Nate Nyman has won has share of golf tournaments over this years, but his most recent triumph is one he will cherish for a long time.
The former Sky View golfer shined on the second and final day of the Cache Valley Amateur, which concluded Saturday at Logan River Golf Course. Nyman shot a 5-under par 66 to reign supreme in the Champ Flight.
Nyman’s impressive two-day total of 134 — he fired a 4-under 68 Friday at Birch Creek Golf Course — was one stroke better than Tanner Alder in a very competitive Champ Flight. The top four athletes were only separated by four strokes.
“I was just telling my wife that caddies for me that I’ve wanted to win this tournament for so long,” said Nyman, who was in second place following his round at Birch Creek. “I told her that taking last week off for the honeymoon must have been the answer. ... This title means the world to me because I’ve represented both courses since I was 5 years old. And to do it with my dad and wife playing with me makes it that much more special.”
Nyman teed off Saturday morning and immediately found his rhythm as he birdied his first hole, No. 10. The 33-year-old sank five more birdie putts, including back-to-back-to-back on the front nine, and had other opportunities to shoot even lower.
Nyman missed a 10-footer for birdie on No. 8 and had a makeable eagle putt on No. 16, but ended up three-putting for par. Nyman’s only other hiccup was a bogey on 7.
“You know, I really didn’t know how many under (par) I was today until I bogeyed,” Nyman said. “Everything was really clicking for me. When I looked back, I really could have gotten to 61 or 62. The biggest thing for me was just keeping it in play and giving myself birdie opportunities on every hole.”
And while the six birdies loomed large, it was a pair of par saves that ultimately allowed the former professional golfer to capture his first ever Cache Valley Amateur title. Nyman drove his tee shot into the hazard on No. 1 and No. 18, but kept his composure and ended up parring both holes.
Those were par saves Nyman desperately needed because Alder played very well. The Ogden resident had the best round of the day as he fired a 6-under 65 to put the pressure on Nyman. Additionally, former Southern Utah golfer Denny Job shot a 67 and only finished two strokes behind Nyman.
“You know, I wasn’t very confident after bogeying the seventh hole,” said Nyman, who has competed every year at this tourney since he was 17, with the exception of the four years he was a professional. “I figured if I got it to 6 under I would be close. I just wasn’t sure how Ryan (Seamons) and Denny Job were doing. I just wanted to post a good number and see what happens from there. I can only control what I do. There were a lot of good players in the field that can go super low.”
Nyman continues to excel at Logan River, where he was the men’s club champion in 2018 and in convincing fashion, to boot. Nyman’s best ever round at Logan River is a 64.
“This course just sets up really good for my game,” said Nyman, who celebrated his victory with is wife by attending Saturday night’s Jason Aldean concert at USANA Amphitheatre. “I feel really comfortable on the course because I hit the ball straight and I can make putts.”
Nyman, Alder and Job were the three athletes who shot in the 60s in both of their rounds. Sky View senior-to-be Ryan Seamons finished fourth in the Champ Flight with a two-day total of 138, while current Utah golfer Dylan Chugg was fifth with a 140. Seamons held a two-shot advantage over Nyman heading into the day, thanks to his impressive 66 at Birch Creek.
Six other Champ Flight competitors who shot under par at Logan River were Colton Dallimore (69), Kohner Knowles (69), Austin Banz (70) and Cannon Robison (70), Tyler Abegglen (70) and Jeffrey Jolley (70).
Like the Champ Flight, the A and B Flights were decided by one stroke. In the A Flight, former Bear River golf Triston Hartfiel held off former Sky View golfer Kourtney Knowles, 140 to 141. Hartfiel fired a 3-under 68 at Logan River, while Knowles was under par at both courses with his rounds of 71 and 70, respectively.
Two other competitors in the A Flight — Chris Romney (68) and Aidan Tueller (69) — shot under par at Logan River.
In the B Flight, Marlon Wilson was rock solid Saturday with his 71, which allowed him to hold off Nick Bailey by one. The local golfer, who finished with a 77 at Birch Creek, tallied a two-day total of 148.
“It’s huge,” Wilson said. “It’s been a long road as I told you, and just to go out and play steady (was huge). The biggest thing that helped me is the other players in our group were really fun to be with and they kept it light, so you didn’t get too buried in the competition and the atmosphere of the competition. And it allowed me to relax and really just play a steady, solid round of golf, which felt really good.”
The “long road” the Nibley resident was referring to was a motorcycle accident nine years ago that wreaked havoc on both of his arms and shoulders. Wilson used to play in this tournament a lot before his accident.
Wilson birdied 13 and 16 to offset a pair of bogeys at Logan River. His best round ever at the River is a 68.
Wilson, who teed off in the morning, wasn’t sure if his 71 would hold up. Wilson’s primary goal was to finish in the money, “so I’m ecstatic to have played as well as I did.”
“I didn’t know if it would (hold up) at all,” said Wilson, who went on to praise Eric Kleven, Jeff John and the groundskeepers at both courses. “I mean, I felt really good that even par was a good, solid round of play, but I didn’t really know exactly where I stood in the standings because I didn’t see the sheets before we teed off. But I knew it was good enough to at least get me in the top five, but I didn’t think I would win.”
Conversely, Cache Valley native Nick Zollinger dominated the competition in the C Flight as his two-day total of 149 was nine shots better than his nearest opponent. Zollinger was really consistent Saturday as he recorded a 70, which is only two shots off his record at Logan River.
“Yeah, I was pretty confident that posting an under par score would win my flight,” said Zollinger, who referred to Logan River as “my home course.”
The 38-year-old started on No. 10 and ended up sinking birdies on 15 and 18. Zollinger’s lone bogey was on 12 and he parred his final nine holes to win the C Flight going away.
Zollinger, who chuckled while thanking his wife for letting him play this weekend, shot a 79 at Birch Creek.
“I don’t play competitively too much nowadays,” Zollinger said. “This is the one tournament I like to play in because you get to play at two great courses. I love both golf courses that we play at.”