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Tyson Shelley, Lila Galea’i win Utah Junior Golf Association Preview

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Tyson Shelley, left, and Lila Galea’i, right, compete in the Utah Junior Golf Association Preview presented by Fairways Media on Thursday, April 30, 2020, at TalonsCove Golf Course in Saratoga Springs.

Fairways Media/Jesse Dodson

SALT LAKE CITY — Turns out there are sporting events still being held in Utah.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, one sport that lends itself well to social distancing is golf, with many Utah courses still open.

And for the past two days, the Utah Junior Golf Association Preview presented by Fairways Media has been held at TalonsCove Golf Course in Saratoga Springs.

Tyson Shelley, a junior at Skyline High School who has committed to BYU, took home top prize in the boys 15-18 division with a total score of 8 under par. Braxton Watts finished second with 5 under, and five players finished tied for third after shooting par. 

“I just put a game plan together yesterday and executed. Pretty happy to get the win,” Shelley told Fairways Magazine.

This was Shelley’s first competitive tournament in seven months.

“My hitting was good. My driver off the tee was a lot better today than yesterday. My irons were pretty good today as well, and I was putting just fine,” Shelley said.

Shelley made nine birdies, par 17 times and had just one bogey to cap off a great performance.

In the girls 15-18 division, Lila Galea’i, a junior at Lehi, took home the trophy with a score of 8 under par, while Berlin Long finished second with 5 under and Arden Louchheim came in third with 1 over par. 

“It started out pretty rough. I started out with a double-bogey on (hole No. 1) Par 5. I think I had to remember to keep my cool. I knew I had a lot of holes left, so I had to make sure I was patient and just stuck with my plan, which was to do the best that I could do,” Galea’i told Fairways Magazine.

Galea’i had seven birdies, 16 pars and two bogeys in her win.

She feels fortunate to be able to compete during the pandemic.

“It’s just a blessing that golf is the way it is because it’s probably one of the only sports that can continue social distancing,” Galea’i said.