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Jon Wright’s Magical Week
July 12, 2014
by Spencer Sorensen
OGDEN – Jon Wright had a magical week to win his second Utah State Amateur Championship title in three years, completing the task on Saturday when he took down Preston Richards 3-and-2 in a 36-hole match at Ogden Golf and Country Club.
To begin the week, Wright qualified to the match play portion of the event by firing rounds of 72 and 71 for a 143 total, which gave him the No. 25 seed in the 64-player bracket. Then, on Wednesday in the opening round of match play, Wright won 3-and-2 over No. 40 seed Brandon Hargett.
On Thursday, Wright pulled out a couple of nice wins, first beating No. 8 seed Jeffrey Jolley in the round of 32 3-and-1 and then had a hard fought 2-and-1 victory against Mike Jurca. Friday he then had to face defending champion and No. 1 seed Cole Ogden, who he went on to beat 3-and-2, before squeaking by No. 4 seed Tommy Higham 2 up in the afternoon.
Today, the former University of Utah golfer closed the deal, when he beat Richards by the same margin he did in the 2013 championship’s round of 32, 3-and-2. Wright lead from the opening hole on and held a 3-up lead by the eighth hole. From that point forward, Wright had a multiple-hole lead the rest of the match with the exception of the 20th and 21st holes, when Richards cut his lead to 1-up after making birdie on the par-3 second. The mid-amateur then regained his multiple-hole lead when he rolled a birdie putt in on the par-4 fourth.
Wright now holds an all-time match play record of 17-2 in the Utah State Amateur, having played in the match play portion event four times total. The 43-year-old, who was the last player to win with the old Wednesday-Sunday format, is now the first player to have won the title competing in both formats.
The commercial real estate agent was pleased to win and was still trying to digest having won a second title in three years shortly after the round.
“I’m just still kind of numb,” he said. “I thought that I could win it, especially after I was in the finals, but only then did I think I could win it. So once you actually win it, it’s kind of hard to fathom.”
Wright is now just one of several players in the history of the Utah State Amateur Championship to win multiple titles, something he definitely will cherish for the rest of his life.
“I’m just in awe of players like George Von Elm and players of the past,” said Wright. “I don’t know where [my two championships] rank, but I’m just really happy to be a champion at all.”