MIDWAY — The golfers who play in this year's Utah State Amateur at Soldier Hollow Golf Course will be getting a sneak preview of how the course will play for next year's U.S. Public Links Amateur, the first USGA event ever to come to Utah.
The 113th edition of the Men's State Amateur will be played next week, July 6-10, at Soldier Hollow with 288 golfers competing for 32 match play spots. By Sunday, June 10, just two golfers will be left to compete in a 36-hole final.
"It's great to have the State Amateur here for the third time," said Soldier Hollow head professional Chris Newson at Wednesday's Media Day. "We are glad to have it back."
The State Am was contested at Soldier Hollow in 2006 and again in 2008. Tony Finau defeated Daniel Summerhays in 2006, while Dan Horner beat Devin Daniels in 2008.
This will be the first State Amateur for new Utah Golf Association director Bill Walker.
He said he's "honored to be part of the event" and said he was attracted to the job because of the long and storied history of the tournament as the longest continuing golf tournament in the world.
Horner toured the course Wednesday and said he's excited the State Am is returning to Solider Hollow. Also playing Wednesday were former champion Todd Barker and former runner-up Kirk Siddens.
Because Soldier Hollow has two courses, the Silver and Gold, the State Am field is nearly doubled with 288 contestants.
Last year's champion, Joe Parkinson, won't be back to defend his title, as he is serving an LDS mission.
The U.S. Publinks event will be played July 12-17, 2012, on the Gold Course at Soldier Hollow.
Newson said in preparation for the national tournament that several new tees have been built and the course is being mowed differently. Also there is new sand in the bunkers and the collar widths around the greens have been cut back.