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BYU’s Zac Jones will face Cal’s Simon Kwon in finals of the 124th Utah Men’s State Amateur

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Find a way: BYU junior Max Brenchley survives thrilling match against Lone Peak’s Cooper Jones at 2022 Utah State Amateur

By Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald


BYU junior golfer Max Brenchley said he didn’t really want to face Lone Peak junior Cooper Jones in the first round of match play at the 2022 Utah State Amateur — but no one gets to pick their opponents.


Brenchley and Jones battled through a classic match on the Gold course at Soldier Hollow in Heber on Wednesday, one that saw both golfers come up big when the pressure was on.At the beginning, however, it looked like Brenchley was going to be able to cruise to victory.


“I played well on the front nine,” Brenchley said. “We both bogeyed our first hole but then I made a couple of birdies. On No. 9, I had a great opportunity to grab another one from him but I hit it over the green and kind of made a mess of the hole so he won one back. But overall I hit a lot of good shots and made some good putts. I just played solid.”


Brenchley had a three-hole edge going into the ninth hole, lost that one, then responded by winning No. 10 to regain that three-hole lead.


But Jones wasn’t ready to throw in the towel and proved it over the next few holes.


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Utah State Amateur Stroke Play wraps at Soldier Hollow, Round of 64 today.

photo caption: (Left to Right) Tyson Tanner, Cole Ogden (past champion), Darrin Overson (past champion) and Clay Ogden.

Cole Ogden is a reinstated amateur golfer with a rejuvenated attitude about the game. He only wishes his approach to golf could have been this healthy, when he was playing for a living.

Saying his “expectations were zero” when he teed off in the 124th Utah State Amateur Championship, the 2013 winner looked like the Ogden of old in the two rounds of stroke play at Soldier Hollow Golf Course. Or maybe this is an even better version, improbably enough, judging by his 7-under-par 65 on the Silver Course in the second round Tuesday.

While winning the 2013 title and qualifying for match play as the No. 17 seed in 2019, Ogden had not shot better than 71 on the Silver. So he was less surprised about his 70 on the more difficult Gold Course than his 65 on the Silver, starting with an eagle on the par-5 No. 10.

Ogden added three more birdies on his first five holes to reach 5 under for the day, then double-bogeyed the par-3 No. 15 before regrouping with four birdies and eight pars the rest of the way. His 9-under-par total made him the No. 3 seed, even though Ogden’s score was three strokes better than his medalist performance of nine years ago. BYU golfers Zac Jones (-12) and David Timmins (-10) took the top two spots.

Read more from Kurt Kragthorpe in today’s Fairways Photo Journal, click here:


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BYU, UVU golfers at top of leaderboard after first round of stroke-play qualifying at 124th Utah Men’s State Amateur

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Utah Golf Radio Highlights State Am Favorites

Former Utah State Amateur champion Tommy Sharp joined Utah Golf Radio hosts Paul Pugmire and Jan Brownstein last Saturday to discuss this week’s 124th consecutive playing of the Utah State Amateur championship and their favorite players to make it to the championship match.
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Richard C. Kramer Salt Lake City Am

Justin Shluker

Justin Shluker stuck to his game plan to capture a “really big win” at Salt Lake City’s Bonneville Golf Course.

By Mike Sorensen

For a change, there was little drama at the RIchard C. Kramer Salt Lake City Amateur as Justin Shluker fired a pair of 67s at Bonneville Golf Course to win by three strokes over Ryan Brimley.

Shluker, a 27-year-old accountant from Murray, grabbed a share of the first-round lead Saturday and never let go on Sunday in winning one of Utah’s most prestigious amateur golf events.

It didn’t matter that the field was missing a few top players, who didn’t compete because of a U.S. Open qualifier the following day, including defending champion Cooper Jones.

Read Fairways Media feature writer Mike Sorensen’s City Am recap in this new post by Fairways Photo Journal, CLICK HERE


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David Jennings: Three-time Utah Mid-Amateur Champion

By Randy Dodson



At the 35th playing of the Utah Mid-Amateur Championship the consensus from players like former champion Dan Horner was that Wasatch Golf’s Lake Course played, “firm and fast.”


And that’s just fine with UGA Assistant Executive Director Easton Folster who said firm and fast with tucked hole locations was needed to “protect the golf course and get the score we wanted.”


The two players who managed the set up the best, two-time defending champion David Jennings and Cameron Crawford, finished at the top of the 54-hole leaderboard at 7-under par 209.


Click here to read the complete Fairways Photo Journal recap of the Utah Mid-Amateur Championship:


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Utah Golf Association // Past President’s Message

Yea Golf!

By Stewart Walz,

In 2021 the Board of Directors adopted a mission statement for the UGA; “The mission of the Utah Golf Association is to promote and advance golf.  The Utah Golf Association provides its members with golf related benefits, supports golf-related programs, and conduct championships.”  Despite being very simple, that statement contains many concepts worth a little amplification.

