PARK CITY — Brett Sampson and Kirk Siddens are good friends who play in Fourball tournaments as partners and compete on the same 8-man senior team for Wasatch Mountain.
But on Wednesday at Glenwild Golf Club, the two 54-year-olds were fighting like crazy to see who would prevail at the Utah Senior State Amateur Championship. The pair battled for 18 holes, going back and forth before Siddens had an unfortunate break on the final hole to hand Sampson the victory, his first in the match play event.
“It feels really good to win,” said Sampson, who works in real estate in Payson. “This one wasn’t easy, but I just stayed patient.”
The two golfers had come to the 456-yard par-4 18th hole all square after Siddens had tied the match at No. 16. Siddens hit his approach shot to the 18th green, a little to the right and it caught the top edge of a bunker and his ball plugged right next to the lip, so much that the ball was barely visible.
“It was really tough, the toughest break I’ve ever had in a tournament,” Siddens said. “It was buried. I’ve had plenty of bad breaks in this game — everybody does — but that was probably the worst I’ve ever had. There was no way to get it out. If it was six inches farther, it gets over the bunker.”
Siddens couldn’t get out on his first try and barely got out on his second, into the long grass near the green. Meanwhile, Sampson had played to the middle of the green after seeing Siddens go in the sand and when his fifth shot slid by the hole, Siddens conceded the hole.
“I got fortunate on 18 — he got a bad break,” said Sampson. “I was just aiming at the middle of the green and it worked out.”
“It’s the toughest loss I’ve ever had, period,” said Siddens, who won the event in 2013 and 2014. “To have that happen on the last hole is very disappointing. But that’s golf.”
Siddens won the first two holes of the match, only to have Sampson come back and win three straight holes, Sampson won No. 7 with an eagle and was 2 up at the turn. Siddens came back to tie the match with wins at the 10th and 12th hole and looked to be in shape to win 13 when his approach landed eight feet behind the hole. However, Sampson stuck his approach to within six inches and won the hole when Siddens putt unexpectedly broke to the right.
Then after Siddens won 14 with a par, he looked to be ready to square the match at 15 when he hit his second shot within three feet. However, Sampson rolled in a 30-foot downhill putt for a birdie.
St. George’s Mike Hacker won the Super Senior Division for golfers 65 and older with a 2-up victory over Dave Fischer. The 66-year-old Hacker never trailed in the match, going up with a birdie at No. 2 and another at No. 5. He was still 2 up after 14, but Fischer won 15 and 16 to square the match. However, Hacker won 17 with a par and closed out the match on 18.
South Jordan’s Mark Monsen won the net title with a 2-up victory over Bret Hancock.