Walla Walla, Wash. – Harrison Murphy of McKinney, Tex. and George Pechtel of Yakima each shot 5-under-par 67 to earn co-medalist honors in Washington Men’s Amateur qualifying held today at Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla, Wash.
Murphy, posting five birdies and two bogeys through 17 holes, finished in spectacular fashion by eagling the par-5 18th. He is joined at the top of the leaderboard by 33-year-old Pechtel, who bogeyed the second hole but then lit up the course, firing six birdies with a stellar 4-under, bogey-free back nine.
Murphy, a former player for Northwestern University, will be the newest member of Seattle University’s golf team playing as a graduate transfer for next year’s season.
Finishing one stroke behind the leaders is Christian “Pono” Yanagi of Pullman, who posted a 4-under 68. Yanagi, a Hawaiian native and sophomore on the Washington State University men’s golf team, had a flawless, bogey-free day posting four birdies, including three consecutive birdies to close out the front nine.
A field of 68 competitors teed it up today at Wine Valley, with 16 players from this qualifier advancing to the championship proper.
Qualifying for entry into the championship proper is being held this week at five locations – Gold Mountain Golf Club (Cascade), Kalispel Golf and Country Club, The Home Course, Wine Valley Golf Club and North Bellingham Golf Course.
A total of 403 players over the five qualifying locations are vying to fill the field of 120 competitors who will compete in the 100th Washington Men’s Amateur Championship, which is set to take place July 6-8 on the Olympic Course at Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton, Wash. There are 25 players already exempted into the championship proper, through criteria previously set forth.
The championship will consist of 54 holes of stroke play, with the field cut to the low 60 players and ties after 36 holes. The five qualifying events and three-day championship are being conducted by Washington Golf (WA Golf).
Last year, Sean Kato of Redmond, Wash. shot rounds of 65-69-73 to go wire-to-wire in winning the championship, which was held at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash.