BYU’s Zac Jones, former Skyline High golfer Simon Kwon advance to elite eight of 124th Utah Men’s State Amateur
Simon Kwon has been playing golf since before he can remember, which isn’t surprising since he is the grandson of Hall-of-Fame golfer Johnny Miller
Simon Kwon has been playing golf since before he can remember, which isn’t surprising since he is the grandson of Hall-of-Fame golfer Johnny Miller.
Kwon, now 19 and a rising sophomore for the Cal golf team, finds himself in the quarterfinals of the Utah State Men’s Amateur after a pair of comfortable victories Thursday at Soldier Hollow Golf Course.
Kwon, who played on several state championship teams at Skyline High School, defeated Noah Moody 6 and 5 in a round-of-32 match in the morning, then beat University of Utah golfer Braxton Watts 3 and 2 in the afternoon.
He said the key to his play Thursday was “staying calm and worrying about the next shot and not getting too far ahead of myself.”
As far as being the grandson of one of golf’s greatest players, Kwon said it’s all been positive and that his grandpa has never pressured him to play golf.
“He’s helped me ever since I was little,” Kwon said. “He helps me with little things and my mentality – I’ve always loved it. I’ve loved being part of a great family.”
Kwon will play BYU golfer David Timmins in Saturday’s quarterfinal match, after Timmins survived a 21-hole match against Masen Ward. Timmins, the No. 2 seed, eliminated Bryson Hirabayashi 5 and 3 in his first match Thursday.
Kwon is part of the Elite Eight, which is all set after 24 matches were played at Soldier Hollow Golf Course Thursday. The field has been whittled from the 288 who showed up Monday for stroke play. After two more rounds Friday, two golfers will be left for a 36-hole final Saturday.
Zac Jones, who won medalist honors with a pair of 66s in the stroke-play portion of the event, advanced to the quarters, defeating Jacob Wagstaff in the morning round 1 up, before cruising past Ryan Barber 5 and 4 in the afternoon.
The 21-year-old Jones, who will be a sophomore at BYU, will face 30-year-old Steven Croft, who took a couple of 1-up victories Thursday.
In the morning Croft knocked off Zac’s older brother Tyler, before defeating Tooele’s Bridger Holmes in the afternoon. In that match Holmes had the advantage on the final green 30 feet from the hole for birdie, while Croft had a 20-footer for par. However, Holmes three-putted and Croft sank his for the victory.
In his morning match, Holmes had upset defending State Am champion Martin Leon 2 and 1.
The oldest player left in the field is 49-year-old John Owen, who plays out of Mountain View Golf Course. Owen beat teenager Peter Kim 1 up in the morning match, before coming back to defeat Weber State golfer Brody Childs 3 and 1 in the afternoon.
Owen will meet former Westminster golfer Cameron Howe, who beat John Cook 2 and 1 and Kenny Palmer 1 up.
The final quarterfinal match Friday will pit Hayden Banz against Jackson Holman.
Banz, a junior-to-be at Weber State, outlasted BYU golfer Max Brenchley in the longest match of the tourney, 22 holes, before coming back to beat Dylan Naylor, a former UVU golfer, 4 and 3.
Holman, a former Park City High golfer, knocked off 2013 champion Cole Ogden 2 and 1, before beating University of Utah golfer Oscar Maxfield in 19 holes.
Round of 32
Zac Jones def. Jacob Wagstaff, 1 up.
Ryan Barber def. Noah Schone, 1 up.
Bridger Holmes def. Martin Leon, 2 and 1.
Steven Croft def. Tyler Jones, 1 up.
John Owen def. Peter Kim, 1 up.
Brody Childs def. Lincoln Markham, 6 and 5.
Kenny Palmer def. Jack Kuemmel, 2 and 1.
Cameron Howe def. John Cook, 2 and 1.
David Timmins def. Bryson Hirabayashi, 5 and 3.
Masen Ward def. Davis Johnson, 1 up.
Braxton Watts def. Darrin Overson, 1 up.
Simon Kwon def. Noah Moody, 6 and 5.
Jackson Holman def. Cole Ogden, 2 and 1.
Oscar Maxfield def. Zach Felts, 1 up.
Hayden Banz def. Max Brenchley, 22 holes.
Dylan Naylor def. Taft Lewis, 6 and 5.
Round of 16
Jones def. Barber, 5 and 4.
Croft def. Holmes, 1 up.
Owen def. Childs, 3 and 1.
Howe def. Palmer, 1 up.
Timmins def. Masen Ward, 21 holes.
Kwon def. Watts, 3 and 2.
Holman def. Maxfield, 19 holes.
Banz def. Naylor, 4 and 3.
7:30 a.m. — Zac Jones vs. Steven Croft.
7:40 a.m. — John Owen vs. Cameron Howe.
7:50 a.m. — David Timmins vs. Simon Kwon.
8:00 a.m. — Jackson Holman vs. Hayden Banz.