Recent Skyridge graduate Carter Frisby felt like he played pretty solidly in his second round of the 2021 Utah State Amateur Championship Tuesday morning, but didn’t know if his two-round score of 148 (4-over-par) would be enough to make the match-play field of 64.
“It was solid,” Frisby said. “I missed a few pars here and there but it was solid. I honestly didn’t think it was going to be enough, though, when I finished.”
Since he started at 7:50 a.m., he chose to go back to his home in Lehi but didn’t give up on the possibility that he would make the cut.
“I just chilled but I was following the scores pretty closely,” Frisby said.
As the day progressed and scores started rolling in, he realized he might still have a chance to play a little more golf.
He was confident enough that he headed to Alpine Country Club at 6 p.m. to start warming up for the potential playoff. At 7:30 p.m., he was on Hole No. 1, part of a group of 16 golfers playing for 11 spots.
As he stepped up in that pressure-packed moment, he elected to not be too aggressive since that had gotten him in trouble earlier in the tournament.
His choice paid big dividends this time.
“Yesterday when I played, I hit a 3-wood into that right bunker, so I just wanted to take that out of play. I went with my 3-iron. I’ve been hitting my It really good all week. Luckily it put me at a perfect number, about 140 yards out. It was just a little half pitching wedge and I hit it perfect.”
His second shot ended up less than 10 feet from the hole, giving him a chance at a birdie putt. In playoff golf, usually a par is enough to stay alive but he didn’t want to leave anything to chance.
“I wanted to make it,” Frisby said. “I wasn’t thinking about anything else. I was just thinking, ‘let’s make this and go home.’ Seeing it drop felt really good, especially because I missed a lot of those lengths today in my round. That felt really good.”
Frisby knows that he’ll be one of the lower seeds in Wednesday’s first round of match play competition but said he relishes the challenge.
“Getting in is what matters,” Frisby said. “Seeds matter — but also they don’t. At the end of the day, we’re all just playing against each other. I love it. Anybody can beat anybody on any given day, so I’ve got to just go out and play well.”
Frisby is preparing to serve a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and then figure out his plans — including golf — afterwards. That means he is just enjoying playing right now and is going to appreciate every opportunity.
It turned out that in addition to Frisby’s birdie, 10 other golfers — including Utah Valley golfers Tyler Jones and Ron Davis — made pars. That meant there was only one extra hole of golf and the field of 64 was set.
Awaiting the golfers who survived the playoff are the golfers who played well in the two rounds of stroke play.
Leading the charge was former UVSC star and 2007 champion Nick Nelson, who fired a 138 (6-under-par) to take medalist honors and get the No. 1 seed.
It’s been a long time since a No. 1 seed won the title, however, so other golfers near the top — including current and former BYU players Spencer Dunaway and Elijah Turner, who were part of a four-way tie for second at 139 (5-under-par) — will also be tough to beat.
Both Dunaway and Turner had chances to at least tie for medalist honors but said that wasn’t their biggest goal.
“It’s always a good thing and I feel like my games trending well,” Dunaway said. “I like the way I’m swinging it. But there’s a ton of good players and I wasn’t really too worried about being medalist because honestly it means nothing really. It’s going to be a long week hopefully and I don’t know how many times the No. 1 seed has actually won the tournament.”
Turner had a birdie putt on Hole No. 18 come up a couple of inches short but said that missing it wasn’t a big deal.
“I’m not mad about it,” Turner said. “As long as I make match play, it’s fine. This is my home course so my whole mentality is just play like I normally do, I didn’t try and do anything different.”
The 64 players who made it to match play will compete in the first round at Alpine Country Club on Wednesday.
For the full bracket and other details, go to http://UGA.org.