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Clay Ogden Wins Seigfried-Jensen Utah Open for Second Time, Both With Improbable Shots

by Mike Sorensen
The Deseret News

Published: Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011 11:09 p.m. MDT

FARMINGTON — Clay Ogden will always remember his first Siegfried & Jensen Utah Open Championship in 2007 because of an eagle-3 he made on the first hole en route to a three-shot victory. His second Utah Open victory wasn’t as easy, but will likely be even more memorable because of the 65-foot bomb he made from off the green on his second-to-last hole that was the difference in a one-stroke victory.
Ogden, a native of West Point, who lives in Farmington with his wife and 13-month-old daughter, was thrilled to come out on top of a crowded leaderboard Sunday and earn the $20,000 first prize in the annual tournament. And nothing against our neighbors to the east, but Ogden was a popular winner with the crowd at Oakridge Country Club, playing in a final group with two Coloradans in a tournament won by a Colorado golfer last year.
“It’s feels great,” said the 26-year-old Ogden. “This is a tournament I look forward to playing in every year and since I live only 30 seconds away, I get a lot of supporters out. I’m glad I could play well.”
Ogden finished with a three-day total of 199 thanks to his final round 66, which included the 65-foot putt from off the green at No. 17 just when it looked like he was headed to a three-way playoff.
Zen Brown of Arvada, Colo., and James Drew finished a shot behind at 200, while Sandy’s Dustin Pimm and South Jordan’s Ryan Ellis tied for fourth at 201. Defending champion Nick Mason was another shot back at 202.
It looked for awhile Sunday as if second-day leader Brown wasn’t about to let anyone get past him as he kept making birdies, including four straight from holes 8 to 11. That put him at 17-under for the tournament and two shots clear of Ogden in the final group.
Later, the 24-year-old Brown admitted he was “a little bit” nervous with the two-shot lead as he proceeded to make two straight bogeys at 13 and 14. That left Brown and Ogden tied at 15-under with four holes left.
But wait.
Drew, a 37-year-old from Las Vegas, was quietly playing a bogey-free round ahead of the final group, and when he made birdies at 14 and 16, he was suddenly 16-under par and one shot in the lead.
Ogden quickly moved back into a tie with a two-putt birdie at 16, setting up the long putt at 17.
Brown had only managed par at the par-5 16th, but he hit within 15 feet at No. 17. A birdie, which he later made, would put him in a tie for the lead with Ogden, who left his approach shot short, about a foot off the green.
That is, unless Ogden happened to sink the long putt.
“There was a little luck involved on 17,” said Ogden with a smile. “I got lucky it stayed on line, hit the flag and dropped.”
Ogden said he always takes the pin out when he putts from off the green, “but I was so far away I couldn’t see the hole.”
Brown was surprised it went in, saying every golfer hopes for a two-putt from such a distance. But he was happy for Ogden that it went in.
“I was rooting for it to hit the pin — I never root against anybody,” said Brown, who has played in the final group with Ogden three times this summer. “It was moving fast enough that it was probably going to go six or seven feet past the hole. There’s not much you can do when somebody drops a 70-foot bomb on you.”
With a one-shot lead, Ogden hit an iron off the tee at 18, put his approach shot within 10 feet and two-putted for the win. Brown still had a chance to tie, but his 30-foot downhill putt came up short.
BYU junior Zac Blair finished as the low amateur, shooting a 65 Sunday to finish in a tie for seventh at 203 with pros Dustin Volk and Derek Tolan. Devon Purser, an 18-year-old from Clearfield who will join Blair at BYU this fall, was another stroke back at 204 along with Chris Satterlee and Adrian Wadey.
Former champion Boyd Summerhays played the back nine in 30 on his way to a 65 and he finished at 205 with West Jordan’s Luke Swilor. Salt Lake City Am champion Scott Clark tied the low score of the day with a 65 and finished at 207
Ogden is flying to San Antonio today to play an event on the National Pro Tour, where he is No. 12 on the money list. Later this year, Ogden will try to earn his Tour card at the PGA Qualifying Tournament.
Utah Open results
1. Clay Ogden, Farmington, -17 ($20,000)
2. James Drew, Las Vegas, -16 ($11,500)
2. Zen Brown, Arvada, Colo., -16 ($11,500)
4. Dustin Pimm, Sandy, -15 ($4,500)
4. Ryan Ellis, South Jordan, -15 ($4,500)
6. Nicholas Mason, Denver, -14 ($3,000)
7. Zac Blair, North Ogden, -13 (Amateur)
7. Dustin Volk, Layton, -13 ($3,000)
7. Derek Tolan, Denver, -13 ($3,000)
10. Adrian Wadey, Park City, -12 ($2,500)
10. Chris Satterlee, Chandler, Ariz., -12 ($2,500)
10. Devon Purser, Clearfield, -11 (Amateur)
11. Boyd Summerhays, Scottsdale, Ariz., -11 ($1,850)
11. Luke Swilor, West Jordan, -11 ($1,850)