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Rodgers Keep Rolling; Joins Kida, Overson, Jeon in Semifinals
The semifinal matches of the Utah State Am just got underway at Soldier Hollow with former champion Darrin Overson facing Brandon Kida in one match and co-medalist Jordan Rodgers facing Seokown Jeon in the other match. The two winners will square off in a 36-hole finale beginning Saturday morning.
In the quarterfinals Rodgers continued his formidable play in eliminating Kai Ruiz, 4 and 3. Rodgers just graduated from BYU and Ruiz is enrolling at BYU this Fall. Going into the match Rodgers, in addition to being co-medalist in the 36-hole qualifying, hadn’t lost a hole in three straight matches.
Ruiz took care of that remarkable skein by winning the second and third holes and actually taking a lead over Rodgers, but all that did was get Rodgers’ attention. That was the last winning hole for Ruiz. Rodgers won the next hole to make that lead short lived and then Rodgers went bowling and rolled a ‘turkey’ with three straight birdies on holes 6, 7, and 8.
Seokown Jeon, who hails from Utah State and won the Art City Amateur a couple of weeks ago, defeated John Owen, 2 and 1, in the morning quarterfinals and is next up for Rodgers. Jeon led on four different occasions, but Owen always came back to square the match until he ran out of holes.
Former State Am champion Darrin Overson was pressed to the limit in the quarters by Charlie Duensing, a Brighton High golfer who now plays at the University of Minnesota,.champion Darrin Overson to the limit before Overson garnered a 1-up wi n. Duensing took a momentary lead by winning the third hole, but Overson won the next two and never trailed.
Although Overson is “playing much better than he was when he won the title in 1998,’ he is now 40 years old and the State Am rules require players to walk in the quarterfinals and semifinals and the match with Kida will be the first time he’s walked 36 holes in a day for a decade. Kida, on the other hand, plays collegiately at the University of Utah and walking 36 isn’t new to him.
In the other quarterfinal match Brandon Kida, a Ute golfer, upset former State Am champion Joe Parkinson, 2 and 1. After winning the sixth and seventh holes Kida never trailed in the match. Parkinson cut it to one on two occasions, but couldn’t ever get it back to square.
Brandon Kida def. Joe Parkinson, 2 and 1
Darrin Overson def. Charlie Duensing, 1-up
Jordan Rodgers def. Kai Ruiz, 4 and 3
Seokown Jeon def. John Owen, 2 and 1
12:30- Overson vs. Kida
12:45- Rodgers vs. Jeon