Ogden advances to State Am match play

Jul 19 2012 - 11:02pm

SALT LAKE CITY -- Sure, some light rain fell Thursday afternoon as West Point's Cole Ogden completed the stroke play portion of the 114th annual Utah State Amateur. But it was hardly enough to dampen the man's spirits, especially considering he'd all but sewn up a spot in today's match play event.

Ogden, a BYU sophomore, shot a 2-over-par 74 at the Salt Lake Country Club and finished in a tie for sixth place as the second day of the tradition-rich state golf tournament wrapped up.

Thursday's score, coupled with Wednesday's 1-under 71, gave Ogden a two-day total of 145, placing him in the top half of the match play bracket.

Although he was 3-over after 10 holes, the former All-Region 1 standout at Syracuse High School settled in, birdied twice on his back nine and finished his round with a conservatively-played par on the final hole.

"Obviously I wanted to still play like I did yesterday and shoot under par," Ogden said. "But it got a little windy towards the end and on that last hole, obviously (I didn't want to) do anything stupid."

BYU freshman Devon Purser, a former teammate of Ogden's at Syracuse, finished as the stroke-play medalist, following up Wednesday's 70 with a second-round 68.

Purser, Ogden and former Region 1 standouts Patrick Fishburn (Fremont) and Zac Blair (Fremont) -- all teammates at BYU -- advanced to match play, which begins today.

Purser will face off against at 9:05 a.m.; Blair will meet Gentry Hicks at 9:25; Ogden will take on Christian Jensen beginning at 9:30 and Fishburn will go against Tanner Hingham at 9:55.

For Ogden, a key element of Thursday's round was his older brother, Clay.

Clay Ogden, a PGA professional and two-time winner of the Utah Open, is playing the role of caddie for his younger brother this week.

With knowledge, experience and big-brother leadership, Clay helped Cole keep calm throughout the day.

"Not only is he my brother, he's one of my best friends," Cole said.

Although they're nearly eight years apart in age, it was clear Thursday the Ogden brothers formed a good team.

Clay did much more than just carry the bag and clear clubs, that's for sure. He took an active role in helping read each putting surface and could been seen offering a pep talk or two, especially on the back nine.

"He's helped a lot; more than I thought he would," Cole said with a shy smile.

Specifically, Cole mentioned a time when he was determined to hit a 7-iron and Clay convinced him to club down to an 8.

"It worked out perfect," Cole said.

Cole Ogden started off on The Country Club's 10th tee just before 1 p.m. and bogeyed two of the first five holes. He finally carded a birdie on No. 15, but bogeyed again on No. 18.

The weather was warm and sunny early on but as he made the turn the sky became overcast and the wind kicked up.

Playing hole No. 6 -- a challenging, uphill par 3 -- Cole fired a tee shot that appeared to reach the green. When the Ogden brothers finally hiked up the hill they saw Cole's ball sitting in deep rough just off the green.

Needing at least par to regain some confidence, Cole offered up a soft little chip shot that eased up to the hole and nearly dropped in before settling a few inches away.

He tapped in for a par and calmly moved on to the next hole.

When reminded of those few anxious moments after the round, Clay smiled proudly and said his kid brother definitely knows how to handle a sand wedge.

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