State Amateur golf: 15-year-olds take center stage with first-round victories

FARMINGTON — The 15-year-olds took center stage in Wednesday’s first round of match play at the Men’s State Amateur at Oakridge Country Club, at least a couple of them did, anyway.

Jack Sargent, a 15-year-old from nearby Fruit Heights and Preston Summerhays, a 15-year-old from Scottsdale, Arizona, both advanced to the second round with impressive victories. Another 15-year-old, Preston Wallace, came up just short, losing to Dixie State golfer Jayce Frampton on the final hole, 1 up.

Sargent produced perhaps the biggest upset of the opening round when he knocked off No. 2 seed Cole Ponich, an Oakridge regular who had won the Utah Junior State Amateur just last week at Oakridge, by a 2 and 1 margin.

“I hit the ball well and made a lot of putts,” said Sargent, who is playing in his second State Amateur. “Some of them, I don’t know how they went in.”

Sargent and the 17-year-old Ponich are good friends, playing on the same Davis High School team that won the 6A title last fall and will be back to defend their title this fall. They play together all the time, but Sargent wasn’t sure if he’d ever beaten Ponich before.

“It was a really good match — he’s a phenomenal player,” said Sargent, who barely made it into match play, needing a birdie on the third playoff hole Tuesday night to become the last qualifier.

Ponich led 1 up after the first nine holes, but Sargent tied the match at 10, lost 11, but came back to win 12. He took the lead at 16 with a birdie and then closed out the match at 17 with a par.

Sargent will meet Utah State golfer Andy Hess in Thursday’s second round. Hess, who will be a sophomore next year, beat Lone Peak High golfer Zach Jones 1 up.

Summerhays is the oldest son of Boyd Summerhays, who was a local phenom when he was the same age playing local golf in Utah. The family lives in Arizona most of the year, but they spend most of their summers in Utah.

Summerhays took the lead early against Dane Nelson and won comfortably with a 6 and 5 victory. He said he his ball-striking was solid and “mostly kept the ball in play off the tee.”

He played in the State Amateur two years ago as a 13-year-old when he lost a first-round match. But he says, “I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress since then.”

Summerhays is set to meet Jacob Wagstaff in Thursday’s second round. Wagstaff, a 24-year-old from Heber, had to go 19 holes to defeat Reed Nielsen, who plays out of Valley View. Nielsen had to play his final seven holes without a putter after he bent it on the 12th hole.

It didn’t make any difference on the final hole, however, when Wagstaff hit his eagle putt from 50 feet to within tap-in distance, leaving Nielsen’s 20-foot par putt with his wedge, after he hit in the water, irrelevant.

Other winners Wednesday included medalist Blake Tomlinson, defending champion Kelton Hirsch, …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News


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