Mitchell Schow (Utah Golf Association)
For the first time since 1981, an active Utah Utes golfer can claim the Utah State Amateur Championship.
Mitchell Schow, a senior for the Utes, battled his teammate Blake Tomlinson for the state amateur title at Jeremy Ranch Golf & Country Club in Park City, Utah.
With the Pac-12 either postponing fall sports to the spring or cancelling them for the season outright, the two Utes were able to make a run for the state championship over the past week.
A unique situation, Schow would not have been as bummed about a loss on Saturday had it been to his teammate.
“You never want a losing mindset,” Schow told Sean Walker of KSL.com. “But if I were to lose, I’d have been proud of Blake.”
The match, at times, was almost as loose as a practice round. Tomlinson joked about the experience saying “When we were over our shots, we were absolutely serious and being pretty professional about it. But in between shots, him and I are the type of golfers where we can laugh a bit.”
Tomlinson, who grabbed a 2 up lead through the first four holes of the 36 hole match, lost his first hole of the day on No. 5. Holding a 1 up lead until No. 12, the momentum quickly changed in favour of Schow.
Winning Nos. 12, 13,14, 15, and 16, Schow went from being 1 down to 4 up as the pair walked to the 17th tee. Taking another win on the 18th, Schow took a 5 up lead into the final 18.
Familiar with each other’s games as they have played over 500 rounds together over the course of their careers at the University of Utah, Tomlinson was able to pick and choose his spots to begin chipping away at Schow’s big lead.
Trimming Schow’s lead to 2 up, Tomlinson won hole Nos. 20 and 21, Schow picked up a win on the 28th hole (No. 10) as the group made its way to the championship nine.
“It was kind of hard to give each other crap, and be in that competitive mindset everyone wants to be in,” said Schow “But I like to stay loose, and I don’t take anything very serious. So it kind of helped me in that way.”
Schow had to wait until the 31st hole (No. 13) to pick up a win to go 4 up with just five to play. Not going down quietly, Tomlinson took control of the 32nd hole to stay alive and cut the lead to 3 up. Able to pull out halves on the next two holes, Schow claimed victory on the par 5 16th, 3&2.
Thanks to Preston Summerhays opting out of a title defence to go play in an AJGA event (which he leads by one heading into Sunday’s final round), the two Utes were able to make history in an event dominated by BYU or a Summerhays.
ABOUT THE Utah State Amateur
Those who qualify, along with the exempt players,
will advance to a
36-hole qualifying. The low 64 qualifiers will advance
into match play.
There will be one round of match play on
Wednesday, two rounds of
match play on Thursday and Friday, and a 36-hole
match on Saturday.
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