Professional golfer and St. George native Jay Don Blake to be inducted into Utah Sports Hall of Fame

Jay Don Blake sinks a birdie putt on the 10th green to win a 4-man, five-hole playoff at the Songdo IBD, Incheon, South Korea, Sept. 18, 2011 | File photo courtesy of Jay Don Blake

ST. GEORGE — It has been announced that Jay Don Blake, a St. George native and graduate of Dixie High School, will be inducted into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame in September.

The former Utah State Aggie won the 1980 individual NCAA championship and then moved into the professional ranks where he won seven events.

Blake said he is honored to be included in the Utah Sports Hall of Fame class of 2020.

“I’m a little bit surprised because from accomplishments throughout your career, your life or what you did in your profession, I guess they reward you with the Hall of Fame,” Blake said. “I’m pretty pleased, excited about it and very much so honored to be selected as one of the Hall of Fame members that will be inducted this year. That’s pretty exciting news.”

Blake said he’s been looking back on his accomplishments throughout his career.

Blake had a prestigious career that then rolled over into college at Utah State. After winning the individual NCAA Championship in 1980, he was named NCAA golf player of the year in 1981. As a pro, Blake won the Shearson Lehman Brothers Open on the PGA tour in 1991 and then finished tied for sixth in the PGA Tour in 1992. He’s also finished tied for 13 in the PGA Championship and tied for 27 in the Masters.

Jay Don Blake, Interstate Batteries Utah State Long Drive at Coral Canyon Golf Course, Washington, Utah, Jun. 14, 2014 | File photo by Dave Amodt, St, George News

He’s also won three events on the Champions Tour and finished his career with seven professional wins.

“With my age and the way things are, you get to the point where you have to pass the baton to someone else or pass things down the next generation,” Blake said. “You get to the point where you retire in your life and you move on. This point here is going to be a thing where our family can get together and relive all of the stuff I’ve done in my career.”

Blake is most excited to celebrate his enshrinement into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame with his family and with the other members of the class of 2020. He said he is looking forward to talking with other athletes who succeeded at a high level in their sports and learn about their experiences.

In regard to the city of St. George, Blake mentioned that growing up, he played on a small nine-hole course. And for much of his young life, there was no golf course in town. He said the whole community has banned together around golf since then, and it has been fun for him to see the city grow into what it is today.

“I’m partial to golf, but I almost feel like golf actually helped and made this town become and grow to what it is,” Blake said.

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