The 7,535-yard, par-72 Championship Course at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque will host the world’s most accomplished amateur golfers this week for the 53rd Pacific Coast Amateur Championship.
The championship, hosted by the Sun Country Amateur Golf Association (SCAGA), will take place July 23-26, 2019. This will be the first time in history that the Pacific Coast Amateur will be played in New Mexico.
The Pacific Coast Amateur routinely attracts players from around the world with resumés boasting illustrious victories in other jewel amateur golf events, and it remains the West Coast’s elite level event that is circled on all amateur golf calendars in North America and around the globe. The Pacific Coast Amateur has regularly received an “A” strength ranking by the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR), provided by the R&A and USGA.
Most recent champions of the Pacific Coast Amateur include Aaron Wise of Lake Elsinore, Calif. (2015), Will Zalatoris of Plano, Tex. (2016), Doug Ghim of Arlington Heights, Ill. (2017), and Isaiah Salinda of San Francisco, Calif. (2018).
In 2018, Salinda held off one of amateur golf’s most competitive fields to capture the 2018 Pacific Coast Amateur Championship at The Olympic Club (Lake Course). Salinda went on to be a semifinalist in the 2018 U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach.
Salinda, a recent graduate of Stanford University, is the No. 13-ranked amateur in the world (WAGR), and is in the field again this year, in an attempt to defend his title.
Other players in the elite international field include:
- Blake Windred of Australia, the No. 14-ranked amateur in the world (WAGR), who recently finished seventh in the European Amateur and won the 2018 and 2019 Avondale Amateur.
- Quade Cummins of Weatherford, Okla., the No. 57 ranked amateur in the world (WAGR), who recently finished T5 at the Sunnehana Amateur and competed in the 2019 Arnold Palmer Cup.
- Daniel Hiller of New Zealand, the No. 21-ranked amateur in the world (WAGR), a two-time winner of the New Zealand Amateur, and who finished low-amateur in the 2018 New Zealand Open.
- Laurent Desmarchais of Quebec, Canada, a member of the Canadian National Junior Team, who last week won the 118th Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur.
- Karl Vilips of Australia, the No. 53 ranked amateur in the world (WAGR) and No. 2 ranked junior boys player in world (AJGA).
Much of the recent success of the event can be directly attributed to the quality of the venue. “The nationally recognized Championship Course at the University of New Mexico will flash its versatility and do its part in identifying the best player as champion,” said Troy Andrew, executive director of the Pacific Coast Golf Association. “The quality of our field and our ability to continuously recruit the game’s best amateurs is directly attributed to the reputation and quality of the venue selected to host.”
The Morse Cup team competition takes place concurrently during the first two days of the 72-hole Pacific Coast Amateur. There are 15 member Pacific Rim golf associations that comprise the Pacific Coast Golf Association, and each golf association selects three players to represent them in this team competition. Two of the top three scores from each team in rounds one and two will count for the Morse Cup portion of the event.
“The Sun Country Amateur Golf Association is honored to be the host association for this year’s championship,” said Dana Lehner, executive director of the SCAGA. “We’re no stranger to elite competition and know that the University of New Mexico Championship Golf Course will provide a phenomenal test for the best amateur players from around the world that flock to the Pacific Coast Amateur. The Land of Enchantment stands at the ready to play host to what is one of the premier amateur championships on the calendar.”
For complete information about the Pacific Coast Amateur, visit www.pacificcoastamateur.com.
ABOUT THE CHAMPIONSHIP COURSE AT UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO
Since it was officially opened in 1967, The Championship Golf Course has been one of the finest facilities of its kind nationwide. It has been nationally recognized by Golf Digest as one of the top-25 public courses in the country, and in January of 1991 Golfweek rated all public and private courses in the country by state, and dubbed The Championship Course the No. 1 course to play in New Mexico. In 1998, Golfweek tabbed The Championship Course No. 2 in the West, behind only the Stanford University Golf Course in Palo Alto, Calif. The Championship Course is no stranger to major tournaments. It was the site of the 1950, 1976 and 1992 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships as well as the 1998 NCAA Championships. In 1987 the course was the sight of the women’s NCAA championship. More information can be found by visiting unmgolf.unm.edu.
ABOUT THE PACIFIC COAST GOLF ASSOCIATION
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. More information about the association and the Pacific Coast Amateur can be found at www.pacificcoastamateur.com.