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64th Seed Takes Champ to the Brink in First Round of State Am Match Play

Seeding at the Utah State Am this year turned out to be a little ‘skeewompish’ and it was most evident in the match between number one seed and defending champion Jon Wright against number 64 seed Brady Stanger who earned that final spot in a playoff.

The match went 20 holes before the champion saved the honor of the seed.

Stanger, who is a Utah State Am veteran and has made match play eight times in the past ten years, gave Wright a near death experience. Stanger was one-up going onto the 18th hole. His approach ended on the fringe of the green above the hole and it took him three to get down and that sent the match into sudden death which Wright won on the 20th hole when Stanger’s three-foot par putt lipped out.

Stanger’s 64th seed performance gave credibility to the decision by the UGA to expand match play from 32 players to 64 several years ago.

In that Round of 64 the higher seeded player won 11 first round matches. There were some very good players who ended up with high seeds. For instance, Devon Purser was the 52nd seed and former runnerup Carl Jensen was 44th seed. Kurt Owen was 58th seed, and Kai Ruiz was 55th seed. They each won their matches to advance to the Round of 32.

The Hargett brothers, Brandon and Jason, were knocked out in the Round of 64, both by 1-up scores. Brandon lost to John Owen and Jason lost to Tanner Alder.

Thursday’s schedule begins with the annual Breakfast of Champions at which former champions will be honored and that will be followed by the Round of 32 in the morning and the Round of 16 in the afternoon.

Five former champions survived the Round of 64 and will be teeing it after the breakfast in the Round of 32. The former champions still in contention are two-time winner Jon Wright (2012 and 2014), Joe Parkinson (2010), Darrin Overson (1998), Nick Nelson (2007), and Dan Horner (2008 at Soldier Hollow).

There are several Thursday morning matches that could be considered highlight matches. Former champion Dan Horner faces former runnerup Carl Jensen and in the other bracket former champion Nick Nelson faces former BYU star Robbie Fillmore.

Round of 64 Results

Jon Wright def. Brady Stanger, 20 holes

Jose Pelayo def. Kyler Dearden, 5 and 4

Brandon Kida def. Preston Richards, 2 and 1

Joe Parkinson def. Bubba Hall, 1-up

David Poggi def. Tyler Abegglen, 3 and 1

Jake Peterson def. Elden Parker, 5 and 4

Dalton Stanger def, Cameron Crawford, 21 holes

Justin Mortensen def. Stewart Ritter, 7 and 6

Charlie Duensing def. Ryan Barber, 6 and 5

Devon Purser def. Robert McRae, 4 and 3

Austin Banz def. Ryan Brimley, 5 and 4

Steve Croft def. Shane Romano, 2 and 1

Darrin Overson def. Jonathan Thomas, 19 holes

Dan Horner def. Christian Jensen, 4 and 2

Carl Jensen def. Tanner Johnson, 20 holes

Jordan Rodgers def. Isaiah Wolferstan, 8 and 6

Glen Spencer def. Jacob Byers, 22 holes

Dylan Chugg def. Brodey Payzant, 6 and 5

Dave Jennings def. Colton Dallimore, 1-up

Kurt Owen def. Garrett Fotu, 3 and 2

Dave Johnson def. Jordan Bloxham, 2 and 1

Kai Ruiz def. Tanner Alder, 3 and 2

Rand Sargent def. Nick Smart, 5 and 4

Patrick Fishburn def. Clay Bingham, 2 and 1

John Owen def. Brandon Hargett, 1-up

Tanner Alder def. Jason Hargett, 1-up

Justin Shluker def. Travis Miner, 3 and 2

Dale Thomas def. Ben Jorgensen, 1-up

Seokown Jeon def. Rhett Rasmussen, 4 and 3

Nick Nelson def. John Tagge, 4 and 3

Robbie Fillmore def. Max Brenchley, 4 and 3

Round of 32 Matches

Thursday, Soldier Hollow

Gold Course

#1 Tee

8:45- Jordan Rodgers vs. Glen Spencer

8:53- Dylan Chugg vs. David Jennings

9:01- Kurt Owen vs. Dave Johnson

9:09- Kai Ruiz vs. Sargent

9:17- Patrick Fishburn vs. John Owen

9:25- Tanner Alder vs. Justin Shluker

9:33- Dale Thomas vs. Seokown Jeon

9:45- Nick Nelson vs. Robbie Fillmore

#10 Tee

8:45- Jon Wright vs. Jose Pelayo

8:53- Nic Booth vs. Brandon Kida

9:01- Joe Parkinson vs. Dave Poggi

9:09- Jake Peterson vs. Dalton Stanger

9:17- Justin Mortensen vs. Charlie Duensing

9:25- Devon Purser vs. Austin Banz

9:33- Steve Croft vs. Darrin Overson

9:45- Dan Horner vs. Carl Jensen