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Kida Topples Champion; State Am Advances to Quarters, Semis Friday

The Utah State Amateur is going to have a different champion, but it may not be a new one.

Defending champion Jon Wright lost in the Round of 16 to Brandon Kida, 4 and 3, but two former champions, Joe Parkinson and Darrin Overson are still in the hunt as the tournament advances to the quarterfinals Friday at Solder Hollow.

Wright, who escaped from the clutches of 64th seed Brady Stanger in the first round, got by Jose Pelayo in the second round, 4 and 2, but Kida won 10, 12, and 14 to take a lead Wright could not overcome. Kida eliminated Nic Booth in the morning round, also by a 4 and 3 score. Kida went into match play as the 17th seed.

Overson’s three match play wins have all gone the distance, He won his first match in 19 holes over Jonathan Thomas and then defeated University of Utah’s Steve Croft, 1-up. In the Rouond of 16 he faced former runnerup Carl Jensen of Alpine Country Club, and that match was also decided by a 1-up verdict. It was a strange match as Overson won four of the first five holes and then Jensen roared back to win fourth straight holes. It remained square until Overson won 15, lost 16, and then won it on 18.

Overson, who won the State Am the year of its 100th birthday celebration in 1998, is confident about his current game and said, “I’m a better player now than I was then.”

Charlie Duensing, a 19-year-old who plays out of Wingpointe, opened match play with a solid 6 and 5 win over Ryan Barber, and then won a close over Justin Mortensen on the 19th hole. He then edged Austin Banz, 1-up in the Round of 16.

Parkinson won 14, 15, and 16 to pull out a 3 and 2 win over Dalton Stanger in the Round of 16. He had earlier defeated Bubba Hall and Dave Poggi in 1-up matches. Parkinson won the title in 2010 at his home course at Alpine Country Club.

Ruiz has won all three of his matches by a comfortable 3 and 2 margin. Falling to him were Preston Alder, Rand Sargent, and Kurt Owen. Ruiz hails from Mapleton and plays at East Bay. His caddie is former UGA President John Taylor.

John Owen, who has made match play eight times in the past 11 years, is a proven quality player, but this is the first time he’s reached the quarterfinals. He did so by beating Brandon Hargett in the first round, 1-up, and then Thursday morning dampened the sizzle in Patrick Fishburn with a 5 and 3 upset. Fishburn had fired a 63 to come from behind to tie for medalist honors in the 36-hole qualifying rounds. Fishburn won his first match over Clay Bingham before running into Owen in the Round of 32. Owen then had to go 19 holes to edge Justin Shluker in the Round of 16.

The tournament started with more than 800 and entries and it is now down to eight and those eight square off Friday morning in the quarterfinals under a new set of rules. They must walk the rest of the tournament. That’s 36 holes per day for two days. Endurance has suddenly become a bigger factor. Two days of medal play and two days of match play, even with access to carts, requires being in good conditioning, but adding two 36-hole days of walking is about as tough as any tournament in golf.

John Owen, at 42, and Darrin Overson, at 40, will probably be at a competitive disadvantage solely because of age. The other players are all young collegiate golfers who walk 36 holes a day quite often.

Seokown Jeon, one of the pre-tourney favorites for his recent performance in PPR events, has advanced to the quarters with impressive wins over rising star Rhett Rasmussen, 4 and 3, and Dale Thomas, 4 and 2, and then the 1-up win over the veteran Robbie Fillmore in the Round of 16.

The day begins with Parkinson facing Brandon Kida at 7:45, followed by Overson meeting Charlie Duensing. The winners will face each other in the semifinals, which could pit the two former champions

In the other bracket BYU’s Jordan Rodgers will face Kai Ruiz and John Owen will battle Seokown Jeon with the winners facing each other in the afternoon. All matches will begin off number one tee of the Gold Course.

Round of 32 Results

Upper Bracket

Jon Wright def. Jose Pelayo. 4 and 2

Brandon Kida def. Nic Booth, 4 and 3

Joe Parkinson def. David Poggi, 1-up

Dalton Stanger def. Jake Peterson, 19 holes

Charlie Duensing def. Justin Mortensen, 19 holes

Austin Banz def. Devon Purser, 3 and 2

Darrin Overson def. Steve Croft, 1-up

Carl Jensen def. Dan Horner, 3 and 2

Lower Bracket

Jordan Rodgers def. Glen Spencer 5 and 4

David Jennings def. Dylan Chugg, 3 and 1

Kurt Owen def. Dave Johnson, 4 and 3

Kai Ruiz def. Rand Sargent, 4 and 3

John Owen def. Patrick Fishburn, 5 and 3

Justin Shluker def. Tanner Alder, 4 and 3

Seokown Jeon def. Dale Thomas, 4 and 2

Robbie Fillmore def. Nick Nelson, 5 and 4

Round of 16 Results

Upper Bracket

Brandon Kida def. Jon Wright, 4 and 3

Joe Parkinson def. Dalton Stanger, 3 and 2

Charlie Duensing def. Austin Banz, 1-up

Darrin Overson def. Carl Jensen, 1-up

Lower Bracket

Jordan Rodgers def. Dave Jennings, 6 and 5

Kai Ruiz def. Kurt Owen, 3 and 2

John Owen def. Justin Shluker, 19 holes

Seokown Jeon def. Robbie Fillmore, 1-up

Quarterfinal Pairings

Friday Morning

7:30- Brandon Kida vs. Joe Parkinson

7:45- Charlie Duensing vs. Darrin Overson

8:00- Jordan Rodgers vs. Kai Ruiz

8:15- John Owen vs. Seokown Jeon

Semifinal Pairings

Friday Afternoon

12:30- Winners of 7:30, 7:45 matches

12:45- Winners of 8:00, 8:15 matches

Championship Match, 36 holes

Saturday, 7:30 am