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Patrick Fishburn Captures 118th Utah State Amateur Championship
By Megan Terry
The 118th Utah State Amateur Championship at Alpine Country Club wrapped up on Saturday when Patrick Fishburn defeated Aaron Smith 4 and 2 through 34 holes. Fishburn continued his successful season all week, earning the No. 3 seed with a two-day total of eight-under-par 136. Patrick flew out of the gates ready to win and carded six-under-par 66 Day 1 at Fox Hollow Golf Course. After posting his second qualifying score of two-under-par 70 Day 2 at Alpine, he was in good position to make the finals.
Even with multiple wins under his belt this season, including the RCK Salt Lake City Am and Low Am at the Provo Open, the Cougar athlete still fought tooth and nail from start to finish. Fishburn won his Round of 64 and 32 matches 3 and 2 against No. 62 seed Colton Tanner and No. 30 seed Kurt Owen. No. 19 seed Tommy Forsman almost knocked Fishburn out of the race during the Round of 16, but the NCAA Division I athlete was able to hold his ground and advanced to the quarterfinals 2 and 1 over Forsman.
Fishburn’s quarterfinal and semifinal matches on Friday were no walk in the park, but he faced both head-on and thrived in the face of pressure. During his quarterfinal match, No. 6 seed Carl Jensen was two up through three holes; however, Patrick answered with three birdies in a row to gain the advantage and go one up. He remained up the rest of the match and defeated Jensen 3 and 2.
His semifinal match against No. 58 seed Ryan Barber started out with 18-year-old Barber one up through two holes, but Fishburn found his rhythm and closed out the match 3 and 2 to advance to Saturday’s final match against Aaron Smith.
Smith qualified for his first Utah State Am at Gladstan Golf Course in Payson, Utah, after posting two-over-par 74. Before now, his tournament experience included the occasional pro-am and recreational golf. After earning the No. 61 seed in a 14-way playoff, you could say the 40-year-old was the underdog. More specifically, he was the underdog to beat.
Smith knocked nearly every approach shot within 20 feet of the flagstick and drained massive putts against Fishburn. Still, the Brigham Young University student-athlete was just as good or better each and every shot. Fishburn made 12 birdies on the day. Not once did he allow Smith to gain the advantage. All square was the closest the match ever got, and he was as many as five up on Smith.
Fishburn finally earned his championship title on Alpine’s par-3 No. 16 by sticking his shot within three feet. Smith conceded the hole, and Patrick Fishburn was crowned 118th Utah State Amateur champion.
“Every match at the Utah State Am is a tough match. There are some incredible players out here,” stated Fishburn. “I’m extremely excited to have been able to pull off the victory this week.”
CLICK HERE to view complete 118th Utah State Amateur Championship match play results.