FARMINGTON, Utah — Lila Galeai rallied to win the 115th Utah Women's State Amateur on Thursday at Oakridge Country Club, beating Berlin Long in 19 holes.
Galeai, who will be a sophomore at BYU this year, was down two with two holes to play, so she needed to make a birdie on the 17th hole, or the match was over.
That was something Galeai had failed to do to that point on the back nine, missing three or four very makable birdie attempts. But after bombing her drive just short of the green, Galeai chipped it up close to the hole and made a clutch birdie putt to win the hole. That was the turning point of the match.
"I just visualized what I wanted to see, and that was just firm and right into the hole," said Galeai. "I missed a lot of birdie opportunities. I think that's what just pushed me and motivated me to make that, and I did."
Long, who will be a senior at Lone Peak High School, just about won the match on the 18th hole, even after hitting her second shot in a greenside bunker. Her third shot ended up on the fringe, but her chip shot from there nearly went in for par, which would have won the match. Instead, Long made a bogey and Galeai won the hole with a par to even the match and force an extra hole.
"I hit it right where I wanted to and thought it had a really good chance," said Long. "It's kind of a bummer."
Galeai reached the par five first hole in two shots, giving her an eagle putt on the first extra hole. After a nice lag putt by Galeai, Long missed her birdie putt and conceded the match to Galeai.
"It was definitely a roller coaster, it wasn't easy," said Galeai. " I knew it wouldn't be easy this whole week, especially going up today against Berlin. We've been friends ever since we were little, so I just knew it would be a good battle today."