Last week, 288 golfers from across Utah converged on the Ogden Golf and Country Club to compete in the 116th Utah State Amateur Championships.
The Weber State University men’s golf team had five players qualify for match play in the tournament, the most of any school in the state.
“I’m super excited for (the Wildcats’ upcoming season), because all five of us that played in the State Am made match play,” Junior Colton Dallimore said. “That’s pretty big. That’s more than any of the other schools had.”
Dallimore had the most success of the five Wildcats during the tournament, as he made it to the third round of match play, before losing to Brigham Young University sophomore Tommy Higham.
“Last year I lost in the first round of match play, so this year was definitely better,” Dallimore said. “I actually started out the week pretty badly, but I kept getting better each day.”
The other junior on the team, Devon Purser, advanced to match play at the tournament for the fourth time out of his five State Amateur Championship appearances. He went into match play ranked as the No. 3 seed, the highest seeded Wildcat in the tournament.
After defeating Mark Mortensen of Maple Mountain High School in the first round, Purser would end up losing to Utah Valley University senior and tournament runner-up, Preston Richards.
The other three Wildcats in match play, senior Luke Crapo, sophomore Ryan Sarlo and freshman Carson Park all were knocked out in the first round.
Crapo was pleased with his performance in his third State Amateur appearance, despite being eliminated early in match play.
“This one was for sure my best one. I had never made match play before,” Crapo said. “For me, I played pretty well the whole week.”
Crapo was defeated in the first round of match play by Shonn Woodland, co-owner of The Barn Golf Club in North Ogden.
“I played really, really well against Shonn actually. Shonn’s just really good, because he hits the ball really straight, and he’s got a really good short game,” Crapo said. “I wasn’t too upset with how I played at all. Obviously I’m upset I didn’t win, but I’m not upset with how I played.”
In his first State Amateur appearance, Park advanced to match play, where he lost to former Wildcat Marty Jacks.
“Match play, I was a little disappointed,” Park said. “I was up two, going into (hole four), missed a two-foot birdie putt, and then things kind of went downhill from there.
Jacks was one of three former Weber State golfers to appear in match play, along with Danny Hafen and Kurt Owen. Of the three, Owen was the most recent to play for the Wildcats, as he helped the team win the America Sky Conference Title in 2011 as a senior.
Owen made it the furthest in match play out of all Wildcats, past and present, at the tournament. He advanced to the quarterfinals, before losing to Richards.
Despite none of the current Wildcats winning the Championship, their individual performances this week show what is in store for the team this season.
“Overall I was happy with the way I played. Happy that five players made match play,” Purser said. “I’m excited to play this season.”
Looking forward to the upcoming season, Dallimore said that several new players joining the team will help the Wildcats out greatly.
“We have a couple of good freshmen coming in,” Dallimore said. “Devon Purser will be a big help to us. I think it’s going to be an awesome year. I’m really excited.”
This year will be a big year for men’s golf, as the Big Sky Conference will sponsor the sport for the first time since 2002. Weber State is the reigning Big Sky champion, winning back-to-back titles in 2001 and 2002.