The second day of the State Amateur golf tournament produced a record low qualifying score to get into match play and was spiced by a couple of near-record performances Thursday afternoon at Alpine Country Club.
Thirty-two golfers who shot 146 or better for 36 holes moved into Friday's match-play portion of the tournament. The 146 total was two shots lower than the previous record, set last year, and a whopping five shots lower than the 151 qualifying number set the last time the State Am was played at Alpine, in 1982.Leading the charge were a pair of BYU golfers who posted 66s on another warm and windless day at the par-72 Alpine layout.
Ramon Brobio, a 19-year-old junior-to-be from the Philippines, fired his second consecutive 66 to easily win medalist honors. His 132 total, which beat first-day leader Kurt Bosen by four shots, came within one of tying the 36-hole qualifying record of 131 set by Jay Don Blake in 1980 at Riverside.
But Brobio's fine effort was nearly overshadowed by his college teammate Eddie Heinen, a 20-year-old from Las Vegas.
Heinen, who made it to last year's State Am finals, fired an incredible 7-under-par 29 on Alpine's front nine with seven birdies in nine holes. The amazing nine brought immediate attention to his threesome and had fellow golfers on the course buzzing.
But after getting as low as 9-under-par with two more birdies on the back nine, Heinen couldn't quite hold up to the pressure and bogeyed three of the last five holes for his 66 and a 140 total.
The 29 tied the 9-hole record set by Steve Poulson in 1982 and just missed the 18-hole record of 64 set by Buddy Allin in 1964.
"That was a new experience to be so far under par," said Heinen. "Before I went to sleep last night I mapped out how I was going to play it and it went exactly how I wanted it to. It was a once-in-a-lifetime thing."
After making birdies at every hole except No. 5, where he lipped out a 20-footer, and No. 9, where his 12-footer slid by, Heinen birdied No. 10 and No. 13, both from 5 feet.
On his drive at No. 14, he hit his first bad shot of the day, a 1-iron that he came over the top on. Behind some trees on the left side, he had to punch out sideways and made bogey.
His bubble suddenly burst, Heinen made poor drives at the next three holes, getting another bogey at 16 and then another at 18 when he boldly ran his birdie try past and missed coming back.
Heinen gave much of the credit to BYU Coach Karl Tucker, who talked to him the night before. "Coach is great with words and giving advice," said Heinen.
"It's a round I'll never forget."
Brobio's 66, which came in the morning before Heinen even teed off, wasn't quite as dramatic. He spaced his birdies out with three on each nine and didn't make a bogey all day. He said he hit the ball better than the first day and didn't need to make a lot of long putts.
Brobio felt confident heading into match play, and with good reason. "We do a lot of match play back home," he said.
When he was 15, Brobio won the Philippines Amateur Championship in a match-play format and twice won the Junior Masters, another match-play event.
Because of pre-set second-day pairings for the first time in five years, there wasn't the excitement of recent State Am medal play when the leaders were paired together. Brobio teed off at 8:16 a.m. and posted his 66 before Bosen went off at 12:20 p.m.
"It affected me a little," said Bosen. "I knew I had to rip it."
Bosen needed a 67 just to tie, but he never got rolling and back-to-back bogeys at 7 and 8 took him out of it and he stayed around par all day, finishing with a 71 after his opening 65.
Heinen joined two other golfers at 140 - Ogden's Rob Despain and Springville's Ron Hitchcock, a perennial match-play participant (16 of the past 19 years), who fired a 67.
Three golfers came in at 141, BYU's Dean Wilson and Salt Lakers Spence Ahrend and Rich Rawdin.
Six players finished at 146, the cutoff score, and had to play off for the final four spots.
University of Utah golfer Ross Marcano and Vernal's Stacy Hall birdied the first hole to qualify and University of Santa Barbara golfer Sharm Newbold birdied No. 3. Then Brett Taylor, who has played at Northwestern, grabbed the 32nd and final spot with a birdie at No. 4. Left out were two-time State Am champ Arlen Peacock and Mike Bailey.
As always, there were some intriguing matchups for Friday morning's first round.
The oldest player in the draw, 50-year-old Ken Cromwell of Odgen, was matched against the youngest, 17-year-old Greg Slack of Cedar City, and BYU teammates Dean Wilson and Ryan Rhees were to face each other.