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Siddens Survives, Faces Madsen in Senior Match Finals; Simkins Seeks Repeat in Super Seniors

Kirk Siddens survived! He came from four down to win his quarterfinal match against Ben Maddox and then eked out a sensational 23-hole semifinal win over never-say-die Dana Nelson to advance to the finals of the Utah Senior Match Play Championship at Hubbard Golf Course at Hill Air Force Base. Fifteen years ago Siddens advanced to the finals of the Utah State Am on this very course, and lost in the finals to Billy Harvey. The championship match tomorrow against Mark Madsen will give him another chance to get it right.
But before tomorrow—there was today.
In his quarterfinal match he was four down at the turn to Ben Maddox, but he righted the ship and won six of the next eight holes to win 2 and 1.
In the semifinals Siddens held a one-hole lead over Dana Nelson going into the 18th hole when Nelson stuffed an approach shot two-feet from the hole and sent the match into sudden death. On the second playoff hole, Siddens made a mistake by hitting his approach over the back of the steep sloping green, a definite no-no. He hit a wonderful flop shot that left him with about a 15-foot side hill putt in a ‘sink or go home’ situation. He slithered it beautifully into the hole to stay alive.
They pared the third and fourth holes and then drama broke loose on the par five fifth. Nelson hit his tee shot in the lake and had to take a penalty drop. Siddens wasn’t much better as he pulled his tee shot left of the water and nearly out of bounds and faced some tree trouble. Nelson hit a remarkable 250-yard shot over the green, but was lying three. Siddens managed his approach shot to the green in two.
Nelson knew that he had to sink his chip shot to stay in the match and he almost did. It hit the hole, did a 360, and stayed out. Siddens lagged to within six inches for the win.
It also took overtime for Mark Madsen to advance to the finals. He defeated Russell Hook on the first hole of sudden death.
Madsen is a very good player, but his bonafides don’t compare with the record compiled by Siddens. Over the past 20 years Siddens has been one of Utah’s top amateurs. He has been UGA Player of the Year, has played in a half dozen Utah-Arizona Shootouts and has qualified to play every year in the Governor’s Cup.
However, all that was then, and this is now, and Mark Madsen is playing very good golf and beginning at 8 a.m. we shall see.
In the Super Senior Division defending champion Al Simkins advanced to the finals with wins over Doug Rosecrans, Dave Fischer, and a scary close 1-up win over veteran Dick Peacock. He will face Don Needham in the championship match at 8:10 am. Needham advanced with wins over John Taylor, Greg Fraser, and Brent Marriott. Simkins has won seven straight matches over two years, but Needham hails from HAFB and that home course advantage could be a factor.
In the net division the finals will pit Val Cahoon and Dan Riddle.
UGA Senior Match PlaySenior Division ResultsQuarterfinalsMark Madsen def. Mike Jones, 2 and 1Russell Hook def. Keith Olson, 19 holesKirk Siddens def. Ben Maddox, 2 and 1Dana Nelson def. Gordon Garff, 3 and 1SemifinalsMark Madsen def. Russell Hook, 19 holesKirk Siddens def. Dana Nelson, 23 holes
Super Senior Division (65 and over)QuarterfinalsAl Simkins def. David Fischer, 5 and 4Dick Peacock def. Brent Tidwell, 5 and 4Don Needham def. Greg Fraser, 5 and 4Brent Marriott def. Jeff Campbell, withdrawSemifinalsAl Simkins def. Dick Peacock, 1-upDon Needham def. Brent Marriott, 4 and 3
Net DivisionQuarterfinalsKerry Coop def. Jason Tanner, 3 and 2Val Cahoon def. Al Krahenbuhl, 2 and 1Kevin Wall def. Lee Garner, 1-upDan Riddle def. Gus Stribakus, 3 and 2SemifinalsVal Cahoon def. Kerry Coop, 2 and 1Dan Riddle def. Kevin Wall, 20 holes
Championship MatchesHubbard Golf CourseFriday, May 178:00- Senior Division: Kirk Siddens vs. Mark Madsen8:10- Super Senior Division: Al Simkins vs. Don Needham8:20- Net Division: Val Cahoon vs. Dan Riddle