PARK CITY — After Monday morning's portion of the Utah-Arizona Shootout, featuring the top amateur golfers from both states, the home team had pretty much shot itself out of the competition.
The Utahns trailed Arizona by a wide 14-4 margin after the four-ball competition, which the Utahns have dominated in the past. It looked for sure like Utah was going to lose at home for the first time in the history of the Ryder Cup-like competition, which began in 1991.
Utah may still lose, but at least it made things a little more interesting with a comeback in the afternoon foursomes to give itself a chance heading into today's 12 individual matches at Glenwild Golf Club.
Arizona still holds a comfortable 21-15 lead and needs 15 1/2 points out of a possible 36 today to win. Three points are possible in every match — one point for each nine and one for the 18 holes.
"We dug ourselves an awfully big hole this morning," said Utah captain Doug Baxter. "The good thing about (Tuesday) is so many points are at stake. We've got to play as well as we can and hope we get some breaks."
Utah's two senior players, Doug Marriott and John Taylor, carried most of the load for Utah, winning 5 of a possible 6 points. In the morning they defeated Michael Mahoney and Gary Hart 2 1/2- 1/2 and won the foursomes (alternate shot) in the afternoon by the same margin.
The next best Utah team was the Steve Poulson-Kirk Siddens duo, which won 4 of 6 points and made a superb comeback to win the afternoon match.
After tying their morning match, Poulson and Siddens won a point on the front nine. However, they fell behind after 15 holes and were on the verge of losing. But Poulson rolled in a long putt to halve the 16th hole, they won the 17th and improbably won the 18th when Siddens rolled in a10-foot par putt following Poulson's terrific 6-iron from the fairway.
"I told Steve, 'Hit it on the green and we can make par,' and he hit a great shot," said Siddens.
Two Arizona teams racked up 5 1/2 points in the Monday matches.
Armen Dirtadian and Tom Parker defeated Ryan Job and Corey Matthews 3-0 in the morning and 2 1/2- 1/2 in the afternoon.
Also Tui Selvaratnam and Lynn Simmons won by the same scores over Utah's Sue Nyhus and Tenille Howe.
Doug Bybee and Tommy Sharp picked up two points by winning five straight holes in their afternoon match, while Pete Stone and Marty Jacks won their afternoon match 3-0 after losing in the morning by the same score.