The former Bingham High star wins in spectacular fashion at Thanksgiving Point.
Lehi • Her achievement, after five seasons, will forever be known as Tess Slam in Utah women’s golf. Bingham High School graduate Tess Blair is confident that someone else will match her collection of wins, and that may be true.
This dramatically, however? Unlikely.
Blair’s downhill 50-foot wide putt on the 18th hole earned her a stunning win Tuesday at the Siegfried & Jensen Utah Women’s Open at Thanksgiving Point Golf Club. When the ball hit the flagstick (as the updated Rules of Golf permit) and settled into the hole, Blair covered his mouth in the classic expression of disbelief, then took two steps and hugs his father/youngest, Robert.
And that was before Blair even knew she had won the tournament. The Sacramento State golfer never likes to know where she stands, so the news that she had saved a win that nearly eluded her disastrously made the ending all the more satisfying.
Blair’s one-stroke victory over Colorado pro Bryce Ray came after she lost a six-stroke lead on the back nine, with Ray playing two groups ahead of her. With a pair of 69 for a total of 6 under par, Blair became the first golfer to win three Utah Golf Association events (the 2018 Women’s State Am, 2021 Mary Lou Baker Open and 2022 Women’s Stroke Play Championship ) and the Utah Women’s Open. .
After winning the title in a one-shot game against BYU’s Kerstin Fotu in July, Blair realized his historic opportunity. “I thought it would be good to check it off my list,” she said. “I didn’t know it would happen so soon.”
Blair’s achievement almost became known as Sirene Slam. Her sister, Sirene, who is six years older, lost the inaugural Utah Women’s Open in Provo in 2017 when Lea Garner birdied a 30-foot putt on the No. 18.
Ray earned $1,500 as a tiny pro, finishing two strokes ahead of defending champion Fotu and Salt Lake City Country Club assistant pro Haley Sturgeon. Ray would have welcomed a playoff for the trophy, just to test himself.
As she played the back nine. Ray was primarily concerned with staying ahead of Sturgeon, while putting pressure on himself to finish well in order to prepare for the upcoming LPGA Tour Qualifier. The former Wichita State golfer birdied on three of the final five holes to post a 67, while also scoring a birdie try on the par-3 No. 17.
This is where Blair put three putts from the fringe for a bogey, after an errant drive led to a double bogey on par-5 #14. the.”
Blair’s drive sailed slightly to the right on the par-4 #18, leaving her on an upslope, 110 yards from the hole. His corner shot sailed to the upper level of the green, making even a par two-putt difficult. She judged the speed and line perfectly, however, as the ball streamed over the ridge and into the hole.
Blair has earned a bye for next week’s Siegfried & Jensen Utah Open at Riverside Country Club in Provo, where Fotu last summer became the first woman to hit 36 holes.
Siegfried & Jensen Utah Women’s Open
Presented by Fairways Media
138 – a-Tess Blair (69-69)
139 – Bryce Ray (72-67)
141 – Haley Sturgeon (71-70), a-Kerstin Fotu (71-70)
145 – a-Leighton Shosted (76-69), a-Rachel Lillywhite (71-74)
146 – a-Veronica Joels (77-69), a-Kelsey Chugg (77-69), Juli Erekson (76-70), a-Lila Galeai (75-71), a-Ali Mulhall (74-72), a-Berlin Long (75-71), a-Sarah Salvo (73-73), a-Abbey Porter (72-74), a-Sunbin Seo (70-76).