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For Defending Champion Cole Ogden It is Three Down With Three to Go
For defending champion Cole Ogden it is three down and three to go. He is halfway home in defense of his title. On Wednesday he handled 64th seed Bubba Hall with ease, 3 and 2, and Thursday survived a strong challenge from former runner-up Kirk Siddens, 1-up in the morning, and then put down a challenge from young Austin Banz, 5 and 4, in the afternoon. Banz eliminated former runner-up Carl Jensen on the last hole of their morning match.
For Ogden it is three down with three to go, and his toughest remaining foe may well be former champion Jon Wright in a quarterfinal match Thursday morning with a 7:30 a.m. tee time at Ogden Golf and Country Club.
Ogden has proven to be a formidable champion and has now won nine straight matches over the two year stretch. He needs three more to retain his title and become the first back-to-back champion since Daniel Summerhays did it more than a decade ago.
The other quarterfinal match in the Upper Bracket has BYU’s Tommy Higham facing future Cougar CJ Lee. Higham beat Brady Stanger, 4 and 3, and Colton Dallimore, 4 and 2, and Lee downed Kalin Peterson and Tanner Alder, both by 2 and 1 margins.
In the Lower Bracket there were some surprises and new names emerge. Young Kai Ruiz got past Dane Rosa in the morning and then pulled the upset of the day by knocking off medalist Jake Holt, both by 1-up scores.
Ruiz is committed to attend BYU and his quarterfinal foe will be Thomas Young of the Salt Lake Country Club. Young advanced by beating Mitchell Schow, 4 and 3, and then bumped off Jesse Clark of Riverside Country Club, 4 and 2.
Kurt Owen and Preston Richards are the other two quarterfinalists and it is new territory for their games. Owen beat Bob Mitchell on Wednesday and then on Thursday got past Aaron Yeates and David Jennings. His victories have been solid and he didn’t have to play the last two holes in any of the matches.
Richards defeated Danny Hafen on Wednesday, 3 and 2, and then pulled a major upset by ousting veteran collegian Devon Purser, 2 and 1, and then followed up with a win over Marty Jacks in an extra hole match.
The day started with a Breakfast of Champions attended by the following former champions: Doug Bybee, Arlen Peacock, Todd Barker, Steve Borget, Bruce Brockbank, Reid Goodliffe, and former champions Jon Wright and Cole Ogden who are seeking their second titles and advanced to the quarterfinals.
The guest speaker at the Breakfast of Champions was Fairways Magazine’s popular publisher Randy Dodson, who congratulated the players and emphasized that “what you are doing is not easy. It is hard,’ and that it is evidenced by how many players have such a struggle trying to excel at the game, including himself as an example.
To see the bracket results and schedule for Friday go to this link: http://ghintpp.com/uga/TPPOnlineScoring/MatchTree.aspx?id=178
To see the individual score cards of the matches go to this link and click on the number of the match: http://ghintpp.com/uga/TPPOnlineScoring/ResultsMatch.aspx?id=178