He is now officially second on the list of Men’s club championship titles won at the Logan River Golf Course.
Nate Nyman faced a gauntlet of good players in match play over the last two weeks to earn his third title Monday evening. The 35-year-old Cache Valley native beat Heath Madsen for the championship, 6 and 5.
“Heath is good; he has been playing really good,” said Nyman, who was also victorious in 2013 and 2018. “... This one was pretty good. I had to play a lot of really good players on my side of the bracket. I would say this one is right up there.”
Nyman beat eight-time champion Nick Summers in the semifinals by shooing a 28 on the front nine to get a lead.
“I’ve changed my grip and started seeing my line a lot better over the last month,” Nyman said. “I’ve started putting a lot better and shooting some really good scores. ... I told my wife the next two weeks I’m going to grind it out and see what happens.”
Both players had to deal with some distractions Monday. The match was already delayed five days because of weather. Then Nyman and Madsen were met with some wind gusts that had both men guessing a bit on early holes.
“You had to try and guess with the wind,” Nyman said. “You couldn’t spin it. Every shot going down wind and the pins were tucked, just trying to guess a number. It was a guessing game early.”
Once the wind died down, the duo then had to deal with a diligent course worker who was mowing. That lasted for three holes until someone was able to inform the mower that this was the club championship.
“Yeah, it was kind of weird with the lawn mower guy,” Nyman said. “I kind of play better when I’m more pissed off. It was almost better off that I got mad, got my adrenaline going.”
Then there were some long delays on holes as play got backed up a bit as the other two championship flights were playing ahead of the main event. Both players handled it well for the most part, exchanging shrugged shoulders and shaking heads.
“I had my buddy Zach (Saxton) here, and we talked about deer hunting,” Nyman said. “I stayed kind of focused, but more relaxed.”
Nyman, who now resides in Tremonton with his wife Lauren and 15-month-old son Tyker, got hot just before making the turn. Up two holes, he was able to reel off four straight and take firm control of the match.
Madsen got into trouble in the sand on the par-3 eighth hole and would concede the hole to Nyman after needing two swings to get out of the trap. Then on the par-4 ninth, a great chip up next to the pin by Madsen was followed by a 18-foot birdie putt by Nyman to take a 4-up lead through nine.
“When I start seeing it go in, I get pretty confident,” Nyman said. “... I had left a few short earlier on. On nine, I was like, ‘I’m making this putt,’ and I hit it hard. It stayed on line. As soon as it left the putter I knew it was in.”
During the ninth hole, Madsen joked with Kourt Knowles, who was watching and had lost to Madsen in the semifinals, that it was his turn for the back nine. Knowles declined the offer.
The birdie on nine was the first of the match by either player. Nyman joked that they may score in the 80s for the round.
However, it would not last a full 18.
Nyman followed up that birdie on 9 with two more on the par-4 10th and par-4 11th to take a commanding lead.
“Once I got ahead, I just tried to keep putting pressure on him,” Nyman said. “I finally got in a grove and made a few birdies.”
Madsen did fight back on the par-4 12th. Nyman got in a little trouble on his drive and then hit a tree on his second shot. The now Wellsville resident was able to win his second hole of the match with a par.
Forced to take some chances or see the match end, Madsen had to try and drive over the water on the par-4 13th. His ball didn’t quite make it, and the splashing in the distance was a sign of the match being almost over.
Nyman played it safe and got on the green in two. A par putt was conceded and the two shook hands.
“I knew I was five or six up and just thought there is no way he (Madsen) is going to beat me with five or six holes to go,” Nyman said. “... That tee shot on 12 has been killing me all year long. I just played smart on 13.”
Both players had their moments on the first two holes of the day with the wind. They halved the par-5 first hole, and Nyman won the second with a par after Madsen lost a ball on his drive.
Madsen shook off the second hole to win the third with a 8-foot par putt. Nyman lipped out a 6-foot putt for par.
Then the momentum swung back Nyman’s way as he won the fourth and fifth holes as they dealt with the mower.
A 20-foot par putt for Madsen on the par-4 sixth hole stopped Nyman’s momentum for a bit. They halved the sixth and seventh holes before Nyman really heated up.
This was the second time these two have squared off for the title. Nyman won in 2018, 5 and 4.