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The Final Match is Set
July 11, 2014
by Spencer Sorensen
OGDEN – The final match for the 116th Utah State Amateur is now set. Tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. Jon Wright, the No. 25 seed, will take on Preston Richards the No. 36 seed in a 36-hole match at Ogden Golf and Country Club.
Both players survived Friday afternoon in similar fashions. Wright, who was competing against No. 4 seed Tommy Higham, and Richards, who faced No. 15 seed Kai Ruiz, both won by margins of 2-up with each match being decided on the 18th hole. Furthermore, the turning point for each match occurred in the same spot on the course. Both Wright and Richards were 1-down after the 13th hole, but at the conclusion of the 15th hole both players found themselves 1-up in their respective matches. From there, each player held on to win and closed out their respective matches by winning the 18th hole.
Wright, a 43-year-old commercial real estate agent, will be headed to his second match play final in three years. In 2012, Wright won his first Utah State Amateur title at his home course, the Salt Lake City Country Club, after recently regaining his amateur status back. He’s excited to be heading to the finals once again and knows he may not have many more opportunities like this in the future.
“I just want to win another one,” said Wright. “As I’m getting older I realize that window [of opportunity] is getting shorter where you can still hit it up there with these college kids and still walk 36 holes.”
Richards, a 24-year-old senior-to-be at Utah Valley University, is also looking forward to tomorrow. He feels that his putting along with his family support has carried him throughout the week and can’t wait to get on the course tomorrow. One of the many reasons too is because he wants to avenge his only loss in Utah State Amateur match play tomorrow, which came last year during the round of 32 against none other than Jon Wright who won 3-and-2.
“It will be a little payback tomorrow,” said Richards of tomorrow’s match. “I think I’ll take this one.”
Here is a look at both players and some of their background.
Finalist #1: Jon Wright
Hometown: Sandy, Utah
Alma Mater: University of Utah
Occupation: Commercial Real Estate Agent (Was a professional golfer for 10 years)
Best Finish in the Utah State Amateur: Champion (2012)
Match Play Record in the Utah State Amateur: 16-2
How he got here: def. Brandon Hargett 3 and 2 (Round of 64); def. Jeffrey Jolley 3 and 1 (Round of 32); def. Mike Jurca 2 and 1 (Round of 16); def. Cole Ogden 3 and 2 (quarterfinals); def. Tommy Higham 2 up (semifinals)
Finalist #2: Preston Richards
Hometown: Sandy, Utah
School: Utah Valley University
Occupation: Student (Senior-to-be at UVU)
Best Finish in the Utah State Amateur: Round of 32 (2013)
Match Play Record in the Utah State Amateur: 6-1
How he got here: def. Danny Hafen 3 and 2 (Round of 64); def. Devon Purser 2 and 1 (Round of 32); def Marty Jacks 19 holes (Round of 16); def. Kurt Owen 4 and 3 (quarterfinals); def. Kai Ruiz 2 up (semifinals)