Bond between brothers is undeniable, but they're still competitive The bond between brothers Clay and Cole Ogden is positively undeniable.
Anyone who's ever seen the two Top of Utah golfers knows the Ogden boys are tighter than a bag crammed with 17 clubs (that's well over the legal limit, for those who've not yet fell under the game's spell).
"Not only is he my brother, he's one of my best friends," Cole, the younger of the two, said of his big brother last summer.
Cole made that comment during the 2012 Utah State Amateur, after Clay served as his caddy.
Since last summer, Cole, 21, has refined his game and taken it to a higher level. The biggest highlight came last month when he won the 2013 State Am at Soldier Hollow.
Before this year it was obvious Cole had the physical game but he needed to go through a mental maturation process, something not altogether uncommon for developing young golfers.
"He's doing really well," said Clay, who'll turn 29 next month. "He's just become a little more consistent. His attitude's a little bit different. He started playing well and the confidence started rolling. It's kind of taken off from there."
Undoubtedly, the example -- and words of counsel -- from his big brother played a key role in that transformation.
Fortunately, both Ogden boys will compete at the Utah Open later this week at Oakridge Country Club.
Clay, a professional, is a two-time champ.
Cole, a junior-to-be at BYU, qualified again this year as an amateur.
The two played together in a pro-am Monday morning, which must've been a wonderful thing see.
In fact, Clay said as much late Monday afternoon near the Oakridge practice green.
The Utah Open's benefiting charity is the Special Olympics and in the moments after the annual "Special Olympics Short Game Challenge," Clay happily offered an impromptu putting lesson to his playing partner long after most everyone else had gone home. Only after he'd finished the lesson and thoughtfully answered each ensuing question did Ogden finally come off the green for a chat with an awaiting reporter.
That was fine with me because simply watching the interaction was a joy.
Hearing him speak of his little brother was gratifying, too.
The No. 1 question: Can he beat you?
"Yeah, he's been beating me like crazy this year," Clay said. "He's beaten me as often I used to beat him."
Clay joked that he had to increase the time he spends practicing, just to keep it close.
At least I think he was joking.
"When little bro starts beating you, it's a little bit irritating, I'm not gonna lie," he said.
Little bro has been having one heck of a year. Of local note, he won the Glen Eagle Amateur as well as the Valley View Amateur; then, of course, there was the State Am title.
Clay said he wanted to be there at Solider Hollow that day but was in Sandy playing