FRUIT HEIGHTS — Kendra Dalton will be seeking a second straight title, Kelsey Chugg will be going for her fourth title, while Naomi Soifua will be looking for her first title when the annual Utah Women’s Amateur gets underway Tuesday at Davis Park Golf Course.
The three aforementioned golfers will be among the favorites this week among a talented field that will pursue the trophy for the tournament that has been held for 110 years.
After 36 holes of medal play Tuesday and Wednesday, the field will be whittled to 16 golfers for match play. Two rounds will be played Thursday with the semifinals and finals played on Friday.
Dalton, a 21-year-old senior at BYU, won last year over teammate Lea Garner as she came back from a one-hole deficit with four holes left to win 1 up. Two weeks ago the North Carolina native won the Women’s Stroke play title by two shots over Chugg.
The 26-year-old Chugg, who works for the Utah Golf Association, won the Women’s Am title in 2012, 2013 and 2015, but was knocked out in last year’s opening round by Cobair Collinsworth.
Soifua is an 18-year-old who won three state prep titles for Provo High and will be playing at BYU this fall. She is a former State Am finalist and last month she became the second woman to qualify for the Utah Men’s State Amateur.
Several college golfers will be competing, including Collinsworth, a Dixie State golfer who made it to last year’s semifinals. Laura Gerner, a former Davis High standout who plays for the University of Idaho, will be one to watch.
Besides Soifua, BYU will be represented by Anna Kennedy, Annie Yang and Gracie Richens, a St. George golfer who will join the team in the fall.
Weber State golfers in the field include Hayley Chugg, Kiseyla Plewe, Kelsie Higbee and Lydia Austin. Utah Valley golfers include Carly Dehlin, Isabella Lesa and Masina Kaohelaulii, while Southern Utah golfers are Nicole Jones, Lindsay Wood and Kyla Smith.
High school golfers to keep an eye on are Whitney Banz, Cora Mickelson and Kanna Crosland. Thirteen-year-old Berlin Long is the youngest player in the field.
Also in the field are two-time winner Sue Nyhus, former champion Julie McMullin, 2014 runner-up Allison Cluff, 2010 runner-up Sadie Palmer, former University of Montana golfer Tara Green and former Weber State golfer Xena Motes.