Another Blair leading a State Amateur

Published: Wednesday, July 22 2009 1:11 a.m. MDT

Natalie Stone hits a fairway shot during the second round of the Utah State Women's Amateur golf tournament Tuesday at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi.

Stuart Johnson, Deseret News

LEHI— Haven't we seen this already this month, a teenager named Blair at the top of the leaderboard at the State Amateur golf tournament?

Yes, it happened 10 days ago at the Men's State Amateur when 18-year-old Zac Blair won the Men's State Amateur. Now, at the Women's State Amateur at Thanksgiving Point, 14-year-old Sirene Blair is leading with one round left to play today.

Sirene Blair fired a 1-over-par 73 Tuesday and is one shot ahead of Natalie Stone heading into today's final round of the 103rd annual Women's Am. The 22-year-old Stone, a native of Kaysville who will be a senior at Colorado State, shot a 71 and stands at 144.

Unless both falter, it could be a two-golfer duel, as the next best score is the 148 posted by 18-year-old Annika Afoa, who will be a freshman at BYU. The three leaders tee off at noon.

After that, three players are tied at 149, three-time champion Lachell Poffenberger, Weber State-freshman-to-be Amanda Snyder and Weber State golfer Kelsey Adams, who had the best round Tuesday with a 70.

Blair will be a ninth-grader next year and has only been playing golf for four years. She's not used to dealing with the media yet, as shown by her quiet, short answers to post-round questions.

When asked about her round, Blair said, "It was good, I guess" and called it "just consistent." As for being the leader, she said, "It hasn't really settled in yet."

She did say she gets asked a lot if she is related to Zac Blair and says she is not.

While Blair had mostly pars to go with two birdies and three bogeys, Stone had more of a roller-coaster round with six birdies to go along with five bogeys and five pars at the challenging Thanksgiving Point layout.

"I didn't ever keep momentum," said Stone, the daughter of Davis Park pro Brad Stone and sister of former Utah Open champ Pete Stone. "I missed a couple of short putts and had an up and down round."

Stone took off immediately after her round and was pleased to find out later she was just one off the lead going into today's final round.

"That's always good and it takes the pressure off me," she said. "It's always been a goal of mine and it would mean a lot to win."

Stone has been playing in the State Am off and on since she was about Blair's age and has come close to winning, finishing second in 2007 behind Daphne Vines and fourth in 2006.

Flight leaders include Marie Bambo and Jordan Ulibarri in First Flight, Kari Lawrence in Second Flight, Courtney Smith in Third Flight, Kim Coleman in Fourth Flight and Kimberly Nyhus in Fifth Flight.

Ten-year-old sensation Naomi Soifua, shot an 81 Tuesday after a first-round 85 and stands in 11th place in the First Flight.

WOMEN'S STATE AM

Thanksgiving Point GC

Par 72

Championship Flight

143 — Sirene Blair (70-73)

144 — Natalie Stone (73-71)

148 — Annika Afoa (72-76)

149 — Lachell Poffenberger (73-76), Amanda Snyder (77-72), Kelsey Adams (79-70)

151 — Julie McMullin (73-78)

152 — Sue Nyhus (72-80)

153 — Echo Thatcher (79-74), Amanda Keith (80-73)

155 — Sadie Palmer (75-80)

157 — Emily Copier (78-79)

159 — Selu Fotu (79-80)

160 — Tenille Slack (81-79)

First Flight

153 — Marie Bambo (79-74), Jordan Ulibarri (78-75)

154 — Jenteal Jackson (79-75), Natalie Weber (78-76)

155 — Mikayla Williamson (78-77)

Second Flight

156 — Kari Lawrence (75-81)

170 — Dee Price (77-93), Joyce Billings (86-84)

171 — Louisa Piper (84-87)

172 — Holly Young (87-85), Rina Slade (81-91)

Third Flight

170 — Courtney Smith (87-83)

177 — JoAnee Kim (89-88), Lurie Morentin (87-90)

180 — Deann Nowell (88-92), Keiko Aoki (86-96)

Fourth Flight

174 — Kim Coleman (88-86)

177 — Sue Ann Hudson (93-84)

184 — Michele Tippets (96-88),

188 — Vicki Crocker (89-99), Jody Jensen (91-97)

Fifth Flight

204 — Kimberly Nyhus (99-107)

206 — Linda Jun (99-107), Stina Nyhus (109-97)

213 — Marsene Patterson (107-106)

e-mail: sor@desnews.com

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