Utah State Am: Hirsch, Swapp advance to Northern Utah-flavored final match

Friday , July 14, 2017 - 7:32 PM

BRANDON GARSIDE, Standard-Examiner Staff

OGDEN — After cruising by his competition in four rounds of match play at the 119th Utah State Amateur Championship, Patrick Fishburn and his hopes of repeating as champion were stopped Friday afternoon by BYU teammate and Centerville native Kelton Hirsch in the semifinals at Ogden Golf and Country Club.

Fishburn, a Fremont High graduate, and Hirsch, a Viewmont High graduate, played against each other in high school and now play together as teammates. In all that time, Hirsch said his victory Friday is only the second time he’s beaten Fishburn.

Neither golfer had more than a one-hole lead from start to finish. 

The two were all square heading to the 18th hole when Hirsch landed his ball 15 feet downhill from the hole. Fishburn was on the same side, but was looking at about twice the distance.

After Fishburn missed his putt, Hirsch sank his to claim the match and advance to the final round.

“Everybody that was out here had a lot of expectations for (Fishburn),” Hirsch said. “To even give him a match was fun, and then to be able to finish it like that was great.”

“Not a lot of people thought that I could win today,” he said. “But I knew if I played my game that I’d have a shot.”

His opponent will be stroke-play medalist Braydon Swapp, the Farr West native and Utah State golfer who defeated Weber State golfer and South Weber native Kyler Dearden in the other semifinal.

Swapp had a commanding four-hole lead with five holes left, but Dearden won two of the next three holes in an effort to force a playoff like he did in the round of 16.

But Dearden hit into a tree of the No. 17 tee box and had to take a penalty after his ball was ruled unplayable. The mistake meant the comeback fell short and Swapp claimed the two-hole victory with one hole remaining.

“I hit some clutch shots when he was in a spot to maybe beat me,” Swapp said. “I just have to remind myself that even if they’re winning holes, I still have the advantage. The ball is still in my court. I need to be confident. I need to understand that I just need to make pars and make him beat me at that point.”

The stage is set for the final match. Hirsch and Swapp will play 36 holes Saturday to determine this year’s champion, teeing off at 7:30 a.m. at Ogden Golf and Country Club.

Contact sports reporter Brandon Garside at bgarside@standard.net, on Twitter @BrandonGarside and on Facebook.com/BrandonGarsideSE.

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