BYU golfer Max Brenchley, former champion Nick Nelson share first-round lead in 2021 Utah State Amateur stroke-play qualifying
Venerable tournament, in its 123rd uninterrupted year, began Monday at Thanksgiving Point and Alpine Country Club. A champion will be crowned Saturday.
Max Brenchley tied for fifth place in the first college golf tournament he entered, so it isn’t surprising that the BYU freshman is tied for the lead in the stroke-play qualifying portion of the 123rd Utah State Amateur after one round.
Brenchley, a Lone Peak High product who returned from a church mission to Jacksonville, Florida, last summer, fired a 6-under-par 66 at Thanksgiving Point Golf Course on Monday in the race for medalist honors.
Former State Am champ Nick Nelson, who won it all in 2007 at Thanksgiving Point before matriculating to Utah Valley University from a junior college in Texas, also shot 66 on Monday, but was playing at Alpine Country Club, considered a bit easier than Thanksgiving Point.
Brenchley, and all the other golfers who played at TPGC on Monday, will play at Alpine in Tuesday’s second round, and vice-versa. The low 64 golfers after 36 holes will make it to match play, which begins Wednesday at Alpine and will stay there the remainder of the tournament.
Brenchley is clearly in an enviable position, considering Alpine CC is his home course and the layout he grew up playing. After being a part of three state championship teams at LPHS and playing basketball all four years for the Knights, he committed to BYU before his mission.
Brenchley tied for fifth at the La Purisma College Invite last fall in Lompoc, California, and was tabbed by former State Am champ Dan Horner as one of the favorites this week.
Brenchley’s former BYU teammate, graduated Cougar Spencer Dunaway, also played at Thanksgiving Point on Monday and shot a 67. Dunaway, from Mililani, Hawaii, is alone in third.
Another BYU golfer, Brock Goyen of Gilbert, Arizona, is tied for fourth at 4-under with Dixie State College golfer Tyson Tanner of St. George. They both played at Alpine on Monday.
Eight of the top 13 scores Monday were posted at Alpine.
Assuming conditions stay the same as they were Monday, Tuesday’s cut for match play should come around 2-over. Almost always, a playoff is held after the second round to determine the last few spots for match play.
If one is needed, it will begin at approximately 7 p.m. Tuesday night at Alpine.
Among the notables in danger of missing the cut are seasoned Richfield amateur Mike Jorgensen (+3), accomplished amateur Brandon Hargett (+3), Mid-Am champ David Jennings (+3), BYU golfer and U.S. Amateur qualifier David Timmins (+4) and former State Am champs Cole Ogden (+5) and Jon Wright (+6).