It’s a little difficult to get any elbow room at the top of the leaderboard after today’s first round in the 8th Washington State Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship.
Four players are tied for the lead after shooting 2-under 70s at Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla, Wash., and nearly two dozen players are within four shots of the leaders.
Michael Ciez of Walla Walla, Reid Hatley of Hayden Lake, Idaho, Keith Crimp of Ellensburg, and Cory Spencer of Walla Walla, all navigated their way around the 7,059-yard layout in the rolling hills of wine country for their 70s, setting up a shootout in tomorrow’s final round.
The leaders will tee off at 2:00 pm.
Hatley has set himself up well to defend his title, having won last year’s championship when it was held at Brewster’s Gamble Sands. Hatley, a two-time WSGA Men’s Mid-Amateur Player of the Year (2015, 2016), has not finished worse than third in this championship since 2015. Earlier this month, Hatley played in the U.S. Amateur at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif., and is carrying his momentum into this event.
Crimp, who won the 2010 Washington State Senior Men’s Amateur, had the round of the day going. He stood at 5-under after 11 holes, but went bogey and double-bogey over the next two holes.
Spencer is playing on his home course.
Ciez had struggled in the Washington State Amateur earlier this month, failing to make the cut, but has his game in shape for this week’s Mid-Amateur. He works at nearby Veteran’s Memorial Park Golf Course, and is a four-time Walla Walla City Amateur champion.