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125th Utah State Amateur Championship Match to feature Simon Kwon vs. David Liechty

Hardly a day goes by that former Skyline High and University of California golfer Simon Kwon does not think about last year’s loss to BYU golfer Zac Jones in the Utah State Amateur’s championship match at Soldier Hollow Golf Club.

2022 Utah State Amateur runner-up, Simon Kwon.

“I will be honest: Last year’s match is definitely on my mind every single time I practice, 100 percent. It is something I still think about,” Kwon said Friday afternoon after winning a pair of matches to advance to Saturday’s 36-hole final for the second straight year.

“Ten minutes before my tee time today I looked over and saw last year’s picture of the winner (Jones). It definitely motivated me in many ways to try and go out and compete today so I can get a chance again.”

Meanwhile, Kwon’s opponent in Saturday’s match hardly thought about even winning a match before the 125th Utah State Amateur, let alone five so he could play for the large silver trophy.

David Liechty secures the win in his semifinal match over 2021 champion Martin Leon.

But here 18-year-old David Liechty is, playing some of the best golf of his life before the recent Layton High graduate does a service mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and then moves on to play golf for Utah Tech in St. George.

“I did not plan on getting this far,” Liechty said. “… My realistic expectation was just make the cut (for match play) and see what happens from there. I just kept winning matches. I am excited for tomorrow.”


Click here to read the complete coverage of Friday’s Utah State Amateur matches by Deseret News sportswriter Jay Drew in today’s edition of Fairways Photo Journal.