SMITHFIELD — While the pin placements were challenging and many struggled on the long course, there were some red scores Friday on the first day of the Cache Valley Amateur.
Day one took place at Birch Creek Golf Course. The second and final day will be contested at Logan River Golf Course on Saturday.
Most golfers commented on how great of shape the course at Birch Creek was in. However, many struggled in finding the bottom of the cup.
That was not the case for six golfers in the Champ Flight and one in the A Flight. Braxton Watts had the best round Friday with a 6-under-par 66. He is from Farmington.
Tied for second were a pair of local golfers in Ryan Seamons and Brad Thorne. Each of them carded 4-under-par rounds of 68.
“I like starting this tournament more at Birch Creek,” Seamons said. “I try to get off to a good start on my home course.”
Right behind Seamons and Thorne was Dylan Hardy and Cooper Jones. They both recorded 69s to tie for fourth. Brendan Dennis was sixth a two-under-par 70. Jax McMurdie was even at 72.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Champ Flight were Zach Skinner (73), Darrin Railsback (73), Denny Job (74) and Derek Penman (74).
Seamons, who is currently playing college golf at Utah Valley University, had a rough start to his round on his home course. He began on the par-4 10th hole.
“I started bogey, bogey,” Seamons said. “It was a tough start. ... I just didn’t hit the best tee shot on the first hole. Then I hit into the bunker on the par-3 11.”
However, the former Sky View High School golfer then picked up birdies on 12 and 13. By the time he made the turn, Seamons was 1-under par.
“I got back on track with those two birdies,” Seamons said.
He started heating up on the par-3 17th. Seamons recorded four straight birdies. He finished with seven birdies on the day.
“That kind of catapulted me back up there,” Seamons said. “... The pins were in tough locations, but the course was in great shape. The greens are looking good and rolling quick.”
Like Seamons, Hardy had a bit of a hiccup to begin his round Thursday. He started with a double bogey on No. 1.
“I got into trouble off the tee and had some issues in the green-side bunker,” Hardy said. “I was able to settle down and get in a groove from there.”
Birdies on No. 5 and No. 7 got Hardy back to par. On the back nine, Hardy started much better with a birdie on No. 10. He also birdied 13 and 15, and the rest were pars on the back nine.
“The highlight of the round was dropping a long birdie putt from the fringe on 15 after my drive ended up under a tree,” Hardy said. “No blemishes on the scorecard after the double at the first.”
Seamons has been among the leaders and held the lead of the Cache Valley Amateur in the past. He has never won the two-day tournament.
“I have never followed through,” Seamons said. “Hopefully, this year I can do it.”
Logan River is much shorter than Birch Creek, but unforgiving with wayward shots. Most golfers rarely use drivers off the tee and need to be more precise.
“I just need to go approach it one hole at a time,” Seamons said. “I’ve been in this situation before. I will try and do what I did today and make a lot of birdies. Hopefully, I will have a good round.”
“I’m going to try and stay patient tomorrow,” Hardy said. “At Birch Creek you can be a little more aggressive with not much trouble on the course. At Logan River, you have to stay patient, hit solid shots and try to give yourself some good birdie looks while trying to make as many stress-free pars as you can.”
Andrew Echard went under par in the A Flight with a 71. He has a two-stroke lead over Lance Alder and Steve Russell, who each had 73s.
In the B Flight, Rusty Allen shot a 5-over-par 77 to find himself atop the leaderboard. Kyle Allen and Josh Colledge each had rounds of 79 to tie for second after one day.
Joel Ramsdell has a narrow one-stroke lead in the C Flight. He fired a 84 and is followed closely by Brad Cutler and Ryan Doyle as they each shot 85s.