SALT LAKE CITY — After winning the Women’s State Amateur in 2018, Tess Blair wasn’t able to defend her title last year because she was helping her older sister, Sirene, at a professional tournament in California.
She’s back this year and off to a red-hot start as she fired a 5-under-par 67 at Soldier Hollow’s Gold Course in Midway Monday to take a five-shot lead in the medal portion of the tournament.
While the main goal over the first two days is just to be among the top 16 golfers in order to qualify for match play, Blair would love to be the medalist and get the No. 1 seed. The 19-year-old former Bingham High golfer, who will be a sophomore for the Sacramento State golf team next year, had one bogey at No. 4 and then added six birdies at holes 6, 8,11, 13, 15 and 16.
Two golfers, 16-year-old Grace Summerhays, last year’s runnerup and Southern Utah University golfer Chanikan Yongyuan, both shot 72s. Three golfers — four-time State Am champion Kelsey Chugg, University of Idaho golfer Laura Gerner and Lehi High School golfer Lila Galeai — all came in at 76.
Four more golfers came in at 76 — former prep state champion Carissa Graft, BYU golfer Naomi Soifua, Timpview High’s Sunbin Sea and Jadan Gonzales, who played for San Jose State last year.
The most surprising score of the day was the 82 by defending champion Kerstin Fotu, who played her freshman season at BYU last year. Fotu, who won last year in Logan, is four strokes off the cut line and will likely need a round close to par Tuesday to make it into match play.
After the field is cut to 16 Tuesday afternoon, golfers will compete with the first two rounds on Wednesday and the semifinals Thursday morning and finals in the afternoon.
Women’s State Amateur
Solider Hollow Gold Course (par-72)
67 — Tess Blair
72 — Grace Summerhays, Chanikan Yongyuan
75 — Lila Galeai, Laura Gerner, Kelsey Chugg
76 — Carissa Graft, Jadan Gonzalez, Sunbin Seo, Naomi Soifua
77 — Launa Wilson, Taitum Beck
78 — Cassie Campos, Poy Prasurtwong, Lauren Taylor, Cora Mickelson
79 — Kanna Crosland, Berlin Long
80 — Annette Gaiotti, Millie Terrion, Rachel Lillywhite, Hannah Gleason
81 — Nicole Griffiths, Alexis Hamel
82 — Kerstin Fotu, Emma Johnson
83 — Abbey Porter, Corinne Lilywhite, Molly Holbert, Madison Moss, Tori Thomas, Caylyn Ponich