Bayley and Fitzpatrick go low to share lead at Washington State Men's Amateur

Derek Bayley of Rathdrum, Idaho and Sean Fitzpatrick of Mill Creek, Wash. each shot 5-under 67 to share the top spot after round one of the 91st Washington State Men’s Amateur, being held at Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum, Wash.

Today’s first round was held on the resort’s Rope Rider course. The championship is being conducted by the Washington State Golf Association (WSGA).

The championship consists of 54 holes of stroke play, and the field will be cut to the low 60 players and ties after 36 holes.

The second and third rounds will be held on the Tumble Creek course. Second round pairings and tee times can be found here.

Click here for full details on the championship.

To follow along with live scoring, visit Follow the championship on Twitter at @WSGAChampions for live updates and news and use the hashtag #WSGAMensAm.

Bayley, a rising senior on the Washington State University men’s golf team, had reached 6-under, but bogeyed the par-3 17th. He is no stranger to low numbers, having shot a 59 in winning last year’s Rosauers Invitational, competing against the region’s PGA professionals.

In last year’s championship, Bayley lost in a marathon 6-hole playoff, and is seeking to close the deal this year. Last month he finished runner-up in the PNGA Men’s Amateur.

Fitzpatrick qualified for last year’s U.S. Mid-Amateur.

In the 120-player field, only 16 players broke par on the Peter Jacobsen/Hardy-designed Rope Rider course.

A few of the players just behind Bayley and Fitzpatrick are Gabe Spach of Seattle, the 2016 PNGA Junior Boys’ Amateur champion, who shot 3-under 69; and Drew McCullough of Richland, Wash., the University of Wyoming senior who earlier this year won the Washington Open, playing against the region’s professionals, who shot 2-under 70.

Also shooting 2-under 70 is Joe Highsmith of Lakewood, Wash., the Bellarmine Prep senior and 2016 WSGA Junior Boys’ Player of the Year who finished one shot out of last year’s playoff. This spring, Highsmith won the individual (and team) WIAA 4A High School State Championship, and also qualified for the 2017 U.S. Junior Amateur, where he made it to the Round of 32 before losing to eventual champion Noah Goodwin.

Four shots back of the leaders, at 1-under 71, is Reid Hatley of Hayden Lake, Idaho, the 2015 and 2016 WSGA Men’s Mid-Amateur Player of the Year, who qualified for the 2017 U.S. Amateur to be held later in August at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.

The state’s premier men’s amateur championship, which is considered a counting event toward the World Amateur Golf Ranking, traditionally attracts the region’s finest players.

The nationally-acclaimed Tom Doak-designed Tumble Creek course has been the site of several U.S. Open local and sectional qualifiers, and the Rope Rider course was designed by Peter Jacobsen and Jim Hardy.

Founded in 1922, the WSGA is a 501c4 non-profit, amateur golf association governed by men and women volunteers. Serving over 68,000 individual members at more than 550 member golf clubs and 270 golf courses throughout the state of Washington and Northern Idaho, the WSGA works to continually expand the game of golf to people of all backgrounds.

The WSGA also serves as a statewide representative of the United States Golf Association (USGA) and works closely with a number of allied associations within the golf industry for the betterment of the game.