Cole Lorenzo of Richland, Wash. shot a 5-under par 66 in leading the field after the first round of play in the 88th Washington State Amateur, being held at Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla, Wash. The championship is conducted by the Washington State Golf Association.
Lorenzo had a prosaic front nine, making the turn at 1-under par, but then had six birdies on the back nine, including four consecutive on holes 10 through 13.
During the 2013-14 season, Lorenzo led the Community Colleges of Spokane (Wash.) men’s golf team to eight wins including the NWAACC Championship, and will be playing for Utah State University in the fall.
In second place is Tyler Salsbury, a junior on the University of Washington men’s golf team, who shot a 3-under par 68. There are six players tied for third at 2-under par, including Joe Lanza, the former PGA Tour player from Poulsbo, Wash. who regained his amateur status, and Carl Jonson of Bainbridge Island, Wash.
The Washington State Amateur consists of 54 holes of stroke play, with the field cut to the low 60 players and ties after 36 holes.
The first tee time in tomorrow’s second round is 7:30 a.m., and the leaders will tee off at 2:00 p.m.
The state’s premier amateur championship traditionally attracts the region’s finest players. Last year, Cameron Peck of Olympia, Wash. dominated the field in winning by five shots, with the championship being held at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash. Peck would also win last summer’s Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur and be named the 2013 WSGA Men’s Player of the Year. Two years ago, Chris Williams won by 10 strokes on the Eagles Pride Golf Course at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Williams, from Moscow, Idaho, starred on the University of Washington men’s golf team, ascending to be the No. 1-ranked amateur in the world.
Past champions of the Washington State Amateur include Fred Couples, Alex Prugh, Brock Mackenzie, Kermit Zarley, John Bodenhamer, and PNGA Hall of Famers Al Mengert, Bud Ward, Jack Westland and Harry Givan, among many others.
Opened in 2009 and designed by Portland native Dan Hixson, Wine Valley Golf Club has already been the site of numerous regional championships, including the 2012 Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur, the 2013 Pacific Northwest Women’s Amateur, and in recent years has become home of the annual Northwest Open Invitational, which will be held there again August 19-21.