Reid Hatley of Hayden Lake, Idaho teed off this morning at Gamble Sands in the 7:40 a.m. tee time, the second group of the day, and proceeded to post a number for everyone else to chase after. He made three birdies on the front nine, shooting a 3-under par 33. Not too bad, no? But he was just getting started.
Hatley then torched the back nine, pouring in five more birdies, to finish the day with a bogey-free 8-under par 64 to grab the first round lead in the 7th Washington State Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship.
The 36-hole stroke play championship is being conducted by the Washington State Golf Association (WSGA). The second and final round will be held tomorrow, August 24, with the leaders teeing off at 2:20 p.m. in the heat of the day at the course in Brewster, Wash.
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Reid finished third in last year’s championship, and second in 2014, and now seems intent on closing the deal in this year’s championship. He was named the 2015 WSGA Men’s Mid-Amateur Player of the Year. Earlier this summer, Hatley was the qualifying co-medalist for the U.S. Mid-Amateur, the second year in a row he has qualified for that national championship.
Alone in second place, three strokes behind Hatley, is Sean Fitzpatrick of Port Orchard, Wash., who shot a 5-under par 67. After making the turn at even par, Fitzpatrick did to the back nine what Hatley did, pouring in five birdies to leapfrog his way up the leaderboard. Fitzpatrick had tied for 21st in last year’s championship.
In third place, shooting a 4-under par 68, is Cory Mehl of Seattle. Mehl’s round included an eagle two, in which he holed out from the fairway on the 437-yard par-4 14th hole. Mehl is a 2008 graduate of O’Dea High School in Seattle, where he was named his golf team’s MVP in 2005 and 2006, and was part of the school’s state championship year in 2008. He played college golf at Santa Clara University. He was the qualifying co-medalist for the 2015 U.S. Mid-Amateur.
Tied for fourth, shooting 3-under par 69s, are Erik Hanson of Kirkland, Wash. and Tyler Daniels of Walla Walla, Wash. Hanson finished second in the last year’s championship. Daniels was named to Team WSGA in the 2015 PNGA Cup after a top-10 finish in the 2014 Washington State Amateur and a top-20 in the 2014 Pacific Northwest Mid-Amateur.
To be eligible, contestants must by 25 years of age or older by August 23, 2016. Competitors must have an active GHIN number and USGA Handicap Index issued by a WSGA member club not exceeding 12.4 at the time of entry.
Gamble Sands, a links-like layout that opened in 2014, was designed by renowned architect David McLay Kidd, who also designed other Northwest mainstays such as Tetherow in Bend, Ore. and the Bandon Dunes course at Bandon Dunes Resort.