By Mike Sorensen and Megan Huntsman
Brett Sampson grew up in San Diego, played golf at Southern Utah University and, for a while, made his living as a professional golfer. Like many golfers, he had dreams of making the big time, and from 1989 to 2001, he traveled all over the world, mostly playing on the Asian Tour as well as mini-tours. As he neared the age of 40, he decided it was time to settle down, so he got his real estate license and began making his living in the real estate business in St. George. He got his amateur status back and has made his mark on Utah golf, particularly on the senior circuit since turning 50 five years ago.
While the long-hitting 55-year-old has won several senior tournaments, including two-time low amateur at the Utah Senior Open, Sampson had never won the Utah Senior State Amateur Championship, formerly known as the Utah Senior Match Play Championship. But Brett stole the show in the Championship Division at the Utah Senior State Amateur Southern Utah qualifier at Sunbrook Golf Course in St. George. Sampson played a steady round with 16 pars, one bogey and one birdie, including a miraculous par, after having lost and found his ball twice from the left rocks on The Pointe’s No. 6 that could have derailed his round. Sampson carded even-par 72 to earn medalist honors and qualify for match play at Jeremy Ranch, Tuhaye and Glenwild.
Sampson captured the Utah Senior State Amateur by winning five matches, including the 18-hole final against close friend Kirk Siddens. Siddens won the first two holes, 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 holes 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. 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 birdie before Siddens squared the match at 16, setting up the deciding 18th hole.
In addition to his Senior State Am victory, Brett earned Low Senior at the Utah Mid-Amateur at Wasatch Mountain Golf Course in Midway, Utah, by one stroke over runners-up Kirk Siddens and Brigham Gibbs. Sampson posted two-under 70 during the first round and 73 (+1) in the second round. He carded a bogey-free final round of six-under 66 to finish at the head of the Senior Division leaderboard with a 54-hole total of 209.
The cherry on top of Sampson’s fruitful year was alongside Kirk Siddens at the 2017 Utah Four-Ball Championship hosted by Victory Ranch. The duo took home the Senior Division title with a two-day total of 66-65—131 for a six-stroke win over Ron Davis and Randy Hicken.
“I feel like there is an imbalance in the way people approach the golf game. There is nearly one-hundred percent focus on the physical mechanics and nearly no time spent on the mind and how it influences our results. I chose over the last couple of years to have a better balance of studying the mind and its effects on my results and working with my teacher, Corey Badger, who is a great teacher. I believe the success I had this past year is a direct result of bringing the importance of the mindset in balance with the importance of mechanics.”