Utah Senior Match Play: Poulsen comes from behind for the victory

SYRACUSA, UT (May 27, 2010) -- Steve Poulson won the last three holes to edge Jeff Powars for the UGA Senior Match Play Championship Friday at Glen Eagle and Brent Tidwell dug out of a big early hole to come from behind to win the Super Senior Division and dash the hopes of ‘upset kid’ Sterling Larsen, 3 and 2. In the Net Division Val Cahoon defeated Gus Stribakos, 5 and 4.

Poulson and Powars had parried all day until Powars took the only 2-up lead of the match with only three holes to play.

On the 16th hole Powars, hitting from the rough, came up short of the green, and then missed a putt to post a rare bogey to cut his lead to one with two to play. The committee had shortened the par four 17th hole to a tantalizing risk-reward situation. Poulson chose not to take the risk and hit an 8-iron layup instead of going for the green. Powars went for the green and knocked it in the water and that squared the match going into the par five final hole.

Powars hit his drive in the rough and couldn’t reach the green in two. Poulson knew that he could gain an advantage if he could clear the bunker between him and the hole, but the bunker was 233 yards away and that required maximum distance from his trusty four-wood. This time he took the gamble, cleared the bunker and made birdie likely. Powars missed his birdie effort and Poulson sank a three- footer to win the title.

He reached the title match by defeating Dan Parkinson, Dave Fischer, Bill Probst, and Mike Hacker. He also won the title in 2007 at Wingpointe, defeating Al Simkins in the final match.

In the Super Senior Division championship match Brent Tidwell bogeyed the first four holes and found himself three down against underdog Sterling Larsen. Realizing that in match play ’bogeys are losers and pars are winners’ he settled down and finished the front nine with five straight pars and squared the match at the turn.

Tidwell took the lead on the tenth with a birdie and then won 13 and 15 with pars to close out Larsen, 3 and 2. Larsen parred his way into the finals, defeating Greg Fraser 2 and 1, and then upsetting Dave Hansen and Rich Gibbons with 2 and 1 verdicts.

Tidwell’s route to the title included wins over John Pappas, 5 and 4; Heber Jacobsen, 3 and 2; defending champion Dick Peacock, 1-up; and Larsen, 3 and 2.

Val Cahoon won the Net Division with a 3 and 2 win over Lee Garner, 5 and 4 over Al Krahenbuhl, a forfeit win over Scott Burt, and the 5 and 4 win over Gus Stribakos.

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