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UGA Announces Utah State Amateur Format Changes
The Utah Golf Association has made several changes to the format of the Utah State Amateur according to Bill Walker, UGA Executive Director. The changes were finalized at the recent UGA Board of Directors meeting in St. George and will be implemented at this year’s 115th consecutive tournament at Soldier Hollow.
The most significant change is the expansion of the match play field from 32 to 64 players. As a result of this change, and other considerations, the tournament will begin on Monday and end on Saturday. The other change that affects the competition is that the participants in the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals will be required to walk.
The traditional Breakfast of Champions will be held the morning after the match play round of 64 and will include the final 32 contestants and former champions as has been the case in previous years.
“These changes have been under discussion by the UGA board for several years and are being undertaken after careful consideration of all the factors involved,” said UGA President John Taylor.
“The UGA board feels that the strength of field has increased enough over the years to expand the match play portion to 64 players and that it will give more players an opportunity to experience match play without diluting the quality,” Taylor said. “Reaching match play is a significant level of accomplishment and this allows more players to reach that goal,” he added.
This year’s State Am chairman Steve Brinton echoed that by saying, “I think it is a wonderful change in that every year we have had quality players eliminated from match play who have the ability to win the championship and this rule change will mitigate that.”
“The Board changed to a Saturday finish primarily to lessen the burden the tournament imposes on host clubs for their weekend play and to give the tournament a make-up day in case of weather delays,” Brinton said.
The other change, the prohibition of carts during the last three rounds of match play will put a premium on conditioning and pays homage to the tradition that walking is an integral part of golf.
The schedule for this year’s tournament at Soldier Hollow will be as follows:
Monday, July 8th- Round One of Stroke Play Qualifying
Tuesday, July 9th- Round Two of Stroke Play Qualifying
Wednesday, July 10th- Match Play Round of 64
Thursday, July 11th- Breakfast of Champions, 7 am
Thursday, July 11th- Match Play Round of 32 (morning)
Thursday, July 11th- Match Play Round of 16 (afternoon)
Friday, July 12th- Quarterfinals (walking only) (morning)
Friday, July 12th- Semifinals (walking only) (afternoon)
Saturday, July 13th-36- Hole Championship Match (walking only) 36 holes
Sunday, July 14th- Back up day in case of inclement weather