Jacob Koppenberg of Bellingham, Wash., fired a bogey-free 5-under par 67 to grab a narrow lead after the opening round of the 9th Washington State Mid-Amateur Championship.
Reid Hatley of Hayden Lake, Idaho, who won this championship in 2016, sits at 4-under, just one shot back of Koppenberg after opening with a 68.
In third place and three shots off the lead is Sean Mackin of Snoqualmie, Wash. who opened with a 70.
The two-day 36-hole stroke play championship is being held at the Rope Rider course at Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum, Wash. and is conducted by the Washington State Golf Association (WSGA).
Just eight players in the full field of 120 finished the first round under-par, on the challenging 7,010-yard layout.
Koppenberg, a former collegiate standout on the Western Washington University Men’s Golf Team, and current assistant coach, is looking to add a Mid-Amateur title to his impressive 2018 resume. Last week he was the qualifying co-medalist for the U.S. Mid-Amateur, and earlier this summer was the medalist in qualifying for the 2018 U.S. Amateur. In July, Koppenberg made it to the quarterfinals of the PNGA Men’s Amateur.
Hatley, who is looking for his second Mid-Amateur title, has been named the WSGA Mid-Amateur Player of the Year the past three years (2015-17) and last week qualified for the 2018 U.S. Mid-Amateur. Earlier this year, he tied for sixth in the Mexican Amateur, made it to the quarterfinals of the PNGA Men’s Amateur, and was a member of the three-man WSGA team that won the Morse Cup competition of the 2018 Pacific Coast Amateur, held last month at The Olympic Club in San Francisco.
Mackin is a long-time violinist and backing vocalist for the successful rock music group Yellowcard.
Other players under-par and within striking distance include Bjorn Bjorke of Port Orchard, Wash. who won the championship in 2013 and Erik Hanson of Kirkland, Wash. who was named the 2016 WSGA Senior Men’s Player of the Year.
To be eligible, contestants must by 25 years of age or older by August 28, 2018. 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.
The Rope Rider course was designed by Peter Jacobsen and Jim Hardy, and opened in 2011, when it was immediately named the Best New Course of the Year by Golf Magazine. In 2017, Rope Rider hosted the Washington State Amateur Championship.
Founded in 1922, the WSGA is a 501c4 non-profit, amateur golf association governed by men and women volunteers. Serving nearly 70,000 individual members at more than 550 member golf clubs and 270 golf courses throughout the state of Washington and Northern Idaho, the WSGA works to continually expand the game of golf to people of all backgrounds.
The WSGA also serves as a statewide representative of the United States Golf Association (USGA) and works closely with a number of allied associations within the golf industry for the betterment of the game.