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Sampson Closes out Senior State Am with One-Up Win Over Siddens
By Megan Terry, Programs Administrator
Three of Utah’s most prestigious private clubs played host to the 2017 Utah Senior State Amateur Championship, formerly known as the Utah Senior Match Play Championship, Jeremy Ranch Golf & Country Club, Tuhaye Golf Club and Glenwild Golf Club & Spa. One hundred and seventy-one senior competitors took advantage of four match play qualifiers around the state; SLC Qualifier at The Ridge, St. George Qualifier at Sunbrook, South Qualifier at East Bay and North Qualifier at Glen Eagle. Of the 171, only 32 in the Championship Division, 16 Super Seniors and 16 Net Division competitors advanced to match play.
The Round of 32 (Championship Division) and Round of 16 (Super Senior and Net) matches at The Jeremy kicked off the championship, and a few underdogs surprised the field by staying alive one hole at a time. In the Championship Division, Newcomer John Johnston had the home-field at Jeremy and advanced to the Round of 16 by defeating Chris Kesler, 4 and 3. Rick Lloyd defeated Robbie Thompson, 6 and 5, to make the afternoon Round of 16 matches. Super Seniors Michael Hacker and Dave Johnson won their matches in 19 holes, and James Fleming barely slid past opponent Tim Perko after 21 holes.
Tuhaye hosted the Quarter-Finals and Semi-Finals where Kirk Siddens advanced versus Nate Herzog, and Ron Davis clinched the win over Patrick Murphy through 19 holes to take on Siddens in the Semis. Brett Sampson overcame John Johnston, 2 and 1, to take on Randy Hicken, whom he defeated, 2 and 1. Sampson advanced to the Finals at Glenwild versus two-time Utah Senior Match Play Champion and close friend Kirk Siddens.
As expected, the final showdown between Sampson and Siddens was neck-and-neck. Siddens started the day with back-to-back birdies to go two-up through two. Sampson then won the next three holes in a row to gain the advantage through seven holes and remained up through 15. Siddens brought the match back to all square on 16 and won the par-3 17 as well. Both competitors ended up in the middle of the fairway on 18, but Sampson ended up a step ahead after knocking his approach shot within 30 feet. Siddens hit a high draw in the greenside bunker, plugging it deep in the sand on the upslope. After unsuccessfully hitting out of the deep bunker his first attempt and barely getting out his second, Sampson two-putted for par to win the match one-up and claim the 2017 title.
Super Seniors Michael Hacker and David Fischer had an even tighter match that was back and forth the entire front nine. Hacker went one-up on No. 9 and stayed up over Fischer through 15 holes. Fischer won 16 to bring the match back to all square, and Hacker won the final two holes to win two-up.
Mark Monsen and Bret Hancock faced off in the race for the Net Division victory. The match was all square through the first three holes until Hancock won No. 4 and as well as the next two holes. Monsen turned things around on No. 8 and remained up on Hancock the rest of the match to win two-up.
CLICK HERE to view the Championship Division bracket.
CLICK HERE to view the Super Senior Division bracket.
CLICK HERE to view the Net Division bracket.