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Former champion Grace Summerhays eliminated at 116th Utah Women’s State Amateur in a Round of 16 match

Ex-New Mexico golfer Sarah Salvo, returning to competitive golf after a 10-year hiatus, upsets the 2020 winner to move into Wednesday’s quarterfinals at Ogden Golf & Country Club

SHARE Former champion Grace Summerhays eliminated at 116th Utah Women’s State Amateur in a Round of 16 match
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Ex-New Mexico golfer Sarah Salvo watches a shot during Wednesday’s quarterfinals of the Utah Women’s State Amateur at Ogden Golf & Country Club.

Randy Dodson, Fairways Media

Former University of New Mexico golfer Sarah Salvo returned to competitive golf last November after taking about 10 years off from the sport, but is already making a big impact at the 116th Utah Women’s State Amateur at Ogden Golf & Country Club this week.

Salvo, who grew up in Glendale, California, upset 2020 champion Grace Summerhays 4 and 2 in a Round of 16 match Tuesday afternoon to move into Wednesday’s quarterfinals. She’s playing in her first Utah Women’s State Am, and so far, so good.

After shooting a 2-over 74 in Monday’s 18-hole stroke-play qualifying round to tie for sixth, Salvo downed Nuny Khamone 7 and 5 Tuesday morning in the Round of 32. She knew nothing about Summerhays, an Arizona State golfer.

“After the first round, I walked by the sign with her picture on it and I was like, oh, OK, cool. I knew it was going to be a fun afternoon.” — Women’s State Amateur quarterfinalist Sarah Salvo after defeating 2020 champion Grace Summerhays

“After the first round, I walked by the sign with her picture on it and I was like, oh, OK, cool,” Salvo told Fairways Magazine. “I knew it was going to be a fun afternoon.”

Salvo said she lives five minutes away from Bonneville Golf Course in Salt Lake City. She played in the Mary Lou Baker Tournament and Women’s Stroke-Play Championship earlier this summer in her first taste of tournament golf since college in 2008-12. Salvo is a medical research associate for PRA Health Sciences, according to her LinkedIn page.

Salvo will meet 2018 champion Tess Blair, a Sacramento State golfer, in the quarterfinals Wednesday morning. The semifinals will be held Wednesday afternoon, and the 18-hole championship match will be contested Thursday morning.

“No, not even a little,” Salvo said, when asked if her game was in good shape after being away from golf for so long. “I am just glad to see overall improvement.”

Summerhays, daughter of famed swing coach Boyd Summerhays (Tony Finau’s coach) and sister of two-time men’s state am champ Preston Summerhays, had no problem with Libby Ward in the morning, winning 8 and 7.

But against Salvo, the teenager never had the lead.

“I am going to give it all to my caddie. He kept my head screwed on straight. He did a good job,” Salvo said, referring to her husband, A.J.

Blair, the medalist Monday after shooting a 2-under 70, needed 19 holes to eliminate Timpview High product Rachel Lillywhite in a Round of 32 match Tuesday morning, then drubbed Aimee Williams 6 and 5 in the afternoon.

BYU’s Adeline Anderson also had a tough morning match, outlasting Isabel Gutierrez Pailaud of Wolf Creek Golf Club 1 up before beating Jacklyn Gonzalez 5 and 4 in the afternoon.

The other quarterfinalists are Sophie Simon, defending champion Lila Galea’i, incoming BYU freshman Berlin Long, four-time champion Kelsey Chugg and BYU golfer Kerstin Fotu, the 2021 champion.

Simon is a Yale golfer from Potomac, Maryland, who is in Utah for the summer living with her parents in the Park City area.

Simon faces BYU’s Anderson Wednesday morning, while Long meets Galea’i in a rematch of last year’s final, which was won in 19 holes by Galea’i. Fotu and Chugg square off in the fourth quarterfinal at 8 a.m.

The Blair-Salvo winner will face the Simon-Anderson winner in one semifinal Wednesday afternoon, while the other semi will feature the Long-Galeai’i winner against the Fotu-Chugg winner.