Bellingham, Wash. – Jacob Koppenberg shot rounds of 69-70 to easily claim the title in the 12th Washington Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship, held this week at historic Bellingham (Wash.) Golf and Country Club.
Koppenberg, a longtime Bellingham resident playing on his home course, finished six shots ahead of Matt Rawitzer of New York and Colton Kleis of Seattle, who tied for second. Koppenberg was the only player in the full field of 120 who finished under par for the championship, with players battling gusty winds and periods of rain over the two days.
The 36-hole stroke-play championship was conducted by Washington Golf (WA Golf).
Starting today’s final round, Koppenberg had a slim one-shot lead over Daniel Campbell, also of Bellingham, and a two-shot advantage over Michael Cairns of Carnation. But Campbell and Cairns faltered early in the round, and with nine holes to play Koppenberg had a six-shot lead over his nearest competitor, and he carried that lead through to the finish.
“It wasn’t really too exciting of golf,” Koppenberg said with a smile after today’s round. “Hitting greens, making pars. I didn’t check any scores of other players during the day, but I also didn’t hear any whispers of anybody going low in front of me. The guys I was playing with today made some early bogeys so I knew where they stood. And knowing the course, I knew where to hit it and not get into trouble.”
Koppenberg, a member at Bellingham Golf and Country Club, definitely felt a little home field advantage. “I’ve played here so many times, that I felt comfortable being aggressive hitting drivers on some holes where I wouldn’t normally do it if I didn’t know the course so well. Yeah, it was a huge advantage. I was talking to someone before starting the championship, and saying how it felt good not to have to travel anywhere to play, or stay in a strange hotel, and hang out with some friends on the course.”
Koppenberg played collegiately at Western Washington University, where he twice was named NCAA All-American. After college he played briefly on the mini-tours, trying to earn his way onto the PGA Tour. But he returned to Bellingham, regained his amateur status, got married and started a career in business development and is now a father of two boys, including a two-week old baby.
Staying competitive, he has qualified for 10 national championships, including five U.S. Amateurs, and two U.S. Mid-Amateurs, making it to the quarterfinals in 2019. Also in 2019, he was a semifinalist in the PNGA Men’s Amateur. His only other state title was winning the 2016 Washington Champion of Champions.
To be eligible for this championship, contestants must by 25 years of age or older by August 30, 2021. Competitors must have an active GHIN number and USGA Handicap Index issued by a WA Golf member club not exceeding 9.9 at the time of entry.
The Washington Men’s Mid-Amateur is one of 14 championships conducted annually by WA Golf