After scrambling to stay alive in the quarter-and semi-finals of the Utah State Amateur on Saturday, Southern Utah University’s Jeff Evans breezed to the tournament championship on Sunday, topping Stratton Schulz 8 & 7 to become the first Thunderbird golfer to claim the tournament title.
Evans squared off against former Thunderbird John Busby, the top seed after 36 holes of medal play, in the quarterfinals on Saturday morning. Busby had a three hole advantage after 13 holes, but Evans birdied the 14th, 17th and 18th holes to pull square and send the match into extra hole play. Both players shot par on the first two holes, but Evans birdied the par-three third hole while Busby shot par, sending Evans into the semi-finals.
Saturday afternoon also took a deciding 21 holes, as Evans again found himself down two with three holes to play, this time against former Dixie State player Connor Jones. Evans birdied the par-four 16th, however, and after both players parred 17, he again birdied the 18th to send play into extra holes.
As he did against Busby, Evans birdied the par-three third to advance into Sunday’s final.
In the 36-hole final Schulz – who plays collegiately for Utah Valley University – had a 2-up lead after three holes, but Evans came back to bring the match square with wins at the fourth and fifth. Schulz went up again with a birdie at the seventh, but Evans won the ninth, 10th and 11th to go ahead 2-up, and he never trailed again. He held a 3-up lead going into the second 18 holes and didn’t lose a hole, winning the second, third, sixth, seventh and eighth to take an 8-up advantage, a lead he held after the 11th hole, which gave him the 8 & 7 win.
For complete results, visit the Utah Golf Association website.