A spot in the round of 16 appeared to be a certainty for current Utah State University golfer Cameron Tucker, but a rough final five holes proved costly.
BYU’s Brock Goyen was able to complete an improbable rally by winning the final five holes and then the ensuing extra hole to beat Tucker in 19 in a round of 32 match at the Utah State Amateur Championship on Thursday at Alpine Country Club.
The 38th-seeded Tucker got off to an outstanding start as he fired a 3-under-par 33 on the front nine and took a three-hole advantage over the 6th-seeded Goyen. The former Bonneville High star then won No. 10 and No. 13 to take a seemingly insurmountable five-hole lead with just five remaining.
Unfortunately for Tucker, he bogeyed the final five holes to give Boyen an opening. Tucker, who just completed his junior season at USU, was able to sink a par putt on the extra hole, No. 1, but Boyen drained a birdie putt to advance to the round of 16.
Ironically enough, Tucker was on the other side of a significant rally to earn his spot in the round of 16. The Ogden native trailed former BYU golfer Nick Killpack, the No. 27 seed, by three holes heading into the back nine, but was able to overcome that deficit and ultimately win on the first extra hole in their Wednesday round of 64 showdown.
Tucker converted on a par putt on the first hole, while Killpack bogeyed, giving the Aggie a 19-hole victory. Both golfers shot a 1-under 71 over 18 holes.
Tucker was one of three golfers with local ties to qualify for match play. The field of 288 was whittled down to 64 following two days of stroke play.
Former Sky View and current Utah Valley University golfer Ryan Seamons lost his round of 64 matchup with Brendan Thomas, 2 & 1, while current USU golfer Cooper Wayment was edged by Reed Nielson 1-up in the same round.
Tucker shot a 72 at Thanksgiving Point and a 74 at Alpine Country Club for a two-day total of 146 (2 over), which was good enough for a six-way tie for 37th place.
Seamons recorded a two-day stroke play total of 145 (1 over), and Wayment a two-day total of 147 (3 over).
After outlasting Tucker, Goyen ended up beating fellow Cougar Max Brenchley in Friday’s round of 16, 4 & 3, before falling to No. 3 Spencer Dunaway in the quarterfinals, 2-up, later in the afternoon.
The 123rd installment of this annual tournament will conclude Saturday with a final pitting the champions of both brackets that is scheduled for 36 holes. The champion of the A bracket is No. 12 Blake Tomlinson, while the champion of the B bracket is No. 63 Martin Leon, who was one of the final two athletes to qualify for match play.