Women’s State Am: 4-time champ meets BYU sophomore in championship match

To win “one for the thumb” at the 116th Utah Women’s State Amateur, Salt Lake City associate golf director Kelsey Chugg will have to get through one of the standouts on the BYU women’s golf team.

Thursday’s 18-hole championship match at Ogden Golf & Country Club will feature Chugg, an Ogden native and a four-time winner of the event, against BYU rising sophomore Adeline Anderson.

Chugg, who played collegiately at Weber State in 2012-13 and has toured Ogden G&CC more than 50 times, by her own estimation, last won the title in 2017, the same year she won the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur in Houston.

Anderson prepped at Buena High School in Ventura, California, and was a contributor for coach Carrie Roberts’ BYU team the past season as a freshman, appearing in 11 events and posting three top-25 finishes as the Cougars’ No. 5 player in most cases.

The match begins at 8 a.m.

Chugg upended incoming BYU freshman Berlin Long, who is from Lehi and prepped at Lone Peak High in Highland, 3 and 1 in a semifinal match Wednesday.

Anderson eliminated former Bingham High star Tess Blair, a Sacramento State golfer who was the stroke-play medalist on Monday, by a score of 2 and 1 in the other semifinal. Blair was the champion in 2018.

Blair defeated former New Mexico golfer Sarah Salvo 1 up in a quarterfinal match Wednesday morning. Salvo is returning to competitive golf after a 10-year hiatus and represented herself well at the State Am, winning two close matches Tuesday.

Salvo won holes 13 and 15 to cut the deficit to one, but the women halved the next three holes and Blair moved on.

Anderson downed Yale golfer Sophie Simon 2 and 1 in the morning, ending a remarkable run from the college freshman from Maryland whose parents recently moved to Park City. The match was tight throughout, with neither golfer leading by more than two holes.

In a matchup of past champions, Chugg routed BYU’s Kerstin Fotu 5 and 4 in a morning match. Fotu was the 2019 champion at Logan Golf and Country Club. Chugg led by two at the turn, then birdied holes 10 and 11 and cruised to the win.

Chugg coined the phrase “one for the thumb,” meaning she was looking for a fifth State Am title ring, after she won titles in 2012 at Logan Golf and Country Club, 2013 at Wasatch Mountain, 2015 at Hidden Valley Country and 2017 at Davis Park.

She experienced some back issues in 2020 and 2021, but has obviously returned to her previous form.

In a rematch of last year’s championship match, Long defeated defending champion Lila Galea’i 1 up in a quarterfinal match. Galea’i led by two holes after 13, but Long won holes 14, 15 and 17 to move on, reversing what happened last year when she lost a two-hole lead late.

Long, 18, shot even-par 144 to win medalist honors at the 6A state girls golf tournament in May, and helped lead the Knights to four state titles in her time there. She also won medalist honors in an unofficial state meet in 2020 when the UHSAA’s official state tournament was canceled due to COVID-19.

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