OGDEN, Utah — Jacob Holt played some of the best golf of his life on Monday during the first round of the 116th Utah State Amateur. The 22-year-old from Tooele fired an 8-under-par 64 at Valley View Golf Course in Layton to take a three-shot lead on the rest of the competition as the 288-player field competes over 36 holes on Monday and Tuesday for 63 coveted match play spots.
Holt, who recently finished up his collegiate golf career at SUU, has only posted one round lower than 64 in competition before, having carded a 10-under-par 62 at the Stansbury Amateur at Stansbury Park Golf Course last year. On Monday, he played near flawless golf, converting nine birdies to go along with one bogey. Starting off the No. 1 tee at Valley View in the third group out of the morning wave, Holt made two quick birdies on Nos. 2 and 3 before giving a shot back on No. 4. Then as Holt transitioned from the front to the back nine, he did something most golfers can only dream about by making five straight birdies from hole Nos. 8-12.
"I really didn't recognize I made five (straight) birdies until someone in the group told me," said Holt.
At that point, he cooled off a little, making four consecutive pars before adding a pair of birdies on Nos. 17 and 18 to finish with a 31 on the back. Holt is no stranger to previous success at Valley View, having tied for first at the Valley View Amateur less than two months ago.
"It's always in good condition and I really like the greens," explained Holt of his affinity for Valley View Golf Course.
Also finding success on Monday was Devon Purser, who fired a round of 5-under-par 67 at Valley View. The rising junior from Weber State started his round with a bogey on No. 10, but quickly made up for it with birdies on Nos. 11, 12, 16 and 17 before bogeying 18. Then over his final nine holes, Purser took advantage of the par-5s with an eagle on the second and a birdie on the ninth to go along with seven pars.
Four other golfers fired rounds of 4-under-par 68 at Valley View and are currently tied for third place: Tanner Alder, Jason Hargett, Tommy Higham and Kalin Peterson. The lowest and only under-par score at Ogden GCC was a 1-under 69 by Justin Shluker, who interestingly made five birdies and two double bogeys, and currently sits alone in seventh place.
Defending champion Cole Ogden, who is already guaranteed a spot once match play begins Wednesday, posted a 1-over-par 71 at Ogden Golf and Country Club on Monday. He said after his round that he felt he played solid with the exception of one bad hole — the short 337-yard par-4 13th, which he triple-bogeyed because of two poor chips.
Medal play will continue Tuesday with players swapping courses and time slots. At the conclusion of 36 holes Tuesday, a playoff will take place at Ogden Golf and Country Club if necessary to set the match play field of 64.