FARMINGTON — The 15-year-olds took center stage in Wednesday’s first round of match play at the Men’s State Amateur at Oakridge Country Club, at least a couple of them did, anyway.
Jack Sargent, a 15-year-old from nearby Fruit Heights and Preston Summerhays, a 15-year-old from Scottsdale, Arizona, both advanced to the second round with impressive victories. Another 15-year-old, Preston Wallace, came up just short, losing to Dixie State golfer Jayce Frampton on the final hole, 1 up.
Sargent produced perhaps the biggest upset of the opening round when he knocked off No. 2 seed Cole Ponich, an Oakridge regular who had won the Utah Junior State Amateur just last week at Oakridge, by a 2 and 1 margin.
“I hit the ball well and made a lot of putts,” said Sargent, who is playing in his second State Amateur. “Some of them, I don’t know how they went in.”
Sargent and the 17-year-old Ponich are good friends, playing on the same Davis High School team that won the 6A title last fall and will be back to defend their title this fall. They play together all the time, but Sargent wasn’t sure if he’d ever beaten Ponich before.
“It was a really good match — he’s a phenomenal player,” said Sargent, who barely made it into match play, needing a birdie on the third playoff hole Tuesday night to become the last qualifier.
Ponich led 1 up after the first nine holes, but Sargent tied the match at 10, lost 11, but came back to win 12. He took the lead at 16 with a birdie and then closed out the match at 17 with a par.
Sargent will meet Utah State golfer Andy Hess in Thursday’s second round. Hess, who will be a sophomore next year, beat Lone Peak High golfer Zach Jones 1 up.
Summerhays is the oldest son of Boyd Summerhays, who was a local phenom when he was the same age playing local golf in Utah. The family lives in Arizona most of the year, but they spend most of their summers in Utah.
Summerhays took the lead early against Dane Nelson and won comfortably with a 6 and 5 victory. He said he his ball-striking was solid and “mostly kept the ball in play off the tee.”
He played in the State Amateur two years ago as a 13-year-old when he lost a first-round match. But he says, “I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress since then.”
Summerhays is set to meet Jacob Wagstaff in Thursday’s second round. Wagstaff, a 24-year-old from Heber, had to go 19 holes to defeat Reed Nielsen, who plays out of Valley View. Nielsen had to play his final seven holes without a putter after he bent it on the 12th hole.
It didn’t make any difference on the final hole, however, when Wagstaff hit his eagle putt from 50 feet to within tap-in distance, leaving Nielsen’s 20-foot par putt with his wedge, after he hit in the water, irrelevant.
Other winners Wednesday included medalist Blake Tomlinson, defending champion Kelton Hirsch, 1998 winner Darrin Overson and 2008 winner Dan Horner.
After cruising to medalist honors with a pair of 64s on Monday and Tuesday, Tomlinson had little trouble winning his first-round match over Southern Utah golfer Ali Hameed 6 and 5. He’ll meet former Weber State golfer Rand Sargent, who defeated former State Am finalist Carl Jensen 1 up.
Hirsch, who will be a sophomore for BYU next year, advanced with a 3 and 2 win over Christopher Romney and he’ll face Aaron Yeates, who defeated Bob Mitchell 2 and 1.
Overson defeated Cameron Tucker 4 and 3 and Horner edged Blake Murray 3 and 2.
Among the biggest upsets was Triston Gardner’s extra-hole win over recent Salt Lake City Amateur winner Mitchell Schow. Gardner, who recently graduated from Snow Canyon High School and will be playing for Dixie State in the fall, knocked off Schow, a University of Utah golfer, in 19 holes.
One of the top featured matches was between last year’s medalist and runnerup Braydon Swapp and University of Utah senior Kyler Dunkle. But Dunkle jumped on top early and coasted to a 7 and 6 victory, which tied for the biggest margin of victory the first round.
The second round of matches will start Thursday morning with the third round to follow in the afternoon. After that, just eight golfers will remain and they’ll play two rounds Friday to determine the two finalists for Saturday’s 36-hole final.
Utah State Men’s State Amateur
Oakridge Country Club
First-round match results
Blake Tomlinson def. Ali Hameed 6 & 5
Rand Sargent def. Carl Jensen 1 up
Tyler Herzog def. Nathan Ouimette 3 & 1
David Jennings def. Devin Tovey 2 & 1
Zack Neff def. Noah Schone 2 & 1
Kenny You def. Daniel Meaders 5 & 4
Luke Crapo def. Kyler Dearden 1 up
John Owen def. Brad Sutterfield 3 & 2
Kyler Dunkle def. Braydon Swapp 7 & 6
Greg Law def. Josh Roberts 3 & 2
Jake Godfrey def. Eric Ashcroft 7 & 6
Jeff Jolley def. Jesse Henderson 3 & 2
Fidel Concepcion def. Ron Davis 5 & 4
Cody Anderson def. Ryan Brimley 1 up
Darrin Overson def. Cameron Tucker 4 & 3
Kurt Owen def. Marty Jacks 1 up
Jack Sargent def. Cole Ponich 2 & 1
Andy Hess def. Zack Jones 1 up
Denny Job def. John Ward 4 & 3
Riley Morgan def. Logan Skalka 4 & 2
Tyler Savage def. Andrew Cottle 4 & 2
Jake Vincent def. Mike Jorgensen 1 up
Jacob Wagstaff def. Reed Nielsen 19 holes
Preston Summerhays def. Dane Nelson 6 & 5
Jayce Frampton def. Preston Wallace 1 up
Chandler Thompson def. Kirk Siddens 2 up
Kelton Hirsch def. Christopher Romney 3 & 2
Aaron Yeates def. Bob Mitchell 2 & 1
Triston Gardner def. Mitchell Schow 19 holes
Austin Jaramillo def. Curtis Cook 7 & 6
Boston Watts def. Brandon Hargett 3 & 2
Dan Horner def. Blake Murray 3 & 2
Thursday matchesComment on this story
7:30 a.m. -- Tomlinson vs. Rand Sargent
7:40 a.m. -- Herzog vs. Jennings
7:50 a.m. -- Neff vs. You
8:00 a.m. -- Crapo vs. John Owen
8:10 a.m. -- Dunkle vs. Law
8:20 a.m. -- Godfrey vs. Jolley
8:30 a.m. -- Concepcion vs. Anderson
8:40 a.m. -- Overson vs. Kurt Owen
8:50 a.m. -- Jack Sargent vs. Hess
9:00 a.m. -- Job vs. Morgan
9:10 a.m. -- Savage vs. Vincent
9:20 a.m. -- Wagstaff vs. Summerhays
9:30 a.m. -- Frampton vs. Thompson
9:40 a.m. -- Hirsch vs. Yeates
9:50 a.m. -- Gardner vs. Jaramillo
10:00 a.m. -- Watts vs. Horner