Erik Hanson of Kirkland, Wash. and Ben Garrett of Seattle shot a team score of 7-under par 63 in earning medalist honors in qualifying for the 2017 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball; while Ellie Slama of Salem, Ore. and Amanda Minni of British Columbia teamed to win the qualifier and advance to the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball.
The other team to advance to the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship proper are Ryan Kelly of Gig Harbor, Wash. and Ryan Welborn of Tacoma, Wash. Slama and Minni were the only team to advance from this qualifier to the Women’s Amateur Four-Ball.
Both qualifiers were held at Oakbrook Golf Club in Lakewood, Wash. and were conducted by the Washington State Golf Association (WSGA), which is the local representative of the United States Golf Association (USGA).
The 2017 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball will be held May 27-31 at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club at the Village at Pinehurst, N.C.; and the 2017 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship will be held May 27-31 at The Dunes Golf & Beach Club in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Garrett has been part of the winning team (with partner Erik Olson) that won the 2016 Washington State Men’s Best-Ball Championship. Garrett has also qualified for the 2014 U.S. Mid-Amateur. Hanson is a three-time winner of the Pacific Northwest Master-40 Amateur (2007, 2010, 2015).
Earlier this summer, Slama had won the Pacific Northwest Junior Girls’ Amateur, the 6A Oregon high school individual championship, and the Pacific Northwest Junior PGA Championship. She was named the 2015 PNGA Junior Girls’ Player of the Year, and is entering her senior year at South Salem (Ore.) High School, having already committed to attend Oregon State University after graduating next spring.
Minni, 17, had tied for sixth in the 2016 BC Junior Girls’ Championship, and got her first tournament win at the season-ending Maple Leaf Junior Tour event last fall.
The U.S. Amateur Four- Ball and U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball are two of 13 national championships conducted annually by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.