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June 19 2019

Summerhays and Long Punch Tickets to Junior PGA Championship

Jesse Dodson

Some incredibly impressive golf was played and required at the 2019 Utah Junior PGA Championship at Soldier Hollow June 17-18 in order to qualify for the national Junior PGA Championship. An exemption spot was available for the top boy and top girl in the 16-18 divisions to compete at the 44th Boys Junior PGA Championship at Keney Park Golf Course in Hartford, Connecticut on July 30-August 2 and the 44th Girls Junior PGA Championship held on the same course July 9-12.


After round one on the Silver Course at Soldier Hollow in Midway, Grace Summerhays lead the Girls 16-18 qualifying division with a (-5) 67 and held a three-stroke lead over 2018 runner up Alina Vannarath.


The second round, played again on the Silver Course, belonged solely to Berlin Long, who fired a personal-best and Soldier Hollow women's competition record (-10) 62 to etch Summerhays by one stroke to claim the Utah Junior PGA Championship and the exemption into the Girls Junior PGA Championship.


"I'm super excited," Long said about qualifying. "I know it's a really good tournament; it's awesome that I'll be able to represent Utah."


Long finished the two-day event with a (-8) 74-62 - 136. She made up a lot of ground on day two, being seven-strokes behind Summerhays. It required a bogey-free round, six birdies, two eagles and two chip-ins, including one for eagle on the par-5 18th to seal the deal.


"My putter was really good," Long said. "I made a lot of really good putts and also had a few chip-ins, I had two of them, so that was good."

For the Boys 16-18 qualifying division, Preston Summerhays matched his younger sister's first-round score with a (-5) 67 of his own, tied at the top with defending champion Carter Frisby.


Preston would continue his strong play on day two, carding a second-consecutive 67, 10-under total for the tournament, which provided a four-stroke victory over 2018 Utah PGA Junior Series Player of the Year Zach Jones, who shot (-6) 70-68 - 138 for the event.


With seven birdies and two bogeys on Preston's second-round card, he securely claimed the exemption to play in the Boys Junior PGA Championship, which will be his first time competing in the event.


"I hit my wedges really well and I kept it in play most of the time, which is good on this course because the 'hay' is really thick," Preston said. "I just kept it in play and took advantage of the par fives."


"I'm excited," he said about qualifying. "I'm excited to play in a great field on a great course. I haven't played in it before, this will be my first time."


Preston has a full schedule for the remainder of the 2019 summer season. He recently received an exemption into the Web.com Utah Championship, which he'll compete in next week at Oakridge Country Club, where he won the 2018 Utah State Amateur. He'll then look to defend at the 2019 Utah State Amateur played at Soldier Hollow, then will compete in the U.S. Junior Amateur at Inverness Club in Ohio and then make the trip to Connecticut for the Boys Junior PGA Championship.


In our Boys and Girls 13-15 divisions, Aadyn Long, younger sister to Berlin, took complete control of the event and won with scores of (+12) 79-77, providing her with a 14-stroke victory. Navy Wood was runner-up and Haylee Holmes and Danielle Gibson finished tied for third.


Thayer Plewe sneaked in a one-stroke win in the Boys 13-15 division with a final-round (-2) 70.  He finished 3-over for the tournament. Joshua Savage, the first-round leader, finished runner up at 4-over and Emmitt Harris finished third at 6-over.


Thank you to all who participated in the 2019 Utah Junior PGA Championship, and a special thank you to Soldier Hollow Head Professional Chris Newson for being our gracious host.


Full Results HERE.

Photos HERE.

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