LOGAN, Utah (Aug. 10, 2012) -- 13-year-old Naomi Soifua made Utah golf history by being the youngest player to ever advance to the finals of either the menís or womenís Utah State Amateur championship, but she is going to have to wait another year to become the youngest champion of either event.
Kelsey Chugg put that dream on hold for at least a year by defeating the young rising star 3 and 2 in the championship match at the Logan Golf and Country Club Friday. Chugg is a senior at Weber State and played junior college golf at Redlands Community College. She was an outstanding junior golfer in Arizona, graduated from high school in Phoenix, but was born in Ogden.
Soifua became the buzz of the tournament when she upset one of the stateís top prepsters and a pre-tourney favorite Lea Garner in a 19-hole semifinal thriller. Prior to that Soifua had eliminated Allison Cluff in the first round and then in the quarterfinals came back to defeat Sadie Palmer after losing the first four holes of the match.
Garner could well have suffered a let-down after surviving a 19-hole second round match against Sirene Blair. The two have shared headlines for several years as the two top prep players and they were the two co-favorites to win this tournament. Garner had to come from behind and won three of the last four holes to claim the victory.
In the other bracket Chugg avoided all the drama by quickly disposing of her first two opponents by overwhelming margins of 7 and 5, first Jordyn Dougal and second Kirsten Fotu. In the semifinals Chugg had only to go to the 16th hole to defeat Tara Green, 3 and 2. In four rounds of match play Chugg was so dominating that she didnít have to play the last two holes of the course in any match, and she also didnít have to square off against any of the pre-tourney favorites, Lea Garner, Sirene Blair, and Julie McMullin. In other words, along with her trophy sheís still got her fingernails.
The two finalists, Chugg and Soifua, tied for third in the stroke play qualifying segment behind only medalist Lea Garner (68-72) and Sadie Palmer (72-73).