Has the UGA furthered its mission in the last year?  I think so, but as the term “advance” connotes, there will always be more to do.  The old saying applies, “If you are not moving forward, you are moving backward.”  So, what have we done over the last year, and what still needs to be done?

The UGA fulfilled its obligation to conduct championships. Last year the pandemic prevented us from putting on a full slate of championships, but our staff, interns and volunteers exceed all expectations in hosting the tournaments we did.    This year we returned to a complete calendar.  We scheduled a Net Championship for early October, but not enough golfers entered to conduct a championship with four divisions.  Hopefully, the UGA can find a date more appealing to a larger number of players next season so this tournament can be held.  I believe that we should maximize the opportunities for players of different skill levels,  genders and ages, to claim the title of  UGA champion.  To that end, the UGA added a Legends Division for golfers over seventy to Winterchamps and the Senior Stroke play.

One other change bears mention.  In the Women’s Sate Amateur we expanded he match play bracket from 16 to 32 players.   This created the thrill of match play for more women players; it seemed to be a well received modification which will continue in the future.   That said, we had fewer than 70 registrants for the Women’s State Am while almost 900 registered for the State Amateur.  I hope that that gap will close in the future.

These  changes helped fulfill our obligation to advance the game in Utah through our championships.  But, you might ask, how does our Association with a full time staff of only five conduct seven men’s and eight women’s championships in a season?  (Don’t forget that the State Amateur has 11 qualifiers, the Senior Amateur 4, and the UGA conducts 9 qualifiers for the United States Golf Association).  It starts with our incredible staff.  Jake Miller, Easton Folster, Lisa Immamura, William Michetti and  Colin Clawson.  These people are dedicated to putting in the hours and effort it takes to organize and run our tournaments.

Two other groups of people are essential to running our tournaments, interns and volunteers.  Jake and Easton are perspicacious recruiters; they have done a fantastic job in hiring superb interns.  These women and men put in hours marking courses, coordinating volunteers, schlepping equipment, manning scoring areas, and doing whatever else their mentors require.   I hope you had an opportunity to read my column in Fairways Magazine because it was about our volunteers.  They work many days and long hours to ensure the players are introduced on the first tee each day, that the competitions are conducted according to the Rules of Golf, and Utah courses are rated properly so the handicap system will work as designed.   These men and women deserve thanks from all Utah golfers.

Does the UGA provide its members benefits?  Yes, and one way is by providing each member with a handicap index.  In fact, for many this is the major benefit the UGA provides its members.   Administering  the index is the exclusive province of the UGA.  Golf is a competitive game.  Bernard Darwin wrote, “It is the undying hope of improvement that makes the game so exquisitely worth the playing.”   That index is the truest measure of improvement, measured either against yourself or your opponents.  All golfers who have an index realize it is the handicap system that allows players of different skill levels to compete in a fair match with others of different skill levels.  Of course, to be effective, the handicap system must be honest, and the UGA helps professionals police the handicap system so that it is honest.

This year the UGA has decided to provide the clubs in the state another significant benefit, continued access to the Golf Genius software.  The USGA decided to cease paying for Golf Genius after 2022. Golf Genius is a  tournament software program the UGA and many courses in the state employ to efficiently run tournaments.  The UGA decided that paying for the basic Golf Genius package for courses in the state is part of its mission, and will do so through 2025.

In addition,  the UGA’s mission is to support golf related programs.  One way  it does that is through its charitable arm, the Utah Golf Foundation.  The Foundation has two very successful programs, Youth on Course and Vets on Course.  Youth on Course allows junior UGA members to play at over thirty course in the state for maximum of $5 for nine holes.   Vets on Course provides Veterans with afternoons of clinics and nine hole scrambles so veterans can associate with each other.  The UGA has helped raise money to assist these programs and provided administrative assistance  for them this  year and in the past.   (Before Youth on Course, there were approximately 900 junior members of the UGA. Now there are about 4500). Additionally, the UGA helps support the Utah Junior Golf Association and provides money to the PGA earmarked for junior golf.  The staff and board members of the UGA also enjoy a warm relationship with the First Tee of Utah.

The UGA also supports the Golf Alliance of Utah, which provides lobbying efforts and public information that protect and hopefully advance golf within the state.   As Utah grows, the Alliance, and the organizations mentioned in the preceding paragraph, are essential to encourage public entities and the public to support golf.  This is something that clearly is within the mission of the UGA.  It is also something that is within the mission of all members of the UGA.

We golfers know that our game is valuable recreation. We also know our game provides health benefits for its players.  We know our game teaches valuable lessons in honesty, fair play and courtesy toward others.  We know that most can play golf for a lifetime.  Some think that golf is only for the well to do, or is not welcoming to women and certain ethnicities.   To a degree some of that is true.   Golf will never be free.  But there are things we all can do to help golf and help the mission of the UGA.  Donate money to the UGF and The First Tee.  Donate used clubs, balls and other equipment to the First Tee at Golf the Round.  Encourage the junior at the driving range by simply saying nice shot.  Take your daughter, granddaughter or or junior of any gender to the driving range. And extol the achievements of golfers of color, particularly Utah golfers of color.  Apelila Galeai is our Women’s State Amateur Champion, Tess Blair is a former champion, Kerstin Fotu made the cut at the Utah Open, and Tony Finau won on tour and is a two time Ryder Cupper.  The game is growing in all quarters and must continue to do so.



