By Megan Huntsman and Mike Sorensen
For the second consecutive season and third time in four years, the Utah Golf Association honors two-time Utah Women’s State Amateur Champion Sue Nyhus as the 2017 Senior Women’s Player of the Year.
Sue’s successful season included top-three finishes at the Women’s Spring Open in Southern Utah, the Utah Women’s Stroke Play at Glenmoor Golf Course and the Glen Eagle Invitational as well as wins and Low Senior titles in the following 2017 UGA championships: Utah Women’s Senior Amateur, UGA Invitational, Utah Women’s State Amateur, Mary Lou Baker Open and Sun Hills Four-Ball.
In difficult conditions at River Oaks Golf Course, Sue Nyhus claimed her third Women's Senior Amateur title in four years. The wind, rain and her emotions made a tournament she described as “a bit of a blur” more challenging. Sue considered withdrawing because her father, Peter Billek, had suffered a stroke. “Instead of withdrawing, I decided to play with him in mind … 'Play for Papa.' It was a somber 36 holes. The rain fell and the wind blew and I just kept making pars for Papa.” She carded rounds of 72-74—146 to win by two strokes over Julie McMullin. In the final round, Nyhus parred the first 11 holes and then made four bogeys on her way to securing the victory.
During the 36-hole stroke play qualifying of the 111th Utah Women’s State Amateur hosted by Davis Park Golf Course, Nyhus posted rounds of 73-75—148 to earn the No. 13 seed. Nyhus was defeated 5&4 by one of her star pupils, Carly Dehlin, but she held her head high as the only senior to qualify for match play.
It is no surprise that Sue finished the season as Utah’s most decorated senior female golfer. Nyhus is a force to be reckoned with. When her name is included in a tournament field, it is almost guaranteed she will finish in the top 10 or even with the title of Low Senior.
She claimed the Low Senior title alongside Annette Gaiotti at the UGA Invitational at Jeremy Ranch Golf & Country Club by posting back-to-back rounds of 78. Sue also earned Low Senior at the Mary Lou Baker Open at Crater Springs Golf Course and won the 4th Annual 2 Women Best Ball at Sun Hills Golf Course with playing partner Kari Lawrence.
Along with playing competitively, Nyhus enjoys developing the golf as a coach. Sue was the head women’s golf coach at Brigham Young University for 11 seasons. In eight seasons, she guided the team to six regional and two NCAA Championship appearances. She now enters her eighth season as the head women’s golf coach at Utah Valley University where she has helped her team set the 54-hole program record at the 2017 Hobble Creek Fall Classic and claim three tournament victories. The Wolverines continue breaking school records and are looking forward to another strong spring season.