For the third time in her last four appearances in the Utah Women’s State Amateur golf tournament, Sacramento State’s Tess Blair is the medalist in the 116th iteration of the venerable event.
Blair, the 2018 champion from South Jordan who played her high school golf at Bingham, shot a 2-under 70 at Ogden Golf & Country Club Monday morning to edge incoming BYU freshman Berlin Long, who shot a 1-under 71.
BYU golfer Kerstin Fotu placed third in the only round of stroke-play qualifying for match play with a 72, while Sophie Simon of Park City and 2021 medalist Adeline Anderson (also a BYU golfer) tied for fourth at 73.
Meanwhile, on the other end of the cut line for the 32-player match play field, five golfers carded 14-over 86s to tie for 29th and were seemingly headed to a playoff for the last four berths.
However, former Skyline High star Claire Whisenant, who played college golf at Pomona-Pitzer in California last season, did not return to the course for the playoff and was eliminated. Rachel Lillywhite, Annabelle Millard, Roberta Scott and Krya Sponeburgh moved on to Tuesday’s Round of 32 matches.
Lillywhite, who helped Timpview win the 5A state golf tournament last spring, had the misfortune of drawing the No. 32 seed and will meet top-seeded Blair in Tuesday’s first match (7:30 a.m.).
Sponenburgh, from Evanston, Wyoming, got the 31st seed and will meet the second-seeded Long — last year’s runner-up — at 8:50 a.m.
Scott, the No. 29 seed, will face Simon at 8:10 a.m. and 30th-seeded Millard will face Fotu at 9:30 a.m.
All matches will begin on the No. 1 hole. Round of 16 matches will be held Tuesday afternoon.
Defending champion Apelila “Lila” Galea’i, 2020 champion Grace Summerhays and four-time champion Kelsey Chugg were in the group tied for sixth for medalist honors at 74.
The 18-hole championship match is scheduled for Thursday morning.
This is the second year of a new tournament format that cut stroke-play qualifying in half to 18 holes and expanded the field for match play to 32 players.
Last year, when the tournament was at Oakridge Country Club in Farmington, the cut came at 11-over 83. However, more than 60 contestants were in the field last year, compared to 44 this year.