Sometimes a journalist’s job is challenging because they are having trouble pulling words from their sources (and yes, I’m using journalist in the loosest possible sense of the word.) But other times, a writer finds that rare moment when there is so much good fodder, the hardest part is deciding what pieces make the cut because everything just seems so good. And sometimes, one walks the tightrope trying to straddle the line of appropriateness and unmitigated awkwardness in an interview.

It was a combination of the latter when I interviewed Mountain West Business Finance BDO Judson “Juddy” Blakessley and MWSBF Intern Ben Clifford about Mountain West’s 2014 Golf Tournament. We’ll start with the niceties and then brace yourselves. –Sabrena Suite-Mangum


The Winners of the Mountain West Small Business Finance Golf Tournament, Friday August 22, 2014:

 1st Place: Chase Bank, Ryan Benson, Brian Tehran, Ryan Woodward, Finn Robbins

2nd Place: Cache Valley Bank, Tyler Low, Brent Wallis, Bruce Jensen, Roger Low

3rd Place: Bank of the West, Mark Haslam, Brian Clegg, Jared Silverio, Dave Hanks

 Long Drive: Spencer Richins, Bank of Utah

Female Long Drive: Jae Smith

Female Closest to the Hole: Jae Smith

Men’s Closest: Manuel Bueno, Meadows Bank


Sabrena: I saw some photos from the event, and noticed the Mountain West Caddie service was once again in full-effect.


Judd Blakesley: Over the past few years, ever since we integrated the Caddie service, the Mountain West Tournament has been commonly called a “Mini Masters” or even “The minor league Masters of SLC.”

 [Editor’s note: Repeated google searches provided no such results or references. -SSM]

 JB: As a Caddie it’s simply an honour to zip up the jumpsuit and snap on the cap… and then to be compared to Augusta National, well, that just tickles me pink.

 SSM: Nobody is comparing it to Augusta, Juddy…

 Ben Clifford: The ”Most Able to Pull off a Caddie Uniform” is a three way tie: Judd “Plustache” Blakesley; Keler “The Jet” Rodriguez-Soffe; and Robert “Big Time Bob” Edminster. 

Even though Robert didn’t award us with his presence as a caddie for the MWSBF World Open, his suit wearing days will be etched in the history books. Few witnessed the fabled display, but those who did will never forget. It is told that the combination of the stimulating facial hair and the official dress of an on-course golf manager made married men jealous across the intermountain west; even the galvanized zipper couldn’t hold up to the expectations implemented by Roberto’s dignified alter ego. 

 JB: Caddie of the year goes to Ben [Clifford], as an intern he extended his stay just long enough to be able to help out with the tournament.  This year’s best hole was the Long Drive which featured MLB styled “walk-up” music which played while players warmed up for their hit.  Ben compiled the playlist and made everyone a better hitter, all while cleaning their clubs. 

SSM: Yes, I heard the walk-up music was a new and welcomed addition to this year’s event. Additionally, I understand  Keller [Soffe Mountain West Vice President and Loan Officer] also setup sound effects for each golfer?

JB: He nailed it with his zips and zings. 

SSM: And the Caddie’s facial hair: if memory serves, is not new – but part of the caddie tradition?

BC: Judd rocks the upper-lip dressing like no one in history. A universal symbol of authority and raw manhood, his thick, red, arresting mustache is a beacon of hope and prosperity, showing evil-doers the path to righteousness while allowing children to believe in hero’s. He has appropriately earned the designation of “Plustache”.

SSM: (Shifting somewhat uncomfortably in my seat.) Yes, let’s move on. We’ve got the list of the winners, but any other notable performances, on or off the green, you’d like to mention?

 Judd: MVP of the MWSBF World Open goes to Danny Mangum [Mountain West Vice President and Loan Officer].  Day in and day out Danny is the Caddie willing to flag and spot the long drives on the Bell Hole.  This year, Danny was hit in the chest by a ball as he dove to stop a ball from going out of bounds.  That sort of dedication usually goes unnoticed.

BEN: Agreed. Although the green jacket is reserved for players, I believe that Danny deserves the award for most outstanding member of the 2014 MWSBF World Tour by showing his passion and dedication to the sport. Some may call him a hero, but we can all agree that he succeeded in his climb to becoming legendary. In a feat that will be remembered forever, Danny “The Great Wall” Mangum took a line-drive to the chest and walked away unscathed.

 SSM:  OK, I think I’m about ready to close up the interview. Any other bright moments, or final thoughts for our interview?

 BC: The highlight would be seeing all the smiles and love given and received. The world open is more than marketing or giving back to the community; it’s about golfing.

Sabrena Suite-Mangum

MWSBF blogger