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Utah Women’s Amateur to celebrate 100th birthday

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Two years ago, the Utah Men's Amateur celebrated its 100th annual tournament at Riverside Country Club in Provo.

This year it's the women's turn, as they celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Utah Women's Amateur at Logan Country Club in Logan. It's not the 100th consecutive Women's Am tournament — it's actually the 96th — but it is still one of the nation's oldest women's tournaments, having begun in the year 1900.

The 54-hole tournament gets under way Monday morning and will run through Wednesday afternoon, with 119 golfers participating, led by defending champion Sue Nyhus.

Nyhus, who is the BYU assistant women's golf coach, will be joined by a pair of BYU golfers who have the lowest handicaps in the tourney, Adrianne Gibby and Jessica Gardner. Gibby, who is from Scottsdale, Ariz., is a 1-handicap while Gardner, from Centerville, is a 2- handicap. Both will be juniors next year.

Other top golfers to watch are Weber State golfers Tenille Howe, Sally Bingham and Jasmine Simon, along with former champion Lachell Poffenberger, Darci Dehlin, Aimee Williams, Julie McMullin, Nicole Newren, Joyce Billings, Marie Bambo, Jodi Ridd and Tori Fishburn.

Some of Utah's top women's amateurs will not be able to play because of conflicting tournaments. Farmington's Carrie Summerhays, the top player on the BYU team last fall, will be competing in the U.S. Women's Amateur after qualifying in Arizona earlier this summer. Seventeen-year-old Annie Thurman, Utah's top junior golfer, who won the City Parks Open in June, is competing in a junior tournament in California this week.

"As far as we know, this is the first time the Women's Amateur has been in Logan, and we're excited to have it here," said Norma Palmer, the president of the Utah State Women's Golf Association.

The 15 golfers in the First Flight will tee off early Monday, late Tuesday and the whole field will tee off at 9:30 a.m. in a shotgun start so everyone can be on hand for the a special 100th anniversary celebration.

E-mail: sor@desnews.com