Kalispel Golf and Country Club in Spokane, Wash. is the venue this week for the 61st Washington State Men’s Best-Ball and 24th Senior Men’s Best-Ball. The two championships are being held concurrently and are conducted by the Washington State Golf Association (WSGA).
The 36-hole championships are being competed over two days with starting times off the No. 1 and No. 10 tees. The two championships will see a combined field of 84 two-man teams competing in a four-ball stroke play format.
Last year’s champions in both events are back in 2017 to defend their titles. In the men’s championship, Ben Garrett and Erik Olson, both of Seattle, again pose a formidable threat to this year’s field. Olson is a 2007 graduate of the University of Washington, where he won the individual title in the 2005 Pac-10 Championship, while Garrett was a medalist in qualifying for the 2017 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball (with partner Erik Hanson).
In the senior championship, Duane Diede of Everett, Wash. and John Von Lossow of Kirkland, Wash. will be trying for their third title, having won in 2014 and 2016.
The Washington State Men’s Best-Ball Championship was previously known as the Inglewood Best-Ball from 1956 until 1993, when in 1994 the WSGA began to run the event and introduced the Senior Men’s Best-Ball.
Other notable names in the men’s championship are 2014 and 2015 champions Tyler Matthews and Matthew Steele, both of Bellevue, Wash.; and the duo of Reid Hatley of Hayden Lake, Idaho and Nate Hair of Edwall, Wash., with Hatley being a two-time WSGA Men’s Mid-Amateur Player of the Year (2015, 2016) and Hair winning the 2014 Pacific Northwest Master-40 Amateur.
In the Senior Men’s Championship, notables include Mike Hickock of Moses Lake, Wash. and Chris DeGrazia of Lynnwood, Wash., who won the senior title in 2013 and 2015.