DeWald survives to match play
July 8, 2006
The second time proved to be a charm for Park City’s Steele DeWald during the first two rounds of the 108th Utah State Amateur at Soldier Hollow Golf Course in Midway this week.
After shooting a frustrating 74 on the Silver Course on Wednesday, DeWald bounced back with a 69 on the Gold on Thursday. His combined total of 144 was two under the necessary 146, two over par, needed to make the cut for the final round of match play.
On the Silver, DeWald was hampered from the start. He was five over on the first four holes and had six three-puts in the round. He was able to clean things up midway through the round, but ended up bogeying four of his last five holes.
"I didn’t hit it well at all," DeWald said.
DeWald said the pressure needing to perform well on the second day is what helped him bounce back so successfully.
"I actually prefer being in this position," DeWald said. "I’m usually much more comfortable when I just chisel away one hole at a time."
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Fellow Parkite golfer Todd Francis narrowly missed the cut, shooting a 148 over the two days. The second day, Francis was forced to play in very windy conditions, which may have affected his play. Francis played well on the front nine, but bogeyed a few times and struggled with putting on the back. Danny Clark also missed the cut, finishing with a 78 and 83 over the two days for a total of 161.
Many golfers at the State Am struggled on both the Silver and Gold course, reporting much faster greens. According to Chris Newson, head pro at Soldier Hollow, the greens were deliberately sped up for the competition, which may have affected play.
"The greens were lightening," DeWald said.
Boston Citensor, Francis’ caddy, said that the greens were so fast for Francis on the first day that he spent Wednesday night with local Park City Golf Club pro Vaughn Robinson, working on his speed issues.
Friday’s match play was on the Gold course, which DeWald prefers.
"It’s tougher. You’ve got to hit better shots," DeWald said.
Defending 2005 champion Michael McRae, a Salt Lake golfer who plays collegiately at St. Mary’s in California, set a course record on Thursday with an astounding course record score of 62 to combine with his score of 67 on the Gold course the day before. He headed into match play with a two-day score of 129.
This is the second time DeWald has made it to the final day of the Utah State Am. He qualified the first time in 2004. Last year, he missed the tournament due to an injury.
As of press time, the results from the final round of match play were not available. The Park Record will provide a full report on the performance of Park City’s top players in the Wednesday edition. For up-to date results, visit http://www.uga.org.