Walla Walla, Wash. – Christian “Pono” Yanagi of Pullman shot rounds of 72-63-67 to win the 102nd Washington Men’s Amateur Championship.
The three day 54-hole championship was held this week at Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla.
Yanagi entered the day with a one-shot lead and kept his foot on the gas in today’s round, shooting a bogey-free 5-under 67. He won the championship by six shots over second-place finishers Dalton Conn of Seattle and Dane Huddleston of Woodland. Yanagi didn’t make a bogey after the 16th hole in the first round.
“First day was a little tough, I just felt like couldn’t make a putt,” said Yanagi, “Yesterday a lot of putts fell, and then today it just felt like everything was solid and I was able to minimize the big numbers.”
Originally from Hawaii, Yanagi plays on the Washington State University men’s golf team, he’ll be returning there in the fall for a final season. After the second round, he credited the team’s home course, Palouse Ridge, for helping to prepare him for the style of play needed for success at Wine Valley.
In two weeks Yanagi, will be playing in the U.S. Amateur qualifier at Palouse Ridge. The following week he’ll be teeing it up in the PNGA Men’s Amateur Championship at Chambers Bay.
Defending champion Jace Minni of Delta, B.C. made the cut and finished at 3-over par for the week.
The Washington Men’s Amateur is the longest-running continuously-held golf championship in the state. Its illustrious history traces the arc and the growth of the state’s golf community. Past champions include Fred Couples, Joel Dahmen, Alex Prugh, Brock Mackenzie, Kermit Zarley and John Bodenhamer, among many others. Complete information and full list of past champions can be found here. The Men’s Amateur is one of 14 championships conducted annually by WA Golf.
About Wine Valley Golf Club
Designed by Northwest native Dan Hixson and opened in 2009, Wine Valley Golf Club has already been the site of numerous tournaments and championships, including the 2012 and 2016 PNGA Men’s Amateur, the 2013 PNGA Women’s Amateur, numerous USGA qualifiers, and from 2010-2021 was the site of the PGA Section’s Northwest Open Invitational. Wine Valley has previously hosted the Washington Men’s Amateur in 2014.