Cameron Peck, a former national champion from Olympia, Wash., held on in the final round to complete his wire-to-wire victory in the 87th Washington State Men’s Amateur Championship, held at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash. The championship was conducted by the Washington State Golf Association.
Starting the day with an eight shot lead, Peck played a conservative round in difficult weather conditions, shooting a final round 6-over par 78 to go along with his pair of 69s in the first two rounds, good enough for a five shot victory over co-runners-up Ryan Earl of Fircrest, Wash. and Nicholaus Mandell of Kennewick, Wash.
Peck started today’s round with three straight bogeys, temporarily bringing the rest of the field into the game. But then he eagled the par-5 fourth hole. “I thought I was really going to turn it around at that point,” he said. But unlike the first two rounds, both of which he also started slowly, he was unable to gather any momentum. “It was playing tough and very different today. The wind was so tough. They used a new tee box on (the par-3) 9th, and I didn’t have a club for the shot I needed to hit.” Watch his interview here.
Peck just finished his final year of eligibility at Texas A&M, and said he will turn pro just before PGA Tour Q-School in the fall. He won the 2008 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, and was selected the 2008 WSGA Junior Boy’s Player of the Year. His plans for the rest of this summer include playing in the Sahalee Players Championship, the PNGA Men’s Amateur Championship, and qualifying for the U.S. Amateur and U.S. Amateur Public Links.
Shots From the Men’s Amateur
Paired with Peck in today’s final group was Earl. With a final round of 2-over par 74, good for a tie for second, he is making a comeback of sorts. Earl, 35, works at a bank in nearby Gig Harbor, but had played professionally in his mid-20s. Regaining his amateur status four years ago, Earl had to go through qualifying just to get into this championship. “I didn’t really do much on the mini-tours,” he said. “I got tired of the barnstorming after a while.” It has been 12 years since Earl last played in the Washington State Amateur.
The best amateur golfers in the state had difficulty on the future U.S. Open site. Of the 120 players who began the championship, nobody finished under par. No player shot under par in the final round. Weather conditions made for difficult playing conditions, as the wind picked up for most of the day, coming in off Puget Sound.
The format for the three-day championship was 54 holes of stroke play. There were 120 players in the field, followed by a cut to the low 60 and ties after the second round.
The state’s premier amateur championship traditionally attracts the region’s finest players. Last year’s champion was Chris Williams, who is currently the No. 1 ranked amateur in the world, according the World Amateur Golf Rankings. He is the 2012 WSGA Men’s Player of the Year, a title he also won in 2011.
Past champions of the Washington State Men’s 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.
Fresh off hosting the U.S. Amateur in 2010, Chambers Bay will serve as the venue for the 115th U.S. Open from June 18-21, 2015, marking the first time the U.S. Open will be held in the Pacific Northwest. The Washington State Men’s Amateur was the first WSGA championship held at Chambers Bay, and is the first significant championship held at the course since the recent completion of renovations in its preparation for the 2015 U.S. Open.