In the 24th year of the Utah State Junior Amateur, youth prevailed. Yes, by definition, only teenagers were competing; but for the most part, the younger kids outdueled their older counterparts.
In the girls 15-18 division at West Ridge Golf Course, 13-year-old, Sirene Blair carded a 76 for a two-round total of 157, outdistancing her nearest competitor by eight strokes.
On the boys side, 14-year-old Arman Ben-Jacob put together back-to-back rounds of 71 to post a 142 total and the lowest men's score in the tournament. He did compete in the 13-14 age division, allowing Jordan Herzog to win the 15-18 age division for the boys with a 143 total.
The girls 13-14 age division was won by Brooke Slade, who posted a 188.
Herzog was the oldest veteran, at 17, to prevail. He attributed his experience as the determining factor in downing Joe Parkinson on the second hole of sudden death. Parkinson, entering his junior year at Lone Peak, had sunk a 20-foot put on the 18th hole to force a playoff, but an errant tee shot on par-3 second playoff resulted in a bogey. Herzog also missed the green off the tee, but he chipped to within 4 feet and sunk the putt for his par.
The former Fremont Silverwolf will enter Weber State this fall where his older brother is already a member of the golf team there.
Blair was clearly the best female in the tournament, opting to enter the older age division. Her father, Robert, is her mentor."She has a great work ethic," Robert Blair said of his daughter. "She is very determined and she likes to accomplish goals."