By Beaux Yenchik, UGA Intern
Millcreek, UT – It is not every day that one gets to see PGA Professionals and amateurs battle it out in Ryder-Cup fashion.
TalonsCove Golf Club, located in Saratoga Springs, was home to the 2018 Governor’s Cup on Tuesday – an annual event dating back to 1984. For a match-up that has been primarily dominated by Utah PGA Section Pros, the top Utah Golf Association amateurs have been trending – winning three times in the last four years. Yet, it was Devin Dehlin’s crew that retained the trophy and bragging rights for another year – winning by a score of 18-14.
Teams Navy and Salmon began the day with foursome matches in a reverse-shotgun format. With several matches coming down to the wire as they went back and forth throughout the 18 holes, the PGA Section came out on top and headed into lunch with a 5-3 lead. Randy Hicken & Brett Sampson (2 and 1), Andy Hess & Zach Jones (6 and 5), and Patrick Murphy & Steven Croft (3 and 2) were the three victorious groups for the UGA that morning.
“Just keep it in play and making a few putts [is] what it comes down to,” Sampson said.
Following what felt like a gourmet meal, the players headed back out into the heat for their afternoon four-ball and individual matches. With the course drying out just a touch compared to the morning, the field looked to keep up the high quality of play.
Winning their only format of the three, the amateurs representing the UGA took the four-ball section by a score of 4 ½ - 3 ½. Ron Davis & Hicken split their match with Ryan Rhees & Brad Stone, securing a half-point. Brigham Gibbs & Sampson defeated Eric Nielsen & Stu Nelson 4 and 3 to grab a full point for the UGA. Andy Hess & Jake Godfrey picked up a point in a 2 and 1 victory over Matt Baird & Tele Wightman. Dan Horner & Darrin Overson – the UGA’s last two Mid-Amateur champions – took it to Chris Moody & Tommy Sharp 3 and 1. Then, the David Jennings & Zach Jones duo rounded out the points by going 4 and 3 over Casey Fowkes & Joe Barton.
“We just didn’t make too many mistakes [and] kind of let our opponents make [the] mistakes,” Jennings stated.
Then, just like every Ryder Cup finale, the show ended with a bang as the players faced off in one-one-one matches – perhaps the hardest format as each match holds the worth of one whole point. In the end, it was the pros that prevailed by taking the individual matches, 9 ½ - 6 ½, and the Governor’s Cup.
Yet, Team UGA had three stalwarts Tuesday who produced points in every single format of the competition: Sampson, Hess and Jones. The three players contributed to eight of the possible 14 points made by the amateurs in the tournament – Hess and Jones were partnered in their foursome match, thus contributing only one point between the two of them for that particular format.
With this victory, the Utah PGA Section increases their overall series lead to 25-8-2 with the results of 2006 not being available.
We here at the UGA would like to congratulate those members of the Utah PGA Section who participated.
For complete results, view pictures below.