A solid round of golf wasn’t quite enough for Ryan Seamons to advance to the round of 32 at the Utah State Amateur Championship.
The former Sky View standout was on track for an under par round, but his opponent, Brendan Thomas, fared slightly better and was able to beat Seamons 2 & 1 in the round of 64 at the 123rd installment of this annual tournament on Wednesday at Alpine Country Club.
Seamons was one of 64 athletes that played well enough to qualify for match play. The field of 288 was whittled down to 64 following two days of stroke play.
The Smithfield native was in danger of missing the cut after shooting a 5-over-par round of 77 Monday at Thanksgiving Point Golf Course, but bounced back in a big way Tuesday at Alpine with a 4-under 68.
Seamons was one of five golfers to go 4 under Tuesday at ACC, which was one stroke behind leader Kelton Hirsch. Alpine definitely played easier than Thanksgiving Point as Tuesday’s best score at that course was a trio of 70s.
The current Utah Valley University golfer was one of two athletes with local ties to make it to Wednesday’s opening round of match play. The other was current Utah State Aggie Cooper Wayment, who was oh so close to punching his ticket to the round of 32. The Mesa, Arizona, native lost 1-up to Reed Nielson.
Nielson sank a par putt on No. 18, while Wayment bogeyed, and that proved to be the difference. Both golfers struggled a bit as Nielson shot a 2-over 74 and Wayment a 3-over 75.
Wayment and Nielson were even heading into the back nine. Wayment fared well on the front nine as he birdied No. 2 and pared the rest of the holes. Unfortunately for the Aggies sophomore, he bogeyed four holes on the back nine with zero birdies.
Nevertheless, the 47th-seeded Wayment was still able to rally from a two-hole deficit by winning the 13th and 16th holes. The two golfers halved No. 17 before the 18th-seeded Nielson won the match with his aforementioned par on No. 18.
Like Wayment, Seamons and his opponent were all square following the front nine and, like Wayment, Seamons was at 1-under heading into the back nine. Seamons birdied No. 5 and pared the rest of the holes on the front nine.
The back nine was a little bit of an adventure for Seamons, who birdied three holes, but also had a trio of bogeys. The 34th-seeded Thomas won holes 11 and 12, while No. 31 Seamons birdied No. 14 to cut his deficit in half.
Thomas won No. 16 to go up two holes. Seamons gave himself a chance by sinking a birdie putt on No. 17, but Thomas also birdied to slam the door. Through 17 holes, Seamons was 1 under, while Thomas was 2 under.
Up next for Thomas is a Thursday round of 32 matchup against No. 63 Martin Leon, who sent the No. 2 seed packing in convincing fashion. Leon dispatched of Elijah Turner, 5 & 3.
It was a day of big upsets as the No. 1 seed, former Utah State Am champion Nick Nelson, was eliminated by 64th-seeded Colton Tanner, 1-up. Nelson was the medalist after two rounds of stroke play as he recorded a 6-under 138, which was one stroke better than Jake Godfrey, Spencer Dunaway, Camron Saunders and Turner.
Up next for Nielson is No. 15 Keanu Hiram Lester Akina. The tourney will conclude when the champions of both brackets square off in a 36-hole showdown on Saturday.
Seamons birdied five times and bogeyed once during the second round of action en route to a two-day stroke play total of 145 (1 over). He had zero birdies, three bogeys and one double bogey Monday at Thanksgiving Point.
Wayment was pretty steady during both of his rounds and got off to a solid start Tuesday as he was 2 under through nine holes. He shot a 74 Monday at ACC and a 73 Tuesday at Thanksgiving Point for a two-day total of 147 (3 over).
A handful of other golfers with local ties were eliminated during stroke play in former Aggie Brennan Coburn, Aidan Tueller, Seth Tremayne, Jaren Hunsaker and current Ridgeline Riverhawk Zach Skinner. Former Aggie Brendan Dennis qualified for the State Am, but withdrew before the tournament started.
Coburn was only two strokes away from making the field of 64. He finished with a two-day total of 160 (6 over) after a 76 at Thanksgiving Point and a 74 at ACC.
Tueller shot a 79 at ACC and an 85 at Thanksgiving Point for a two-day total of 164 (20 over).
Tremayne shot a 77 at Thanksgiving Point and an 83 at ACC for a two-day total of 160 (16 over).
Skinner shot a 79 at ACC and a 91 at Thanksgiving point for a two-day total of 170 (26 over).
Hunsaker shot a 79 at Thanksgiving Point and an 82 at ACC for a two-day total of 161 (17 over). Hunsaker is from Heber City, but he listed Smithfield’s Birch Creek as his home golf course.