Vinnie Murphy of Sumner, Wash. and Kaleb Gorbahn of Smithers, B.C. earned co-medalist honors during today’s 36-hole qualifier, earning the two available spots from this qualifier to advance to the 2016 U.S. Amateur Championship, to be held August 15-21 at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
Today’s qualifier was held at Loomis Trail Golf Club in Blaine, Wash. The Washington State Golf Association (WSGA) is the local representative of the United States Golf Association (USGA) and conducted this qualifier for the U.S. Amateur Championship.
Finishing in a tie with Murphy and Gorbahn was Ryan Books of East Wenatchee, Wash., all three players finishing at 7-under par.
In the playoff, Murphy birdied the first hole to claim the first spot, while Gorbahn birdied the second hole to claim the second and final spot. Books is the first alternate.
Claiming the second alternate spot is Sam Warkentin of Bainbridge Island, Wash. Warkentin was named the 2015 WSGA Junior Boys’ Player of the Year.
Murphy is a redshirt sophomore at Grand Canyon University. While at South Mountain Community College in Phoenix, Ariz. he won the Phil Mickelson Award for Freshman of the Year. At Puyallup (Wash.) High School he was a three-time medalist at the 4A South Puget Sound League Championship.
Gorbahn is a sophomore at Holy Cross College in Indiana, earlier being named Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Golfer of the Week for his play in the Pilot Spring Invitational.
This year marks the 116th U.S. Amateur Championship, the oldest golf championship in the United States, being just one day older than the U.S. Open. Aside from an eight-year period when it was stroke play (1965-1972), the U.S. Amateur has been a match-play championship.
The U.S. Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.