The 88th Washington State Men’s Amateur Championship is set to commence as the finest male amateur golfers in Washington and Northern Idaho begin play tomorrow at Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla, Wash. The three-day championship will be held August 5-7, and is being conducted by the Washington State Golf Association.
The championship will consist of 54 holes of stroke play, with the field cut to the low 60 players and ties after 36 holes.
Players to watch for include Carl Jonson of Bainbridge Island, Wash., the senior playing for the UNLV men’s golf team who was runner-up in the 2012 Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur held at Wine Valley; Jonson’s teammate at UNLV James Feutz of University Place, Wash.; Jeremy Wendelken of Rohnert Park, Calif. who won this championship in 2010; Joe Lanza of Poulsbo, Wash., a former PGA Tour player who regained his amateur status; and Frank Garber of Kirkland, Wash., the reigning PNGA Junior Boys’ Player of the Year.
The state’s premier amateur championship traditionally attracts the region’s finest players. Last year, Cameron Peck of Olympia, Wash. dominated the field in winning by five shots, with the championship being held at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash. Peck would also win last summer’s Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur and be named the 2013 WSGA Men’s Player of the Year. Two years ago, Chris Williams won by 10 strokes on the Eagles Pride Golf Course at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Williams, from Moscow, Idaho, starred on the University of Washington men’s golf team, ascending to be the No. 1-ranked amateur in the world.
Past champions of the Washington State Amateur include Fred Couples, Alex Prugh, Brock Mackenzie, Kermit Zarley, John Bodenhamer, and PNGA Hall of Famers Al Mengert, Bud Ward, Jack Westland and Harry Givan, among many others.
Opened in 2009 and designed by Portland native Dan Hixson, Wine Valley Golf Club has already been the site of numerous regional championships, including the 2012 Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur, the 2013 Pacific Northwest Women’s Amateur, and in recent years has become home of the annual Northwest Open Invitational, which will be held there again August 19-21.