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Simon Kwon’s Redemption at the 125th Utah State Amateur

Among the many memorable moments of Simon Kwon’s victory in the 125th Utah State Amateur Championship was his closing sequence of the front nine of Tuesday’s second round of stroke play: 3-3-3-3-3.

The number that really framed his State Am experience, though, was “2.”

“You have treated us to a show,” Colin Clawson, the UGA’s Director of Championships & Golf Operations said. “The 125th State Amateur is one that we will never forget.”

All he wanted was a second chance to win the trophy, and Kwon followed through wonderfully. His 6-and-5 win over David Liechty in Saturday’s 36-hole final match completed an unusual achievement. Not since Bruce Brockbank, the longtime BYU men’s golf coach, in 1987 had anyone won the State Am after losing in the previous summer’s final match.

And to have to happen at The Country Club, factoring in Kwon’s geography and genealogy, made it all the more meaningful.

Kwon has grown up on Wilshire Circle, bordering the eastern edge of The Country Club. The Skyline High School graduate pinpointed the house’s location along the No. 8 fairway as “a little bit past the fairway bunkers.”

No. 8 turned out to be significant in multiple ways, as the site of two winning birdies for Kwon in both the morning and afternoon rounds Saturday. That’s also where his disastrous start of stroke play bottomed out, before Kwon proceeded to play phenomenal golf on the back nine Monday and in the remaining five days of the tournament.

The ultimate result left him with “a little better feeling than last year, that’s for sure,” he said, smiling.

Click here for Fairways senior writer Kurt Kragthorpe’s feature story on the 125th consecutive playing of the Utah State Amateur in today’s Fairways Photo Journal.