Photo courtesy Deseret News. (photo by Spenser Heaps) (Photo by Spenser Heaps)
OGDEN, Utah — Redshirt freshman Kelton Hirsch defeated Utah State junior Braydon Swapp on the 31st hole of match play Saturday to win the 119th Utah State Amateur at the Ogden Golf and Country Club.
With the victory, Hirsch became the third Cougar in three-consecutive years to take the State Am title. Patrick Fishburn won the title in 2016, while Jordan Rodgers claimed the victory in 2015. Hirsch is now the 20th BYU golfer to win the event.
“It feels great to win,” Hirsch said. “The feeling is barely starting to settle in. It was a great tournament and it was so much fun out there.”
The Utah native defeated teammate Fishburn Friday evening in the semifinals, sinking a 15-foot putt on the 18th hole to win 1-up and advance to Saturday’s final round, 36-hole match play for the Utah State Amateur title.
Hirsch started the final round strong, playing bogey-free golf through 18 holes to claim a four-hole advantage over Swapp at the midway point of the match. The BYU freshman increased that advantage to six with wins on holes No. 8 and 9 of the afternoon round, before finishing off Swapp 7 and 5 on the 31st hole of match play. He finished the day Saturday with eight birdies and just one bogey.
BYU teammates CJ Lee and Chad Hardy also played in the Utah Amateur. Lee lost in the quarterfinals on Friday to to Weber State’s Kyler Dearden.
“I am disappointed with how I finished,” Lee said. “I’m a competitor and I had one goal all week, which was to win. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my best stuff the third day and that’s how this game is. But, I am really happy and proud of my guy Kelton.”
Hirsch will begin his freshman season of college golf for the Cougars in September alongside teammates Fishburn, Lee, Hardy, and reigning West Coast Conference individual champion Peter Kuest, as well as WCC freshman of the year Rhett Rasmussen.
“It’s a huge confidence boost, to win on the biggest stage we have in Utah,” Hirsch said. “It’s a boost for me and for our team headed into the fall. We have a great squad, and I think it’s going to be an awesome year.”