16-year old Ian Siebers leads strong local showing at U.S. Amateur

The local flavor runs deep at the 118th U.S. Amateur Championship, being held this week at Pebble Beach Golf Links and Spyglass Hill Golf Course in Pebble Beach, Calif.

The 7th hole at Pebble Beach Golf Links as seen on May 4, 2017 in Pebble Beach, CA. (USGA/Kirk H. Owens)

A whopping six golfers from Washington, joined by reigning WSGA Men’s Player of the Year Derek Bayley of Rathdrum, Idaho, look to bring home one of the most coveted trophies in the game, the Havemeyer Trophy.

Click here for complete coverage of the 118th U.S. Amateur Championship.

Meet the competitors:

Derek Bayley (Rathdrum, Idaho)

This is the first U.S. Amateur appearance for Bayley who was named the 2017 WSGA Men’s Player of the Year, after finishing second in the Washington State Men’s Amateur and runner-up in the PNGA Men’s Amateur. He is a recent graduate of Washington State University, where he starred all four years on the men’s golf team and recently won the Rosauers Open Invitational for the second straight year, competing against the region’s top PGA professionals.

Joe Highsmith (Lakewood, Wash.)

Highsmith is a recent graduate of Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma, and will be playing for Pepperdine University in the fall. In 2017 he was the youngest to ever win the WSGA Men’s State Amateur and was named the WSGA Junior Boys’ Player of the Year (for the second consecutive year). Last month prior to competing for the WSGA in the Pacific Coast Amateur Morse Cup competition, he played in his fourth consecutive U.S. Junior Amateur and advanced to the quarterfinals in that championship.

Eric Ansett (Spokane, Wash.)

Ansett is a recent graduate from Lipscomb University in Tennessee, where he was named the Atlantic Sun Conference Men’s Golf Scholar-Athlete of the Year two years in a row (2017 and 2018). He was runner-up in the 2018 Tennessee State Open, finished 3rd in the 2018 Northeast Amateur and represented the WSGA in the 2018 Pacific Coast Amateur Morse Cup Competition, helping to secure the WSGA team victory.

Ian Siebers (Bellevue, Wash.)

The 16-year-old Siebers was a member of the four-person Team Washington that won the 2016 Junior Americas Cup, held that year in Mexico. Earlier this summer Siebers won the AJGA Amino Vital Championship in North Carolina and finished T9 at the Junior PGA Championship after holding the second-round clubhouse lead. He won the 2018 WJGA Eastern Open, and won a WJGA Sub-District qualifier by shooting an 8-under-par 64.

Chase Carlson (Tacoma, Wash.)

Carlson, a member of the Colorado Christian University men’s golf team, won the 2016 Washington State Amateur and represented the WSGA as a member of the Morse Cup team at the 2017 Pacific Coast Amateur.

Chris Hatch (Mukilteo, Wash.)

Hatch graduated from Western Washington University in 2017, where he played all four years on the men’s golf team, and was named a GNAC All Star all four years and First Team All-GNAC for three years. He set a GNAC record for 119 rounds played. He played in the inaugural U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship in 2015.

Jacob Koppenberg (Bellingham, Wash.)

This is the fourth U.S. Amateur that Koppenberg has qualified for, having previously made it in 2008, 2015 and 2017. He played collegiately at Western Washington University in Bellingham. As a college player, he was the 2008 and 2009 GNAC Player of the Year and a two-time All-American after transferring from the University of Idaho. He is now a volunteer assistant coach for the school’s men’s golf team, helping them to back-to-back GNAC championships in 2016 and 2017.