Farmington • Darkness was coming quickly Tuesday evening as Davis High School golfer Jack Sargent rolled in a short birdie putt, emerging from a three-hole playoff as the last qualifier for match play in the 120th State Amateur at Oakridge Country Club.
Sargent did something even more remarkable in the brilliant sunshine of Wednesday afternoon. In the round of 64, he staged a 2-and-1 upset of Davis teammate Cole Ponich — the No. 2 seed, the Class 6A state high school medalist, a future BYU golfer and a convincing winner over Sargent in last week’s semifinals of the Utah State Junior Amateur at Oakridge, Ponich’s home course.
“He’s such a good player; it was fun,” said Sargent, a rising sophomore who played a big role in the Darts’ team championship in October.
Ponich welcomed his teammate’s contribution then, but Sargent’s strong, steady play was more than he wanted from a first-round opponent. The match went back and forth and was all square through 15 holes. Ponich drove poorly on the par-5 No. 16, laid up and hit his third shot over the green, resulting in a bogey.
The match then ended suddenly and surprisingly. Both players were almost sure Ponich had tied the match on the par-4 No. 17 with a big-breaking, fast-moving birdie attempt that curled around the hole. “The second he hit it, I thought it was in for sure,” Sargent said.
Ponich then lipped out his 4-foot par putt and Sargent advanced.
Compared with last week’s 4-and-3 loss, “My mindset wasn’t different, I was just hitting the ball better and my putts were dropping,” said Sargent, who played those 17 holes in 5 under par.
In contrast to the Ponich-Sargent match of teenagers, John Owen defeated Brad Sutterfield 3 and 2 in a meeting of golfers with a combined age of 95. Sutterfield, 49, was making his first appearance in the State Am since losing the final match of 1993 (a year after winning the title) and playing in any individual event for the first time since the 2008 PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament.
Sutterfield, who regained his amateur status, played the tour in 1997 and is now Dixie State University’s golf coach.
“I had no expectations,” Sutterfield said, “but once you get back in the competitive mode, you just forget that you’re not sharp. I honestly didn’t think I’d make match play. … I sure had fun.”
Triston Gardner, one of Sutterfield’s incoming freshmen at DSU, produced the second-biggest upset of the first round. Gardner outlasted Mitchell Schow, the No. 6 seed and the recent winner of the Salt Lake City Amateur, in 19 holes.
Rand Sargent, Jack’s uncle, advanced by defeating Carl Jensen 1 up. Stroke-play medalist Blake Tomlinson of the University of Utah topped Ali Hameed 6 and 5 and defending champion Kelton Hirsch of BYU beat Christopher Romney 3 and 2.
In a match between former Weber State teammates, Luke Crapo outlasted Kyler Dearden, 1 up. Preston Summerhays, a nephew of two-time winner Daniel Summerhays and the runner-up to Ponich in the Junior Am, downed Dane Nelson 6 and 5.
Two rounds will be staged Thursday, reducing the field to eight. The quarterfinals and semifinals will be played Friday and the 36-hole final match is scheduled Saturday.
STATE AM RESULTS
Results of the round of 64 in match play of the 120th State Amateur at Oakridge Country Club (seeds in parentheses):
Blake Tomlinson (1) def. Ali Hameed (64), 6 and 5; Rand Sargent (32) def. Carl Jensen (33), 1 up; Tyler Herzog (49) def. Nathan Ouimette, 3 and 1; David Jennings (17) def. Devin Tovey (48), 2 and 1; Zack Neff (8) def. Noah Schone (57), 2 and 1; Kenny You (40) def. Daniel Meaders (25), 5 and 4; Luke Crapo (56) def. Kyler Dearden (9), 1 up; John Owen (24) def. Brad Sutterfield (41), 3 and 2; Kyler Dunkle (4) def. Braydon Swapp, 7 and 6; Greg Law (29) def. Josh Roberts (36), 3 and 2; Jake Godfrey (13) def. Eric Ashcroft (52), 7 and 6; Jeff Jolley (45) def. Jesse Henderson (20), 3 and 2; Fidel Concepcion (5) def. Ron Davis, 5 and 4; Cody Anderson (37) def. Ryan Brinley (28), 1 up; Darrin Overson (12) def. Cameron Tucker (53), 4 and 3; Kurt Owen (21) def. Marty Jacks (44), 1 up.
Jack Sargent (63) def. Cole Ponich (2), 2 and 1; Andy Hess (31) def. Zach Jones, 1 up; Denny Job (15) def. John Ward (50), 4 and 3; Riley Morgan (47) def. Logan Skalka (17), 4 and 2; Tyler Savage (7) def. Andrew Cottle (58), 4 and 2; Jake Vincent (26) def. Mike Jorgensen (39), 1 up; Jacob Wagstaff (55) def. Reed Nielsen (10), 1 up in 19; Preston Summerhays (23) def. Dane Nelson (42), 6 and 5; Jayce Frampton (3) def. Preston Wallace (62), 1 up; Chandler Thompson (35) def. Kirk Siddens (30), 2 up; Kelton Hirsch (14) def. Christopher Romney (51), 3 and 2; Aaron Yeates (46) def. Bob Mitchell (19), 2 and 1; Triston Gardner (59) def Mitchell Schow (6), 1 up 19; Austin Jaramillo (27) def. Curtis Cook (38), 7 and 6; Boston Watts (11) def. Brandon Hargett (54), 3 and 2; Dan Horner (22) def. Blake Murray (43), 3 and 2.