Peck Opens Up Big Lead at 87th Washington State Amateur

WSGA Men's Amateur round two leader Cameron Peck

Cameron Peck, a former national champion from Olympia, Wash., shot a second consecutive 3-under par 69 to take a commanding eight shot lead after two rounds at the 87th Washington State Men’s Amateur Championship, being held at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash. The championship, conducted by the Washington State Golf Association, will hold its final round tomorrow.

Teeing off in the final group today, Peck again started his round slowly, going 4-over par for the first seven holes. “I did pretty much the same yesterday,” he said. “I’m not sure why. The wind was a problem again today, and it took me a while to get going.” Then he blistered the next seven holes, going eight under par, including two eagles and four bogeys. “I’ve never had a stretch like that,” said Peck. He hit the shot of his round on the par-5 eighth hole. “I really needed something good to happen (after a double-bogey on seven). As soon as I hit my second shot on eight, I knew it was going to be good.” It left him with a 10-foot eagle putt, which opened the gates to his turnaround. 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.

The best amateur golfers in the state had difficulty on the future U.S. Open site, with only one player, Peck, out of the field of 120 who began this championship finishing the first two rounds at a combined under par. Weather conditions continued to be dry and mild, with the factor being the afternoon wind, which created trouble for the players on the closing four holes, which sweep down near the shore of Puget Sound.

One by one, Peck’s pursuers fell away on the back nine. Ryan Earl, who works at a bank and plays out of Capitol City Golf Course in Olympia, was 3-under for the day after 13 holes but finished with a 71 and a tie for third. Cameron Whittle of Moses Lake, Wash. was also 3-under through 13, but struggled to an even par 72 and sits alone in second. Whittle and Earl are paired with Peck in tomorrow’s final group.

The format for the championship calls for 54-holes of stroke play. There was a cut after today’s second round to the low 60 scores and ties, with the cut at 159 (15 over par).

Round three will have the competitors paired according to scores, with the leaders teeing off at 10:50 a.m. on Thursday.

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.

This year’s championship consists of the strongest field in its 87 years. Watch the preview here.

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 is 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.

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