MIDWAY — Perhaps the deepest field ever will compete for the 114th annual Utah Women’s State Amateur next week at Soldier Hollow’s Gold Course.
The tournament begins Monday morning and will run through Thursday afternoon when two golfers will be left to compete in an 18-hole final match.
“We’re excited to host the Women’s Amateur at Soldier Hollow for the first time,” said Easton Folster, the Utah Golf Association’s director of rules and competition. “We have one of the deepest fields we’ve had in a number of years.”
The tournament will also have one of its largest fields since it was changed to the current match play format in 2011 with 59 golfers signed up as of Wednesday afternoon.
Leading the way are the last three champions, defending champ Kerstin Fotu, 2018 winner Tess Blair and 2017 champion Kelsey Chugg. Other top golfers to watch are 2019 runner-up Grace Summerhays, former runner-up Naomi Soifua and 16-year-old golfer Berlin Long, a Lone Peak High golfer who finished second in a national tournament last week. The field will also include a host of top college and high school players from around the state.
Blair and Chugg are back after having to miss last year’s State Amateur, which was played at Logan Country Club with Fotu defeating Summerhays in the final. Blair was with her older sister, Sirene, also a former champion, at a professional tournament in California, while Chugg was preparing to play in the U.S. Amateur the following week.
“I”m very excited to be back, this is a great tournament,” said Tess Blair. “Especially during these times, I’m happy to be competing and playing golf.”
Tess Blair, a South Jordan native who plays for Sacramento State, played in the Colorado Women’s Open in early June as well as two tournaments on the Cactus Tour.
Chugg, a four-time winner of the event, will be playing in her 10th Women’s Am. The 29-year-old works for the Salt Lake City Golf Division and feels her game is rounding into shape.
On Monday and Tuesday, the women will play 18-hole medal rounds and after Tuesday’s round, the field will be cut to the low 16 players. They will compete in two rounds of match play Wednesday with the semifinals set for Thursday morning and the final Thursday afternoon.