Local Players will try to make their mark at Pebble

News & Notes from the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach

by Bart Potter

A second straight warm and sunny day – temperatures touched the low 80s – greeted Northwest-linked players Tuesday as they continued preparation for Thursday’s start of the 119th U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links.

Locals here on the Monterey Peninsula swear the weather won’t last, and in fact the forecast for Wednesday and the rest of the week calls for more typical clouds and 60s-ish temps.

Andrew Putnam (left) and Joel Dahmen
Andrew Putnam (left) and Joel Dahmen

Spencer Tibbitts, a 20-year-old amateur from Vancouver, Wash.; Nick Taylor, a pro from British Columbia who starred at the University of Washington; and Joel Dahmen, also a former UW player with roots in Clarkston, Wash., teed off together for a Tuesday afternoon practice round.

Dahmen was a late add to the Open field as an alternate from Sectional qualifying. Also added June 10 was Andrew Putnam, a Tacoma native with one PGA Tour victory, who qualified by moving into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Rankings.

Tibbitts, an Oregon State University player who won three high school state championships for Fort Vancouver High School, has a friend and former prep competitor on his bag this week. Keith Lobis, formerly a standout at Union High School in Camas, Wash., now plays golf for Gonzaga University.

Alex Prugh, a Spokane native who played at UW, teed off for his Tuesday practice round one group ahead of the Tibbitts-Taylor-Dahmen trio. Kyle Stanley, a Gig Harbor, Wash., pro with two PGA Tour wins in his bag, claimed for the second straight day the 2:42 p.m. slot, the last of the afternoon, for his practice round.

Richard Lee, another former UW golfer and native of Bellevue, Wash., is also in the field.

Lee (2008), Prugh (2005) and Dahmen (2007) are all past WSGA Washington State Amateur champions. Taylor is a former No.-1 ranked amateur in the world, and was named the PNGA Men’s Player of the Year in 2008 and 2009 – he played in the 2009 U.S. Open, where he claimed low amateur honors.

Tibbits was named the 2016 PNGA Junior Boys’ Player of the Year. Stanley was the 2007 PNGA Men’s Player of the Year and the 2007 and 2008 WSGA Men’s Player of the Year. Prugh was the 2006 PNGA Men’s Co-Player of the Year. And Putnam was the 2010 WSGA Men’s Player of the Year.