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Ogden Golf and Country Club Playing Tough

by Spencer Sorensen
OGDEN – Although the scorecard may not show it by looking at the course’s distance, Ogden Golf and Country Club (GCC) is proving to challenge players so far at the 116th Utah State Amateur Championship. After the first round of qualifying play, Ogden GCC is playing more difficult than the other qualifying site, Valley View GC, the home of the 2009 championship.
In fact after the morning wave the scoring average for Ogden GCC was a full stroke-and-a-half higher than Valley View GC. However by day’s end the stroke average evened up more closely as Ogden GCC’s average score was 77.61 compared to Valley View GC’s average of 77.09. At only 6,754 yards with only one ostensible water hazard coming into play for two holes (Nos. 1 and 4) the tree-lined fairways, thick rough and tricky greens aren’t making things easy for competitors.
Defending champion Cole Ogden, who fired a 1-over-par 71 on Monday at Ogden GCC, experienced one of the many challenges that the course presents firsthand on the par-4 13th. Despite the par-4 only playing 337 yards, the diminutive green can pose problems if missed. In Ogden’s case after missing the green on his approach shot, he chunked a chip, which subsequently caused him to hit his next chip through the green and ended up taking a triple-bogey.
“I left that hole a little confused, wondering what just happened,” he said.
As the week goes on the 2013 champion sees the course getting even more difficult, especially if the greens pick up speed due to hot weather.
“The greens were a little bit soft today and I would imagine that they would not water them as much [as the week continues].”
Valley View relinquished a majority of the under-par scores on Monday, but in part was likely due to the par being 72, whereas this week Ogden GCC is being played as a par-70. Nobody was better at Valley View GC on Monday than 2013 semifinalist Jacob Holt, who fired an 8-under-par 64. The 22-year-old loves the way the 7,131-yard course sets up for him and was able to take advantage with nine birdies and a lone bogey.
Tomorrow Holt knows that the main key to finding success at Ogden GCC will be to keep the ball below the hole to deal with the course’s slick greens. However, the recently graduated SUU Thunderbird is very confident with reading greens right now and hopes he’s able to keep his hot putter going.
“Positioning on the green and positioning the ball in the fairway so you have a good approach shot is key at Ogden [GCC],” said Holt.
The 116th Utah State Amateur Championship, the oldest continuous tournament in the world, will wrap up 36-hole qualifying tomorrow with a playoff occurring if needed at Ogden GCC when all scores have been posted tomorrow evening.
Follow all of the Utah State Amateur Match Play Action HERE