory in the final match. They were especially impressive in the semifinals vs. Craig Wilson-Dana Nelson, making an eagle and 10 birdies (with some overlapping) in 15 holes of a 4-and-3 decision.

“They caught us at our best,” Cannon said.

Lloyd’s winning par on No. 9 was a momentum-saver in the final match, after he played a punch-out shot just short of the green on the par-4 hole.

For the complete bracket scoring of the Utah Four Ball Championship, click here:

Utah Four Ball Championship story written by Fairways Media senior writer, Kurt Kragthorpe. Photos by Fairways Media/Garrit Johnson.


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Utah Senior State Amateur: Brigham Gibbs becomes the first three-time champion

Brigham Gibbs was disappointed Thursday morning when he needed three putts to complete Alpine Country Club’s first hole in the final match of the 30th Utah Senior State Amateur Championship. The 3s that followed were much more satisfying.

A pair of eagles on the front nine’s par-5 holes helped Gibbs take command vs. Shane McMillan. He became the event’s first three-time winner via a 4-and-3 victory.

30th Utah Senior State Amateur champion, Brigham Gibbs.

Gibbs’ third title in six years pulled him ahead of the other two-time champions: Glen Hatch, Doug Marriott, Kent Christopher and Kirk Siddens.

Marriott added a Legends trophy to his collection with a 3-and-2 defeat of Chesley Erickson in the newly created 70-over division. Craig Wilson took the Super Seniors title for 60-over players, 6 and 4 over Dan Parkinson.

Gibbs is 59, so he could play next year as a Super Senior. He intends to take at least one more shot in the top tier, quickly dismissing any potential dilemma. “I’ll still play this one,” he said. “You’ve got to play as defending champion.”

Gibbs immediately solved his putting issues on No. 2 by not needing to putt. After laying up on the par-5 from a fairway bunker, he holed a wedge shot from 130 yards. He went 4 up with a 20-foot eagle putt on the par-5 No. 6. And then he eagled the par-4 No. 10 for the second time this week, after knocking a 5-wood onto the green.


Super Senior champion, Craig Wilson with caddy/son Danny Wilson.

Wilson is 61, so he faced what he labeled “a tough decision” about his preferred division when the Utah Golf Association lowered the Super Senior age from 65 to 60 this year, while adding the Legends category.

“I do feel like I can still compete, maybe, with the younger group,” he said.

Wilson won the first four holes vs. Parkinson, an Alpine member who’s 69. Counting a couple of concessions early in the match, he was credited with six birdies in a remarkable performance with his irons.

All week, “I hit the middle of the clubface over and over again,” Wilson said. “That builds a lot of confidence.”

Wilson joined Allen Simkins as a winner of both the Senior State Am and the Super Senior division.


Doug Marriott added a Legends trophy to his collection with a 3-and-2 defeat of Chesley Erickson in the newly created 70-over division.

Marriott’s season sweep of the Legends titles in the UGA’s two men’s senior tournaments came 20 years after his second consecutive Senior State Am victory. At 78, he was thrilled to have the Legends division added this year.

“Oh, absolutely,” he said. “I think it gives a lot more players an opportunity to continue playing (top-level) state golf.”

Marriott said he played “a little better” this week than he did in winning his division of the Senior Stroke Play event at Bountiful Ridge Golf Course in May. He was 4 up through eight holes of the final match, although Erickson succeeded in extending the duel to the farthest point (No. 16) of any of Thursday’s three matches.

Click here for final leaderboards of the 30th Utah Senior State Amateur championship matches.


Written by Fairways Media senior writer, Kurt Kragthorpe. Photos courtesy of Fairways Media/Randy Dodson.


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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).

Former two-timer champ, Brigham Gibbs

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.

Reigning UGA Senior Player of the Year, Shane McMillan.

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.

Former champion, Craig Wilson.

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

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.

Doug Marriott

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.