Thirteen players who watched the leaderboard at the Utah Men's State Amateur golf tournament Thursday afternoon for several hours left Soldier Hollow a little disappointed.
For a long time it looked like a 36-hole score of 1-over par 145 was going to be good enough to at least earn a playoff for a spot in the weekend's match-play portion of the tournament, and there were 13 players who finished at that number. But as the day wore on and when every player had eventually posted a score, there were exactly 31 players who shot even-par 144 or better. They'll join defending champion Nick Nelson and battle it out for the next three days for the championship.
By firing a closing 6-under par 66, and by avoiding a playoff, Michael McRae won the medalist title for the third straight year with a two-day score of 8-under par 136. Actually, when McRae won medalist in 2006 with two course-record scores at Soldier Hollow he was the defending champ and wasn't eligible for the medalist award. Last year at Thanksgiving Point, however, he won it outright.
This year's medalist honor will also have a little asterisk next to it. Utah State senior Devin Daniels, with rounds of 64-72, finished tied with McRae but was unaware of a playoff and had left the course.
Finishing third at 137 were Andrew Barton and Zach Blair. Casey Fowles, Nathan Page and Robbie Fillmore finished tied for fifth at 139. Christian Jensen and O. J. Ainsworth finished at 140. There were five players who shot 141, three at 142, four at 143 and 10 at 144.
The match-play rounds begin on Soldier Hollow's Silver Course Friday morning at 9 a.m.
Utah Men's State Amateur Championship
Soldier Hollow State Park Golf Course
136 - Michael McRae, Devin Daniels
137 - Andrew Barton, Zach Blair
139 - Casey Fowles, Nathan Page, Robbie Fillmore
140 - O. J. Ainsworth, Christian Jensen
141 - Clay Bingham, Tyler Labrum, Darrin Overson, Dan Horner, John Owen
142 - Patrick Fishburn, Steve Poulson, Kyle Chappell
143 - Brady Stanger, Jeff Holmes, Carl Jensen, Brandon Kida
144 - Lance Richards, Justin Labrum, Taylor Haws, Jason Hargett, Jeff Jolley, Nick Killpack, Steve Borget, Toph Peterson, Corbin Gale, Michael Curtis
Failed to make the cut
145 - Chris Pizza, Robert McRae, Garrett Moss, Matt McArthur, Brandon Hargett, Bill Probst, Kirk Siddens, Cameron Crawford, Doug Bybee, Shane Cullimore, Greg Buckway, Brett Garner, Stuart Gold
146 -McCoy Willey, Garrett Fotu, Adam Ostler, Jared Overton, Jesse Clark, Mike Holm, Dave Poggi, Jordan Hammer, Gregg Oliphant, Tyson Lund
147 - Tadd Cox, Phil Kalivas, Francis, Nate Greene, Ryan Smith, Jeff Powars, Ashton Casper, Jon Morgan, Herb Lyons