With match-play berths on the line, golfers chased red scores Tuesday on the second and final day of stroke play at the 121st Utah State Amateur Championship.
On Monday, there were 19 scores below par in the field of 288 golfers who played at Soldier Hollow Golf Course on both the Gold and Silver courses. Seven players withdrew from play before Tuesday’s action, but even with fewer competitors, the red scores increased. There were 27 scores below par on Tuesday.
“I knew coming into today after struggling yesterday that I would need to post something in the red numbers to be safe,” former Aggie Braydon Swapp said. “I was able to do that and it felt great walking up 18 knowing I was going to be playing again tomorrow.”
Swapp, who played in the title match in 2017, was one of these 27 below-par golfers on Tuesday. He shot a 3-under-par 69 on the Silver course to punch his ticket into match play, along with 63 others. The current resident of Farr West is seeded 26th after a two-day total of 146.
Two current Aggies went low on the second day to join Swapp in match play. Cameron Tucker, who will be a sophomore at Utah State, followed up his even-par round Monday with a 3-under-par 69 on the Gold course Tuesday. He is seeded sixth.
Chase Lansford had to follow a similar path as Swapp as the senior-to-be shot a 4-under-par 68 on the Gold course after a 3-over-par 75 on Silver. Lansford will be the 16th seed.
One local golfer made it as well. Ryan Seamons, who will be a senior at Sky View High School this fall, matched his 73 on Monday with a 1-over-par 73 on the Silver course on Tuesday. He will be the 31st seed.
“My goal was to just play smart golf and go for even par,” Seamons said. “It was windy all day, and I just played solid and ended the day at plus one to go plus two for stroke play.”
Now Seamons, who is playing in just his second State Am, will take on 34th seeded Boston Watts Wednesday morning at 10:20.
“This is my first time being in the match play,” Seamons said. “So far, I am really happy with how I’m playing. I feel confident going into match play. I really enjoy playing match play because it doesn’t matter what you get on a hole, you only lose one hole. So to me, it’s not as much stress as a stroke play tournament. You just have to have fun with match play because it can easily get into your head. I’m just really excited to be competing with these people.”
Seamons started on the back nine Tuesday and was even at the turn with a birdie and bogey. On the front nine, the teenager started with a bogey, but quickly recovered with a birdie. He had one more birdie, but ended the day with back-to-back bogeys for his 73. The Smithfield native tied for 29th after stroke play.
Tucker, who is from South Ogden, played two solid days of stroke play. He started on the front nine of the Gold course and had back-to-back birdies on the second and third holes. After making the turn he had a bogey, but shook that off with three birdies for his 69. His two-day total of 141 had him in a tie for fifth at the end of the day. Tucker will play 59th seeded Kurt Owen at 12:10 p.m. Wednesday.
“I don’t know Cameron personally, but I know he walked onto the (USU) team last year and made himself a part of the travel team almost immediately,” Swapp said. “He contributed in a lot of events. I’m glad to see him playing well.”
Lansford’s day was a bit on the wild side as he began on No. 1 and had two birdies, then a bogey, then a birdie and another bogey before an eagle on No. 6. He finished his first nine with a par, a birdie and a bogey. On the back nine, Lansford had three birdies and a two bogeys to card his 68. His two-day total of 143 for 1-under-par tied him for 12th. He will play 49th seeded Nick Becker at 8 a.m.
Swapp began his day on the back nine with a birdie and then another birdie on his third hole. The start was just what he needed, and it kept getting better for the former Aggie. On the front nine he had four birdies and two bogeys. He moved all the way up into a tie for 21st with a two-day total of 145. Swapp will play 38th seeded Clay Bingham at 11 a.m.
Another former Aggie made it to match play with two solid rounds. Brennan Coburn followed up a 1-over-par round of 73 on Monday with a 73 on Tuesday on the Silver course. He got off to a rough start Tuesday with three bogeys, but was able to turn his round around on his last nine with four birdies. He tied for 29th and will be the 30th seed, taking on 35th seeded Grace Summerhays at 11:40 a.m.
Summerhays is the lone female in the field. The 14-year-old carded an even-par 72 on Tuesday.
“It’s great to see Aggies making a showing in UGA play,” Swapp said. “Sometimes we are overshadowed by Utah and BYU players in the media, but it’s in events like these that we prove we are high-level players too and deserve some attention.”
One Aggie who won’t be moving on is Andy Hess, who has reached match play in the past. Hess shot a 72 on Monday, but had a tough go on Tuesday with a 81.
Two former Logan High golfers also missed match play in Seth Tremayne and Aiden Tueller.
Colton Tanner of Park City was the medalist with a two-day total of 136. One stroke behind was defending champion Preston Summerhays, who was 7-under-par for the two days at 137. The 17-year-old is the older brother to Grace Summerhays. The Summerhays teenagers are on the same side of the bracket and could meet in the semifinals if they both make it that far.
The best round of the day was turned in by Cole Ponich with a 6-under-par 66. The Farmington golfer jumped way up the leaderboard to third at 139.
There will be one round of match play on Wednesday, followed by two rounds on Thursday and Friday. A 36-hole championship will be on Saturday.