RJ Manke of Lakewood, Wash. shot rounds of 70-67-70-70 to run away from the international field in winning the Mexican Amateur, held over the weekend at the Club de Golf Mexico in Mexico City. Manke’s total of 11-under par was nine shots better than second-place finisher Aaron Terrazas of Mexico.
Reid Hatley of Hayden Lake, Idaho finished in fifth place. Hatley had finished tied for sixth in last year’s Mexican Amateur.
Along with their respective first place and fifth place finishes, Manke and Hatley combined to win the 54-hole aggregate score team competition as representatives for Washington state finishing in first place out of 37 teams.
Manke and Hatley were selected by the Washington State Golf Association to play in this year’s championship. They were selected by the WSGA Championship committee based on a combination of standings on the WSGA Men’s Performance Points List and each players WAGR Ranking.
“When it’s close in a tournament it can be easy to get caught up in what they’re doing and what they’re hitting, and whether they’re making birdies or bogeys,” Manke said. “But I was just trying to stay within myself and hit my own shots.” The strategy seemed to work, as Manke pulled away with each round of the four-day championship.
Manke attended Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma, and is now a sophomore at Pepperdine University where he plays on the men’s golf team. He won the 2018 Washington State Amateur, and as a junior golfer was selected to play for Team Washington in the Junior America’s Cup in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Hatley was selected as the WSGA Mid-Amateur Player of the Year the past four years (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018).