OGDEN, Utah -
Braydon Swapp's bid to become the first Utah State golfer since 1995 to win the prestigious Utah State Amateur Championship fell short on a very hot and muggy Saturday afternoon at the Ogden Golf & Country Club.
BYU's Kelton Hirsch, the No. 3 seed in the tournament, overcame an early deficit to Swapp and defeated the top seed, 7 and 5. Despite placing second, Swapp was thrilled with the way the week-long tournament turned out for him.
"This was a big confidence boost for me," Swapp said. "I just went up against the best players in the state and everyone that made it into match play had their A game, and I was able to make it all the way to the final. That speaks for itself and to me, that's huge, just to know that I've got it.
"Last fall wasn't great for me at Utah State and I knew in my heart that I could do it when not a lot of people believed in me. Now, I've got good scores in tournaments to show it, so I'm just going to take that and be confident going into fall, and be ready to contribute to the team."
Hirsch is the third straight golfer from BYU to win the Utah State Am. Jason Wight was the last Aggie to capture the title, doing so in '95 at the Logan Golf & Country Club. His 5 and 4 victory over Utah's John Tagge marked the third straight year a USU golfer had won the event.
Swapp, a native of Farr West, Utah, was the first Aggie to play in the championship match since Devin Daniels in 2008.
Swapp could not have asked for a better way to begin Saturday's scheduled 36-hole championship match as the Utah State junior-to-be birdied the very first hole. He was 1-up through the first five, but after Hirsch squared the match with a birdie on the sixth hole, Swapp never led again.
Hirsch picked up steam on the ninth and 10th when he won each of those holes with birdies to go 2-up. The native of Centerville, Utah, continued to push on the gas pedal and by the time the dust had settled on the morning 18, he was 4-up.
"What the hardest thing was for me was the fact I felt like I played well in the morning and made the 18 turn at 4-down," Swapp said. "Kelton was an animal. Bogey-free 4-under to start the day was incredible, so kudos to him. I hit good shots and had I made a couple of more putts here and there, it would have kept me closer to him.
"We had a lot of holes where I had the first turn and I could've put some pressure on him by making some birdies. I would just barely miss and he took advantage."
Swapp was not about to go down without a fight, though. After Hirsch went 5-up on the 22nd hole, Swapp proceeded to win the next two holes and regain some much-needed momentum.
Unfortunately for the Aggie, Hirsch caught fire again and won the next three holes to go 6-up on the 27th hole, ultimately closing the door on Swapp.
"It was a fun match and on the second 18, I had to play really well to beat him," Swapp said. "He wasn't making mistakes, so I needed to make birdies. I made a few of them and got it back to 3-down, but it was just an unfortunate three-putt on that par-3 that really set me back a little bit."
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