LOGAN — It may not seem fair that Grace Summerhays, who already competed in the Men’s State Amateur earlier this month and is coming off a round-of-16 finish at the U.S. Girls Junior Amateur, is competing at the Utah Women’s Amateur this week at Logan Country Club.
While the 15-year-old from Scottsdale, who spends her summers in Utah, may be the favorite in this week’s tourney, she'll have plenty of competition in the 42-golfer field that tees off Monday morning.
One golfer in the field, Carissa Graft, has already defeated Summerhays at a match play tournament this summer, the Utah State Junior Amateur semifinals in early June. Graft, who just graduated from Bingham High, won the girls 6A individual title in May in record fashion with scores of 65 and 66.
At least 20 collegiate golfers are in the field, including BYU senior Anna Kennedy, who was runner-up to Kelsey Chugg two years ago at Davis Park GC.
Chugg, by the way, is not playing this year in the tournament she has won four times previously, including 2012, the last time it was played at Logan CC. Chugg has qualified for next week’s U.S. Women’s Amateur in Mississippi and felt it would be too hard, with her new job at Salt Lake City Golf and the travel involved for the U.S. Amateur, to do both.
Also missing from this year’s field are defending champion Tess Blair, last year’s runner-up Jessica Sloot and BYU golfer Naomi Soifua, who was runner-up to Chugg in 2012, as well as Sue Nyhus and Carly Dehlin Hirsch, who both have turned professional.
Besides Graft and Kennedy, other golfers to watch are Tyler Erickson, a left-hander who plays for Idaho State and won the Utah Women’s Stroke Play event at Soldier Hollow earlier this month, and Kerstin Fotu, a BYU commit who won the Mary Lou Baker Open last month.
Among the collegiate golfers playing this week are Lexi Hamel, Kyla Smith, Tori Thomas, Launa Wilson, Poy Prasurtwong, Hayden Harris and Bailia Milne from Southern Utah; Taitum Beck and Emma Johnson from Weber State; Madison Moss, Tayllore Ward and Abbey Porter of Dixie State; Bailey Henley and Lauren Taylor from Utah Valley; Laura Gerner of Idaho; Cristiana Ciasca of Wyoming; Kaitlin Fleiner of Nevada; Ivane Helias of Boise State; Emma Winfree of Regis; and Karen Valcarce, Katelyn Day, Brooklyn Halliday and Cassie Campos from Westminster.
A couple of former collegiate golfers to keep an eye on this week are Xena Motes, who made last year’s semifinals, and Tara (Green) Oglesby, who is a former finalist. Davis High’s Caylyn Ponich is one of the top high school golfers in the field.
Golfers will play two rounds of medal play with the field cut to 16 for match play on Wednesday. Two rounds will be played that day with two more, including the finals, on Thursday.