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Dehlin-Hirsch Wins Women’s Match Play Championship

The 2020 Utah Section PGA Women’s Match Play Championship put on a display of the Section’s new associates and a couple of past champions, but it was Carly Dehlin-Hirsch, of Glenmoor and TopGolf, who outlasted them all to win this year’s championship on October 20-21 at Riverside Country Club in Provo.

“My first win as a pro, it’s awesome,” Dehlin-Hirsch said. “I haven’t been playing much so I was nervous to come out because my game isn’t sharp, but I played quite well so I’m really happy to come out here and win.”

After a nine-hole seeding round on the first day, Dehlin-Hirsch claimed the third seed to face Xena Motes, a new associate in the Section as of this month and long-time Utah golf competitor.

Dehlin-Hirsch won her first match on the 16th hole at Riverside and would advance to the semi-finals to face Sadie Palmer, who outlasted former match play champion Emily Jones, also on the 16th hole.

The match between Dehlin-Hirsch and Palmer was a back and forth match where Palmer was 2 up on the front nine until Dehlin-Hirsch found some rhythm and created a comfortable 3-up lead until the 16th hole, when Palmer capitalized on some unwarranted mistakes.

“I was steady all day, then got a little nervous on the way in,” Dehlin-Hirsch noted.

Palmer chipped away the lead and was one down on the 18th tee. Her birdie attempt just barely slipped by the hole, leaving Dehlin-Hirsch a slippery 10-foot putt to finish the match, which she made and determined the shot of her tournament performance.

“In my semi-final match I was three up with three to go and I was just having a collapse, but I made a 10-foot slider to stay alive. That par putt on 18 was pretty big.”

She would go on to face former Utah Women’s State Amateur champion and new section associate Sirene Blair in the final match.

Blair drew Sue Nyhus in the first round then defending champion Haley Sturgeon in the final four where she extended the match to 19 holes and won by sticking her approach a foot from the hole for a conceded birdie.

With her father and Utah Section Executive Director Devin Dehlin on the bag, Dehlin-Hirsch got off to a fast start in the final match with Blair and never looked back.

She won the first four holes and then the 8th hole to get to 5-up on the front nine. Blair won her only hole of the match on the par-three ninth to make the turn.

Dehlin-Hirsch would win three of the next four holes to win the championship on the 13th hole 7 & 5.

“It’s always fun, he’s awesome. My dad is the best,” she said of her caddy. “I was hitting the ball really well; my ball striking was good. I was putting the ball pretty well, too, all those short putts, but really hitting the ball well.”

A thank you to our growing membership of women PGA Professionals who came out to compete and thank you to Riverside Country Club for hosting.

Women’s Match Play Championship photos HERE.

Women’s Match Play Championship Bracket

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Casey Fowles Wins 2020 Utah PGA Match Play Championship

Sunset View Golf Course Head Professional Casey Fowles has appeared in the Utah PGA Match Play finals two times in his PGA Professional career, against two of the best golfers in Utah PGA history in Riverside Professional Chris Moody and in 2019 against Davis Park Assistant Pro Zach Johnson. The third time was the charm for Fowles as he defeated Moody one-up on the 18th hole of the match on October 14th at Hill Air Force Base Hubbard Golf Course.

It was a 20-foot birdie on the short par-four 18th at Hubbard that sealed his win, after Moody’s birdie attempt lipped out prior to Fowles’ attempt. It was the longest putt made in the match.

“I felt fortunate to even get there, I was one-down going into 17 and made a good up-and-down and Moody kind of gave me one there with his long putt,” Fowles explained. “The putt on 17 was the first putt I made all day, a 10-foot, downhill putt. I told myself when I got to 18 that I’d been putting well all week, just try to make the best stroke I can.

“About half way there I thought I missed right, and then it tipped back left and went it, so it was fun.”

Fowles got off to an early lead in the championship match winning the first two holes. He was two-up through four until Moody won holes five and six. The match would remain tied until the 12th hole and from there on it was a back-and-forth match until that 20-footer on 18.

“It was a little crazy, there were a lot of momentum swings,” Fowles added. “In a normal match you maybe don’t see it every hole like that, but yeah it was pretty fun.”

Fowles has seen several victories the last few years and it’s come from a mindset change while competing.

“I was just trying to play the golf course and that’s what I’ve been trying to do, forget about what the other guys are doing and just play the golf course. That has seemed to really help me the last couple of years, just focus on the golf course.”

The Utah PGA Match Play Championship started Monday, October 12th with a seeding round for the top 32 spots and then the first round of matches.

A notable first round match was 2019 Utah PGA Women’s Match Play champion Haley Sturgeon shooting a 73 to claim the 11th seed in the tournament. Her first-round match lasted 20 holes before Quentin Sasser advanced to the next day.

The final four consisted of Moody against Valley View Assistant Pro Pete Stone and Fowles against Johnson.

A special thank you to Hubbard Golf Course Head Professional Shawn Edwards, Hubbard Assistant Pro Tim Kjar and Hubbard Superintendent Jason Moon for hosting the Section Match Play Championship another year.

Match Play Championship Bracket: