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Wilson Holds Off Sampson to Win Utah Senior Amateur

Craig Wilson held off a hard charging Brett Sampson to win the Utah Senior Amateur Championship Saturday at East Bay Golf Course. Earlier this year Wilson also won the Utah Senior Match Play Championship at Davis Park and becomes the only player in the recent history of the tournaments to win the two titles in the same year.

Sampson, playing in the group in front of Wilson, shot a 31 on the back nine that included an eagle, par, birdie finish and kept the pressure on Wilson down to the last putt.

Sampson’s eagle on 16 moved him to within one of Wilson, but Wilson birdied 16 to resume a two shot lead going into the final two holes. They both parred 17, and then Sampson birdied 18 to force Wilson to at least par the hole for the win, which he did.

Wilson went into that final round with a six shot lead, and when it was over he didn’t have any more to spend. He needed every shot to win the title. Wilson won the tournament on the strength of two strong opening rounds of 65-64 and his final round of 70 put him at 199 for the tournament.

Sampson, whose home course is East Bay, shot all three rounds in the 60s, but his opening round of 69 put him in a hole that he couldn’t dig out of before the holes ended.

Jeff Powars, the defending champion, finished third, just two back of Wilson and one behind Sampson. Powars, whose second round 63 was the best round of the tournament, put himself in striking distance when he birdied the first two holes on the back nine, but he came up all pars and that wasn’t good enough.

Kirk Siddens started the final round tied with Wilson, but finished with a 74 drop to fourth place. Kurt Jamison shot the best final round score of 64 and moved him up to a fifth place finish.

East Bay was generous with birdies and the top ten players each had at least one round in the 60s.

The senior scene moves to Toana Vista in two weeks for the Allen Simkins Utah Senior Open. It is the last major senior tournament of the year. The tournament includes Utah's professionals and the name of the tournament is changed each year to honor and recognize prominent leaders of Utah golf. Allen Simkins, a past UGA president is the honoree this year.

Utah Senior Am

Final Leaderboard

199- Craig Wilson, 65-64-70

200- Brett Sampson, 69-66-65

201- Jeff Powars, 68-63-70

203- Kirk Siddens, 63-66-74

206- Kurt Jamison, 73-69-64

209- Dana Nelson, 70-70-69; Mike Jorgensen, 69-70-70; Mike Davis, 68-69-72