The 50th Pacific Coast Amateur Championship, hosted by the Washington State and Pacific Northwest golf associations, will take place at historic Seattle Golf Club from July 26-29, 2016.
A world-class roster of amateur competitors will be taking part in the 72-hole, four-day stroke play competition in the hopes of raising the Dr. Ed Updegraff Trophy as champion.
Founded in 1900 with a 1996 redesign by Arnold Palmer, Seattle Golf Club has a history well deserving of hosting the Pacific Coast Amateur’s 50th installment, including the 1952 U.S. Amateur, 1961 Walker Cup, 1981 U.S. Senior Amateur and three Pacific Coast Amateurs (1967, 1987, 1999).
“Seattle Golf Club is going to be a fantastic venue for our 50th year,” stated Troy Andrew, executive director of the Pacific Coast Golf Association, the organizing body for the championship. “Not only are we excited to see the 50th event in our history get underway, but I think the club is just as excited to see their picturesque property hold up against the world’s best amateurs.”
The field is headlined by 2015 Trans-Miss champion Collin Morikawa of La Canada-Flintridge, Calif., the World No. 1-ranked amateur according to Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking. Morikawa, a sophomore at UC-Berkeley, has quickly shot up the world rankings since finishing T27 at the Pacific Coast Amateur in Eugene one year ago.
Not to be forgotten as an early favorite is two-time Trans-Miss and U.S. Junior champion Will Zalatoris of Plano, Tex. Playing in the Pacific Coast Amateur for the second consecutive year, the Wake Forest standout ranked 13th by Scratch Players is hoping to build off an impressive T4 showing in last year’s championship to add another title to his growing résumé.
Past champion Corey Pereira of Cameron Park, Calif.; Rico Hoey of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.; Derek Bayley of Rathdrum, Idaho; and Woodlands, Texas native Frederick Wedel round out the early top-100 North American favorites.
This year’s Pacific Coast Amateur again has an incredibly strong international presence, with representation from seven different countries outside of North America, including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, England, the Philippines, Thailand and the Republic of South Korea. Many players with international backgrounds sit within the top-100 in the world.
Leading the way for the international contingent is a familiar face in KK Limbhasut of Bangkok, Thailand. Limbhasut held his own on a jam-packed leaderboard of talent at last year’s event, finishing 19th and is sure to be a favorite come Friday afternoon.
Other international players of note with accomplishments garnering Presidential Invitations into the field are a quartet of Australians including 2015 PNGA Men’s Amateur champion Anthony Quayle of the Gold Coast, 2015 Australian Amateur champion Cameron Davis of Sydney, Brett Coletta of Melbourne and Ferntree Gully’s Cameron John. There are a total of 10 players from Australia in the field.
Eight Washington residents will be competing in the field, including Andrew Whalen of Ephrata, Tom Brandes of Bellevue, Frank Garber of Kirkland, Eric Ansett of Spokane, Alistair Docherty of Vancouver, and a trio of Seattleites in Chris Babcock, Mike Wagner and Shawn McEachern. A Seattle Golf Club member, McEachern gained entry to the field by way of winning the Seattle Golf Club host qualifying spot.
All players will be vying for the individual Ed Updegraff Trophy, named after the longtime volunteer and standout amateur golfer who played on three Walker Cup teams (1963, 1965, 1969), won the inaugural Pacific Coast Amateur title at Seattle Golf Club in 1967 and was the 1999 Bob Jones Award recipient from the USGA.
Taking place concurrently with the first and second rounds will be the battle for the Morse Cup, a 36-hole stroke-play team competition using predetermined rosters representing the 15 member associations of the Pacific Coast Golf Association.
Representing the Washington State Golf Association are Ansett, Garber and Whalen.
Ansett, a former 4A high school state champion, is a junior at Lipscomb University (in Tennessee). Garber, who will be a junior at the University of Washington, was named the 2012 and 2013 WSGA Junior Boys’ Player of the Year, the 2013 PNGA Junior Boys’ Player of the Year, and last week made it to the Round of 16 at the 115th PNGA Men’s Amateur. Whalen, a senior at Northwestern, was runner-up at last week’s PNGA Men’s Amateur, and earlier this year qualified for and played in the 2016 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball.
Play for the 72-hole stroke play championship will begin on Tuesday, July 26 at 7:30 a.m. with practice rounds and a players’ banquet being held on Monday, July 25. Play will conclude with the individual champion being crowned on Friday, July 29.
Held on an annual basis since 1967, with roots dating back to 1901, the Pacific Coast Amateur Championship boasts a rich history of showcasing some of the most talented golfers in the United States and Canada.
Past champions of the Pacific Coast Amateur who have gone on to successful professional careers include PGA Tour winners Billy Mayfair (1987, 1988), Jason Gore (1997) and Ben Crane (1998) as well as Web.com Tour winners and brothers Michael Putnam (2004) and Andrew Putnam (2010). The last player to win at Seattle Golf Club was Ryan LaVoie in 1999.
For more information on the championship, visit www.pacificcoastamateur.com. Spectators and media are welcome to attend with entrance being free of charge.
ABOUT THE PACIFIC COAST AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP
The Pacific Coast Amateur Championship is one of the oldest and most prestigious amateur golf championships in North America. The first tournament was held on the links of San Francisco Golf Club at The Presidio in 1901. After being played until 1911, The Pacific Coast Amateur then ceased to exist, only to be reconstituted at Seattle Golf Club in 1967. Today, 15 member Pacific Rim golf associations comprise the Pacific Coast Golf Association.