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MIDWAY — Perhaps naivety, preparation and a wunderkind of skill can explain then-15-year-old Preston Summerhays’ incredible run to last year’s Utah State Amateur championship when he became the youngest amateur golf champion in Utah Golf Association history at Oakridge Country Club.
He wasn’t going to surprise anyone a year later in seeking to defend his title.
But the teenager surprised all takers and emerged from a gauntlet of local golfers and collegiate shot makers to capture his second-straight championship.
Summerhays' latest triumph was a 7 & 6 victory over Utah State’s Chase Lansford, jumping out to a ridiculous start in Saturday’s 36-hole final of the annual amateur championship at Soldier Hollow golf course and then holding on for the win.
The son of local golf pro Boyd Summerhays who spends the school year in Arizona but is based in Utah every summer became just the 18th player to win two state amateurs — a list that also includes uncle Danny Summerhays, the former BYU golfer who is currently a PGA professional.
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Preston Summerhays is now a two-time #utahstateamateur champion joining 17 others, including his uncle Daniel Summerhays, to win the 121-year old @utahga championship in back-to-back years. Summwrhays defeated Chase Lansford 7 and 6 in the 36-hole final at @soldierhollowgolfcourse #utahgolf
Summerhays led from the start, with birdies on three of the first four holes to go up 3-up. Lansford cut into the lead with a six-foot birdie putt on the sixth, then cut the deficit to one with a par putt on the par-5 No. 8.
Then Summerhays immediately recovered, stroking a birdie to win No. 10, and stretching his lead as high as 5-up with a birdie on the 17th hole to take a massive lead into a lunch break of the 36-hole final.
The younger son of Boyd Summerhays led by as many as eight after 22 holes, before finishing off the 7 & 6 victory and his second-straight Utah State Amateur title.
He was already the youngest to win the Utah State Am. Now, he's the youngest to go back-to-back.
Lansford wasn’t the only Division I golfer that Summerhays vanquished en route to the championship. He held on for a 1-up win over BYU freshman Elijah Turner in the semifinals Friday, the same day as a 2 & 1 win over Southern Utah’s Jake Vincent.
Reed Nelson, Boston Watts and Patrick Horstmann also tried to top the teenager, who was seeded No. 2 for match play.
The moment where Preston Summerhays made history again by becoming the youngest ever back to back Utah State Amateur Champion. Congrats to Preston, congrats to runner up Chase Lansford and congrats to everyone who participated and helped make this a phenomenal tournament 🏆 ⛳️ pic.twitter.com/yfBfDbsm4B— Utah Golf Assn (@UtahGolfAssn) July 13, 2019