FRUIT HEIGHTS — Kendra Dalton had a chance to secure medalist honors at the Women’s State Amateur Wednesday at Davis Park Golf Course when she came to the final hole with a one-stroke advantage.
The defending State Am champion only needed a par at the short par-4 18th hole to finish first by herself in the 36-hole stroke-play portion of the tournament. Instead, she decided to go for the green on her drive on the 250-yard hole but pulled her tee shot left into the trees and ended up with a bogey.
That left Dalton with a 70 and a 138 total and in a tie with BYU teammate Annie Yang for low honors. No playoff was held and a drawing afterward gave Yang the No. 1 seed and Dalton No. 2.
However, it didn't phase Dalton in the least. The BYU senior-to-be didn’t know how she stood going into the hole and said she wouldn’t have done anything differently.
“I was trying to go for the green and pulled it a little bit, got stuck under a tree and just didn’t get up and down, she said. “I thought it made sense today since they moved (the tees) up and thought I might as well go for it.”
Dalton wasn’t unhappy about tying for first yet was happy for her BYU teammate Yang, who hails from Vancouver and will be a senior this fall after sitting out this year as a redshirt because of an ankle injury.
“I’m super happy for Annie,” she said. “For her to play well like that ... it’s awesome.”
Yang had the best round of the tournament with her final-round 66 that included six birdies and a single bogey. After shooting 34 on the front nine, Yang played the back nine in 32 with birdies at 11, 14 and 16.
Finishing one shot back at 139 was Naomi Soifua, who will be a freshman at BYU after winning three state championships for Provo High School. Soifua, who qualified for the Men’s State Amateur last month, had it going with five birdies in the first 11 holes, but couldn’t make any more birds and added a bogey at the par-5 13th.
Utah Valley golfer Carly Dehlin was 4-under for the tournament with three holes left but made a bogey at 16 and a double bogey at 18 to finish three shots back at 141. Anna Kennedy, a sophomore-to-be at BYU, was next at even-par 72.
Dalton is looking forward to the match-play portion of the tournament, which starts Thursday morning with the quarterfinals set for the afternoon.
“I love match play,” she said. “It’s totally different than stroke play. I love competing one on one and am excited to get going.”
Dalton has a tough side of the bracket. If she can get past Corner Canyon senior Jobi Einerson Thursday morning, she has a possible match with three-time State Am champ Kelsey Chugg in the afternoon. There she could face Soifua if she can win her two matches in the semifinals. Soifua made it to the finals five years ago as a 13-year-old.
One of the more intriguing first-round matchups pits two-time State Am champion and Utah Valley golf coach Sue Nyhus against Dehlin, one of her UVU players.
After Thursday’s play, four golfers will be left for Friday morning’s semifinals with the finals to be played Friday afternoon.
Women’s State Amateur
Davis Park Golf Course (par 71)
138 – Annie Yang (72-66), Kendra Dalton (68-70)
139 – Naomi Soifua (72-67)
141 – Carly Dehlin (70-71)
142 – Anna Kennedy (70-72)
143 – Hayley Chugg (73-70)
144 – Kelsey Chugg (70-74)
145 – Isabella Lesa (76-69)
146 – Xena Motes (70-76), Sadie Palmer (73-73), Kiselya Plewe (71-75)
147 – Tara Green (74-73)
148 – Cristiana Ciasca (74-74), Laura Gerner (73-75), Sue Nyhus (73-75)
149 – Jobi Einerson (74-75)
(Missed qualifying for match play)
150 – Abbey Porter (78-72), Carly Savage (76-74), Masina Kaohelaulii (75-75)
151 – Karen Valcarce (77-74)
152 – Marissa Louder (77-75), Gracie Richens (75-77)
153 – Cora Mickelson (79-74), Cassandra Campos (76-77),
155 – Kyla Smith (80-75), Jamie Connell (79-76), Allison Cluff 79-76)
156 – Julie McMullin (78-78)
157 – Hannah Herman (80-77), Elizabeth Jones (76-81)
159 – Kelsie Higbee (81-78), McKaizlee Cowan (80-79)
160 – Annette Gaiotti (82-78), Berlin Long (82-78), Zaria Thompson (79-81), Dallas Christoffersen (78-82), Nicole Jones (77-83)
First round matches
7:30 a.m. -- Annie Yang (1) vs. Jobi Einerson (16)
7:39 a.m. – Isabella Lesa (8) vs. Zena Motes (9)
7:48 a.m. – Carly Dehlin (4) vs. Sue Nyhus (13)
7:57 a.m. – Anna Kennedy (5) vs. Tara Green (12)
8:06 a.m. – Kendra Dalton (2) vs. Cristiana Ciasca (15)
8:15 a.m. – Kelsey Chugg (7) vs. Kiselya Plewe (10)
8:24 a.m. – Naomi Soifua (3) vs. Laura Gerner (14)
8:33 a.m. – Haylee Chugg (6) vs. Sadie Palmer (11)