Stewart Walz is the immediate past president of the Utah Golf Association who has completed his term on the Utah Golf Association Board of Directors.


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Scott Erling Named Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year

FARMINGTON, Utah – Following his team’s run to claim the 2022 Big Sky Conference Men’s Golf Championship in Scottsdale, Arizona, Weber State’s Scott Erling has been named Men’s Golf Coach of the Year the league office announced today.

The Wildcats won the league title by a single stroke, carding a 286 as a team in the final round of play. They outpaced Northern Colorado down the stretch of an incredibly tight tournament.

WSU also featured the league’s individual champion, as Reese Fisher finished play on top of the leaderboard by shooting a 4-under 206, including a 64 in the second round.

The squad from Ogden will be continuing their 2022 campaign in Stockton, California at NCAA Regional competition with a chance to qualify for the NCAA National Championships.

Erling, who serves as the Director of Golf for Weber State, started coaching with the Wildcats in January of 2012. He was a four-year letterwinner at Utah State University as a collegiate athlete.

This is Erling’s first Big Sky Men’s Golf Coach of the Year honor, and the first for Weber State since the league brought back the sport. WSU’s last men’s golf coach of the year was in 2002 when Dave Kearl earned the title.


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Round two of the Copper Rock Championship

By Kurt Kragthorpe

Kendra Dalton says she’s a better golfer than ever. That statement covers last season, when her third missed cut of the Epson Tour schedule didn’t come until September.

Now that she has failed to play the final round in three of five tournaments in 2022, including the Copper Rock Championship, she recognizes that her degree of self-belief lacks supporting evidence on her scorecards.

The numbers added up to 77 and 78 for the former BYU golfer this week at Copper Rock Golf Course, the second-year host of the event presented by Friday’s variable weather pattern in Hurricane produced cold, windy, rainy and, finally, sunny conditions just before sunset. By then, it was too late for Dalton and Haley Sturgeon to rally and earn a place in the final-round field Saturday, when conditions are expected to be much more pleasant.

Sturgeon, an assistant pro at The Country Club in Salt Lake City, performed better in the second round to extend her trend of last April, when she also received a sponsor exemption into the LPGA Tour-brand stop at Copper Rock. Sturgeon (81-76) bogeyed the last two holes Friday, after a birdie on the par-4 No. 13 (No. 6 for regular play) had tied her with Dalton, an Epson Tour regular.

Emma Broze, a former Oklahoma State golfer from France, has posted 73-68 for a 3-under-par total and a two-stroke lead over three players. The rest of the field is over par for the tournament.

The cut came at 8 over par, four shots higher than last year (before the wind became the story of the final round and scores soared). Dalton missed by three strokes this week, even though she played the back nine in even par for two days.

Defending champion Bailey Tardy (78-75) missed by one shot, thanks to a bogey on the par-4 No. 17 (usually No. 10), where she partially shanked a short-iron approach shot into a bunker that’s seemingly not even in play on the other side of the creek from the green.

Two former amateur stars advanced, though. In her pro debut, 17-year-old Alexa Pano (79-73) made the cut on the number. Gabriela Ruffels, the 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion, bounced back from an 81 with a 66 that included an eagle on the par-4 No. 10 (usually No. 3), where she drove the green.

As for Dalton, she bogeyed six of the first 11 holes Friday in a round that seemed doomed from the start, even while a 75 would have been sufficient to keep playing. Heavy rain stopped just in time for Dalton to tee off in the mid-afternoon, but cost her a warmup session. Her tee shot on the par-5 No. 1 went into the desert to the right of the fairway, leading to a bogey. Dalton’s iron game was off all day, although she was more disappointed with a short game that’s “really killing me” and couldn’t overcome those ball-striking issues.

“I feel like I’m better than I’ve ever been,” Dalton said, “but I’m not scoring.”

So she’ll travel to Garden City, Kansas, next week, hoping that the remaining three-fourths of the tour schedule will evoke better results. “Everything’s there,” she said of her game. “You just keep moving forward and learning. I know it sounds crazy, but I know it’s there, and I’m going to do it.”

Sturgeon also left Copper Rock feeling encouraged, while wishing she could have done more with her limited tour exposure for 2022. “I have the game,” she said. “It’s mental, and then it’s just accepting the elements. And, I think, belief in yourself is a big part of it.”

She’ll keep working on her game and on her Class A PGA membership. Sturgeon wants to use that status to become eligible for the Utah Section PGA Player of the Year award. She means overall, not only among female pros, as a three-time Women’s Player of the Year.