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Tess Blair crowned Utah State Am medalist

SALT LAKE CITY — On the second day of stroke play, Bingham High junior Tess Blair was crowned the Utah Women’s State Am medalist with an even-par 144 over the two days at Bonneville Golf Course.

“My goal wasn’t to be medalist, I was just hoping to make the cut and get into match play. A lot of these girls here are college players and I look up to a lot of them, so medalist wasn’t something I was looking at, but it was awesome that I could achieve it,” Blair told Fairways Media.

Blair finished the first day of the tournament 1-over par 73, then rallied to shoot 1-under 71 on Tuesday afternoon to finish even and take home the stroke play championship. Through the front nine at Bonneville on Tuesday, Blair was 2-over 38, but rebounded on the back nine to win. Blair eagled on par-5 No. 12 and birdied par-5 No. 16 while shooting for par on every other hole in the last nine.

Finishing second in stroke play was Jessica Sloot, who shot a 2-over 146. Sloot finished the first day of competition with a 2-over 74, but closed the second day of stroke play with an even-par 72, during which she birdied four holes.

Defending champion Kelsey Chugg rounded out the top three with a 3-over 147. Chugg recovered nicely from her day-one performance, where she finished 4-over 76. On Tuesday, Chugg birdied holes No. 8, 15 and 16 en route to a 1-under 71 score.

The Utah Women’s State Am now switches to match play, with the top 16 scores from the two days of stroke play advancing. Blair, Sloot, Chugg, Xena Motes, Kerstin Fotu, Grace Summerhays, Carly Dehlin, Anna Kennedy, Kaylee Shimizu, Annie Yang, Carly Savage, Poy Prasurtwong, Anna Lesa, Whitney Banz, Emma Winfree and Karen Valcarce all advanced to match play. Match play pits a pair of golfers against each other in a 1-through-16 seed bracket.

“I think I’m just going to keep doing what I’ve been doing. Obviously, match play depends on the person you’re playing more than the course, so maybe it’ll be a little bit of strategy depending on what my opponent does, but other than that, I think it’s going to be about the same,” Blair told Fairways Media.

The first two rounds of match play will take place Wednesday, and the semifinals and finals will be held on Thursday. Things kick off with No. 1 Blair vs. No. 16 Valcarce, while the last match on Wednesday will be No. 6 Summerhays vs. No. 11 Savage.