Author: Jesse Dodson
Imagine starting one-under through five holes and finding yourself four-down in your match. That’s what Utah Section PGA Match Play defending champion Davis Garner faced in the 2018 championship match against Chris Moody at Hubbard Golf Course Wednesday, May 23rd.
Moody, assistant professional at Riverside CC, started with five-consecutive birdies, which included a 35-foot bomb on the par-three third.
“You know, sometimes in golf you get in those grooves,” Moody said. “It’s what you always hope for. Sometimes you can get on those little grooves and I was fortunate to do that.”
Garner fought back with birdies on holes 7 and 9 to make the turn at only two-down, but Moody would continue to birdie every other hole until the match ended 3&2 in Moody’s favor on the 16th hole.
This is Moody’s fourth time winning the Utah Section PGA Match Play Championship. He won three years in-a-row from 2013-2015 and has found himself in the winner’s circle once again for 2018.
“I don’t treat it any differently, I think it suits my game,” Moody said about match play. “I’m not much of a scrambler, I’m more conservative; just hit it in the fairway, hit on the green and I think some guys I just wear down a little bit. Just get them down and just keep hitting fairways and greens.”
“It’s always nice to win this one, it’s a major championship we have for the Utah Section. It’s always a bonus.”
Willow Creek CC Head Professional Eric Nielsen has flirted with a Utah Section PGA Senior Match Play Championship title the last three years and finally sealed the deal at Hubbard GC.
Nielsen faced Scott Brandt, head professional at Bloomington CC, in the championship match and went 17 holes before winning 2&1.
Nielsen was three-up with five to play when Brandt got one back to make things interesting down the closing stretch. However, Brandt couldn’t keep his momentum going when he missed a slippery five-footer on the 8th hole (their 17th).
“I hit the driver good all week,” Nielsen said, “but I think most of all I putted as good as I’ve putted for three days in-a-row. I felt really confident with the pace and the speed; with these greens that’s half the battle.”
A big thanks to Hubbard GC and their staff for hosting the 2018 Utah Section PGA Match Play Championship and to VLCM for sponsoring.