It was another fun-filled day out on the golf course for those participating in the Junior Association of Golf summer tournament on Tuesday.
Snow Canyon’s Dylan Barnette fired his first eagle, Pine View’s Taylor Bandley secured a bye heading into the match play tournament this weekend, and up-and-coming star Bryson Anderson’s favorite golfer is Rickie Fowler.
Barnette, got the ball rolling with an incredible 30-yard chip shot on the 17th hole at Southgate Golf Club. Barnette – part of the 14-17 age group that started on the back nine – didn’t even see his shot go in thanks to two small mounds that blocked his vision.
“I wasn’t able to see it go in, but I heard it hit the pin,” Barnette said.
With his high school coach looking onward, cheers quickly followed as Barnette stood there in shock.
“It was unbelievable,” he said. “That was my first eagle. It was crazy.”
Tristan Gardner, his Snow Canyon teammate that was paired with him almost matched Barnett’s eagle. However, Gardner just barely missed a 10-foot putt and ended up settling for a birdie. Gardner finished tied for third along with Pine View’s Noah Schone after shooting a 2-over par 73.
Snow Canyon’s glory didn’t stop there. The euphoria continued as senior-to-be Brodey Payzant took home top honors after shooting a 2-under par 69 for the victory.
“I’m really happy with my performance today and ended up tying my best score here at Southgate,” he said.
One of the areas that Payzant has been working on this summer has been on his short game, and it certainly showed. Sitting on the 17th hole, Payzant was staring down a tough 30-foot putt.
“I saw guys in front of me coming up a bit short, and I knew that if I wanted to make it, I would need to take it a little bit higher,” Payzant said.
And that he did.
Payzant did his best Jordan Spieth impersonation by rolling in the 30-foot putt.
“That putt really got me going and gave me a lot of confidence the rest of the way,” he said.
In the girls’ 14-17 division, Bandley was able to shake off Snow Canyon’s Lexi Hamel by one stroke thanks to several birdies down the stretch to win her fourth tournament this year.
“Today was a lot of fun. Everything went right and I’m looking forward to playing on Friday.”
With the win, Bandley avoids the round of 16 on Thursday, and will have a bye into Friday’s showdown between either Dixie’s Mikayla Frie, or Desert Hills’ K’Jahna Plant.
In the boys’ 13-14 league, Chipper Willden won his first tournament of the season and will go up against either Yash Vyas, or Bubba Deming on Thursday. There was a three-wat tie for second between Trey Milligan, Kyson Plant and Taylor Warburton. Each of them will play Thursday morning at the St. George Golf Club for the right to play in the semifinals.
After winning his first tournament last week at Sunbrook, Brayson Anderson played well, but it wasn’t enough to knock off Cruz Kirchhausen who won his tournament of the season.
But winning isn’t everything.
“I just want him to have fun, make friends and to watch him grow,” said Bryan Anderson, Brayson’s father.
The Anderson’s moved to St. George from Alaska two years ago and have loved every minute of it.
“We have some family down here and always loved visiting them, and then one day we decided to come and stay,” Bryan said. “We love it down here.”
Brayson started playing golf when he was six years old and loves playing in the weekly JAG tournaments.
“I love the competition and everything about it,” he said. “My dream is to play professionally” one day.”
With his sights set on playing golf professionally, and to play with Ricky Fowler – his favorite player – Brayson is well on his way with a powerful swing that makes spectators take a double look.
For his performance on Tuesday, Brayson earned a spot in the quarterfinals, avoiding the round of 16.
Rounding out the day, Bailia Milne won her third consecutive tournament – her eighth this season – in the 11-13 age group for the girls.
Landon Esplin won his first tournament of the year and earned himself a trip to the quarterfinals. Esplin will play the winner or Cole Landis, or Hunter Clark on Thursday.
Ellie Johnson took home top honors after winning her third tournament of the season. Kenzi Owen took second and Lucy Dixon finished third.
In the boys’ 7-8 division, Statton McMurdie completed his sweep by winning his seventh tournament of the season. Impressively, McMurdie won every event that he entered and will be the No. 1-seed
To view the playoff brackets, or for more information about JAG, please visit http://www.stgeorgecitygolf.com/jag.php.