Utah State Amateur
by Kurt Kragthorpe
Everyone involved with the Utah State Amateur Championship is proud of the event's tradition, dating to 1899.
The best part of the State Am is the way its history keeps being updated. Preston Summerhays added another element to his family's chapter of tournament lore, and that's only part of what he accomplished by beating University of Utah golfer Kyle Dunkle 3 and 2 in the final match of the 120th State Am on June 16 at Oakridge Country Club.
About six weeks short of his 16th birthday, Summerhays became the youngest winner of the tournament, topping the legendary George Von Elm, who was 16 in 1917, when he won for the first time. Summerhays will be a sophomore at Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Born in Farmington as the oldest child of Barbara Jean and Boyd Summerhays, Preston moved to Arizona with his family at age 8. They spend the summers in Davis County.
The summary of his State Am victory is simple: Summerhays wore down every opponent with his consistent play, a phrase that may not give him enough credit for making a bunch of birdies. He wobbled slightly in the final match, yet he led for the last 30 holes and never gave Dunkle much of an opening. He's a worthy champion, in every way. And, as has been the case with other members of the extended Summerhays golfing family, his career will be fascinating to watch.