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Utah State Amateur to keep its streak alive with dates moved to September

Preston Summerhays accepts his trophy after beating Chase Lansford in the Utah State Amateur Championship finals at Soldier Hollow Golf Course in Midway on Saturday, July 13, 2019.
Preston Summerhays accepts his trophy after beating Chase Lansford in the Utah State Amateur Championship finals at Soldier Hollow Golf Course in Midway on Saturday, July 13, 2019.

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah State Amateur men’s golf tournament will be played this summer but has been moved back more than two months because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Utah Golf Association board of directors met Wednesday night and determined that it was too soon to play the 121-year-old event — the longest continuous golf tournament in the world — on its scheduled dates of June 22-27.

Instead, the tournament will be played Sept. 1-5 at the Jeremy Golf Ranch Golf and Country Club, where it was originally scheduled to be played. However, the tournament will be cut back from six days to five days with 144 players instead of 288 players, with 32 players advancing to match play. That’s how the tournament was played for several decades before expanding seven years ago.

The number of qualifying tournaments also has been reduced from 11 to nine and all will be played in the month of August

“We want to keep our staff, volunteers and players safe,” said Jacob Miller, the executive director of the UGA.

He also said various national golf organizations are still ironing out details of how to run their events.

“With a lot of that information not quite ready yet, we felt it was in the best interest of the State Am to move it back in the year.”

The State Amateur has been played every year since 1899, while other tournaments around the world took years off during World War I and World War II. Earlier this year, Miller vowed not to be the first executive director not to hold a State Amateur.

“I can’t do it. We’re going to make it happen,” he said, “I’m confident there’s a formula that’s going to allow us to host it this year.”

Besides the State Amateur being changed, several other events on the UGA calendar have also been modified.

The Utah Mid-Amateur Championship, scheduled for early June, has been moved back to July 20-21 at Davis Park Golf Course. The Utah Senior Stroke Play (both men’s and women’s) has been rescheduled for Sept. 28-30 at Stonebridge Golf Course.

The women’s Four-Ball and Mary Lou Baker Open have been canceled.

All other UGA championships will continue on previously scheduled dates, starting with the Utah Women’s State Amateur on July 13-16 at Soldier Hollow Golf Course in Midway.

Other golf events not run by the UGA will be contested at the discretion of the different clubs and golf courses.

Below is a statement from the UGA:

“We, like golfers, are disappointed that we were forced to reschedule and cancel championships, but we are committed to hosting our championships in the safest and most socially responsible way possible,” the UGA said in a statement. “We will conduct our championships following guidelines set forth by local and national governmental agencies as it pertains to COVID-19 to ensure the safety of the general public, UGA membership, staff, volunteers and all those that participate in our championships. The UGA will continue to rely on CDC and WHO recommendations in determining schedule considerations as the season progresses.”