Walla Walla, Wash. – Paul Mitzel of Quincy shot a 5-under 67 to grab ahold of the lead after the opening round of the 102nd Washington Men’s Amateur Championship, hosted by Wine Valley Golf Club.
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 36 holes.
On a warm and windy day in Walla Walla, Mitzel put together a colorful scorecard with seven birdies, nine pars and two bogies to take hold of the top spot heading into the second round. He leads by one-shot over a host of challengers, Dalton Conn of Seattle, Baylor Larrabee of Ferndale and Alexander Weirth of Port Orchard.
Mitzel is seeking his first WA Golf title. He won the 2022 Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur Championship, and finished runner-up at the 2022 Washington Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship, after losing in a playoff to PNGA Hall-of-Famer Tom Brandes.
Defending champion Jace Minni of Delta, B.C. opened with a 4-over 76. He sits nine shots back.
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 and John Bodenhamer, among many others. Complete information and full list of past champions can be found here.
About Wine Valley Golf Club
Designed by Northwest native Dan Hixson and opened in 2009, Wine Valley Golf Club has already been the site of numerous tournaments and championships, including the 2012 and 2016 PNGA Men’s Amateur, the 2013 PNGA Women’s Amateur, numerous USGA qualifiers, and from 2010-2021 was the site of the PGA Section’s Northwest Open Invitational. Wine Valley has previously hosted the Washington Men’s Amateur in 2014.