Wednesday , July 12, 2017 - 5:22 PM
OGDEN — Farr West native, Utah State golfer and tournament medalist Braydon Swapp came back from three holes behind Utah Utes golfer Nathan Wunderli to win his first round of match play of the 119th Utah State Amateur Championship at Ogden Golf and Country Club.
Swapp trailed early in the round as Wunderli took a three-hole lead through four holes. On the fourth hole, Swapp outdrove Wunderli and had a better approach shot, but Wunderli sunk a 40-footer for birdie while Swapp missed his shorter putt to give up the hole.
“I got off to a shaky start. I’m not going to lie, I was nervous,” Swapp said. “I hit a couple of shots that I just wouldn’t see myself hitting usually. He made a good birdie on four that I had no clue that he was going to make.”
After taking holes six and seven, Swapp cut his deficit to one, but Wunderli built it back to three with a birdie on the 11th hole. Swapp was a couple of inches short of chipping in on 11 to match Wunderli.
Wunderli, a Sandy native, then began to make mistakes that allowed Swapp to get back into the match.
It started with a bad drive on 12, which landed two inches short being out of bounds. Wunderli managed to save par, but Swapp birdied to take the hole and begin his comeback.
“I was pretty frustrated after his birdie on 11, I hit a really good chip that almost went in, and he still managed to make his seven-footer for birdie,” Swapp said. “Down three with seven to play, that’s not an easy spot to be in, but he made a couple of mistakes and I took advantage.”
That was the start of four straight holes going to Swapp, which gave him a one-hole lead — his first lead of the match — on the 15th hole.
Undeterred, Wunderli sunk a birdie off the 16th fringe to even the match. Both players parred 17 to set up the decisive 18th hole.
On the par three, Swapp landed his ball about 15 feet from the cup and Wunderli was about 20 feet out. After hitting impressive putts all day, Wunderli missed his, giving Swapp the chance to win.
Swapp struggled on the green all day, but dialed in the putt to claim victory and advance.
“That was huge. It was a great match,” Swapp said. “He played really well the whole front nine and then he kind of let me back into it on the back. I took advantage of it and then it just came down to a putt.”
Defending champ Fishburn blasts through first round
Ogden native and 2016 Utah State Amateur champion Patrick Fishburn eagled the 13th hole to dispatch Nik Parcell and advance in the tournament.
“This is where I grew up playing. That’s the biggest things that calms the nerves,” the No. 2 seed Fishburn said. “I think there was more pressure on me last year trying to win when I hadn’t won one before. Now that I’m here playing my home course, it’s a lot of fun. Not much pressure if you just go out and play your home track every day.”
Fishburn will take on Spanish Fork resident Nick Nelson in the round of 32.
Former WSU golfer Dallimore advances
“I don’t know if I consider it an upset. I was the four-seed, he was the 61st seed,” Dallimore said. “He obviously didn’t have his A-game the first two rounds, but he’s one of the best match play players in the state. I wasn’t too excited to be playing him. That’s the worst luck a four-seed could get around here.”
With the win, Dallimore will face Salt Lake City native and Boise State golfer Jacob Byers.
Two rounds of action Thursday will narrow the field from 32 players to eight. Matches again begin at 7:30 a.m. with top-seed Swapp, who faces 33rd seed Robert Mitchell of Salt Lake City.
Contact sports reporter Brandon Garside at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter @BrandonGarside and on Facebook.com/BrandonGarsideSE.
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