FRUIT HEIGHTS — Brock Stanger claims he was just hoping to get to the third or fourth round after never making it past the second round in his previous tries at the Utah Junior Golf Association Match Play Championships.
Instead, the 17-year-old from Orem survived five rounds of match play this week and ended up as the winner of the boys 15-18 division, defeating Jerzee Houston of Tooele 1 up Friday morning at Davis Park Golf Course.
“I didn’t use to be a big match-play player, but this week I played really solid and got the job done,’’ Stanger said. “I ended up going a lot farther than I thought I would.’’
Stanger was 3 up through 11 holes only to see Houston come back with four straight winning holes, including a couple of “bombs” to take a 1 up lead. However, Stanger won 16 and 17 and only needed a par at 18 after Houston’s 12-foot birdie putt slid by.
In the girls 15-18 division, Jessica Sloot defeated Kerstin Fotu 2 and 1. The 17-year-old Sloot wasn’t playing too far from her Fruit Heights home as she used solid putting to relegate Fotu to her second runner-up finish in a row at the match-play tourney.
The 17-year-old Sloot won the first two holes, but couldn’t shake Fotu as the pair combined for nine birdies in their match before putting her away at No. 17.
“I love winning this one because it’s a whole week and it’s fun matches,’’ said Sloot, who was the 5A medalist this year in leading Davis High to the state title.
Highland’s Zach Jones defeated Preston Summerhays 1 up in the boys 13-14 division and South Jordan’s Tess Blair beat Caylyn Ponich 8 and 6 in the girls 13-14 division.
Other winners Friday included Caden Dunn, who defeated Carter Frisby 6 and 5 in the boys 11-12 division, Apelila Galeai, who beat Liora Seo 1 up in the girls 11-12 division, Braden Lemke, who had to go 20 holes to edge Quinn Abbott in the boys 10 & under division and Aadyn Long, who defeated Arden Louchheim 3 and 2 in the girls 10 & under division.
Utah State Junior Amateur Match Play Championships
Davis Park Golf Course
Boys 15-18 Division
Brock Stanger def. Jerzee Houston 1 up
Girls 15-18 Division
Jessica Sloot def. Kerstin Fotu 2 and 1
Boys 13-14 Division
Zach Jones def. Preston Summerhays 1 up
Girls 13-14 Division
Tess Blair def. Caylyn Ponich 8 and 6
Boys 11-12 Division
Caden Dunn def. Carter Frisby 6 and 5
Girls 11-12 Division
Apelila Galeai def. Liora Seo 1 up
Boys 10 & Under Division
Braden Lemke def. Quinn Abbott, 20 holes
Girls 10 & Under Division
Aadyn Long def. Arden Louchheim 3 and 2