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In a Switcharoo, Clay Ogden Becomes Cole’s Brother After Cole Wins State Am Championship

Cole Ogden has played golf in the shadow of his older brother Clay all his life, and has been well known as “Clay’s little brother,” but Saturday at Soldier Hollow he became his own man, with his own title, the 115th Utah State Amateur champion, a title that eluded older brother and gives new identity to Cole. In fact, Clay, who was playing at the same time at Willow Creek Country Club in the Utah Championship, was heard to be telling his fellow professionals, “yes, I’m Cole’s brother.” (Clay has already earned his spot in Utah golf history when he won the USGA National Public Links title and became one of Utah’s few national champions.)
Cole defeated former champion Jeff Evans, 6 and 4, in the scheduled 36-hole championship match. Evans won the State Am championship in 2011 at Soldier Hollow and with his five victories that year, and his five victories this year had carved a 10-0 match play record at Soldier Hollow until Ogden broke the skein. At the moment that 10-1 record is a bit disappointing to Evans as the emphasis is naturally on the one instead of the 10, but time will bring perspective and it will be perceived as the great performance that it has been.
Evans got three-up after five holes in the morning round and had several good chances to even widen that lead, but Ogden made crucial putts to earn halves and stay within reach. They each won five holes in the morning and went to intermission all square.
Ogden took command in the afternoon and took a 3-up lead after five holes and his splendid accuracy off the tee took a back seat only to his precision on the greens.
Cole’s’wondershot’ on the 18th hole in the semifinals catapulted Ogden into the finals and also displaced the event as the lead story on Channel Five news whose alert video photographer, Ben Schroeder, got a picture of the shot from start to finish, the greatest shot in Utah State Am history, a 300-yard risk-reward 3-wood over water to within 18 inches of the hole, give or take a few inches, since no one thought to measure it before it was conceded by the suddenly vanquished Jake Holt. In that semifinal match Cole had birdied the 17th hole to go one-up and he only needed a tie on the 18th hole, and playing it safe was an inviting option, but he took the advice of his loose and easy caddie, J.T. Timmons to “go for it. Let’s slam the door on this guy,” and the rest is history. There won’t be many moments in Cole’s golf career that will up-stage that moment, and who knows, it may result in a caddy career for JT and if it does he could revolutionize caddying as we know it with his laid back, casual ‘why worry’ attitude.
Cole’s 6 and 4 victory over Evans in the championship match will enhance the legendary nature of the shot, and the special video will become part of Utah State Am lore.
Readers can get a hole-by-hole description of the match on the UGA Facebook page, and can see the scorecard on the UGA web page by clicking championships, then go to Utah State Am, then click on Match Play results.