Bremerton, Wash. – RJ Manke of Lakewood shot 5-under-par 67 in today’s second round to take the lead at the historic 100th Washington Men’s Amateur Championship, being held this week on the Olympic Course at Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton, Wash.
Manke’s 67 follow up on yesterday’s 6-under 66. His two-day total of 11-under 133 is good for a four-shot lead over Chuan-Tai “Teddy” Lin of Seattle heading into tomorrow’s final round.
Lin had started today’s round tied for 10th after an opening round of even-par 72. He shot even-par on today’s front nine, but then blistered the back nine, shooting a 7-under-par 29, which included an eagle on the par-5 14th. Lin’s second-round 65 is the low round of the championship so far.
“I just tried to make a good swing on every shot, stay focused on every swing and do what I can do well,” said Lin, about his low-scoring back nine. “The birdies started coming, and I got into the zone.”
Manke had started the day tied for the lead with John Sand of Hoquiam, who shot 73 today and now sits in third place, six shots back of Manke. Sand was runner-up in the 2019 Washington Men’s Amateur, losing in a playoff to champion Reid Hatley.
The championship consists of 54 holes of stroke play, with the full field of 120 players cut to the low 60 players and ties after today’s second round. The three-day championship is being conducted by Washington Golf (WA Golf).
Manke won the 2018 Washington Men’s Amateur. He attended Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma, then played four years on the Pepperdine University men’s golf team which recently won the NCAA National Championship. He has just transferred to the University of Washington, where he will play for the men’s golf team in the fall in his final year of eligibility.
Like Lin, Manke also was even-par on today’s front nine, but on the back nine he nearly matched Lin shot-for-shot, shooting a 5-under 31 on the back. “It was a little bit of a slow start for me, but I just tried to stay patient,” Manke said. “I really like the back nine here, and I made five birdies on it today, almost as many as Teddy.”
By chance, Manke and Lin were paired together in the championship’s first two rounds, and now will be paired together in the final group of tomorrow’s final round. In the fall, the two will be teammates on the UW golf team, with Lin, who is originally from Taiwan, being a rising sophomore on the team.
“It’s huge for us to be paired together,” Lin said. “I believe we’re going to have a really good season coming up.”
Manke agreed with Lin, saying, “It was a lot of fun playing with Teddy today, and looking forward to being teammates with him.”
The leaders in tomorrow’s final round will tee off at 10:30am.
Only seven players sit under par after two rounds on the 7,003-yard par-72 Olympic Course.
The state’s premier men’s amateur championship, which is a counting event toward the World Amateur Golf Ranking, traditionally attracts the region’s finest players.
About the 100th Washington Men’s Amateur Championship
The Washington Men’s Amateur is the longest-running continuously-held golf championship in the state. Its illustrious history traces the arc and the growth of the state’s golf community. Past champions include Fred Couples, Joel Dahmen, Alex Prugh, Brock Mackenzie, Kermit Zarley, John Bodenhamer, and Pacific Northwest Golf Hall of Famers Al Mengert, Bud Ward, Jack Westland and Harry Givan, among many others. A history of the championship can be found here.
About Gold Mountain Golf Club
Owned by the city of Bremerton, Gold Mountain Golf Club is one of the top municipal golf facilities in the country, consisting of two championship layouts, the Cascade Course and Olympic Course. Opened in 1996, the Olympic Course was designed by Northwest architect John Harbottle III. It has hosted numerous regional and national championships, including the 2006 U.S. Amateur Public Links, and the 2011 U.S. Junior Amateur, won by Jordan Spieth. This is the third time the Olympic Course has hosted the Washington Men’s Amateur, with it previously being held there in 1997 and 2007.
About Washington Golf
Founded in 1922, WA Golf is a 501c4 non-profit, amateur golf association governed by men and women volunteers. Serving more than 75,000 individual members at more than 550 member golf clubs and 270 golf courses throughout the state of Washington and Northern Idaho, WA Golf works to continually expand the game of golf to people of all backgrounds and abilities.
WA Golf also serves as a statewide representative of the United States Golf Association and works closely with a number of allied associations within the golf industry for the betterment of the game.