Tyler Salsbury of Enumclaw, Wash. shot an even-par 71 in today’s final round to win the 88th Washington State Amateur Championship, held at Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla, Wash. The championship was conducted by the Washington State Golf Association.
Salsbury, who will be a junior on the men’s golf team at the University of Washington, started the day with a 2-shot lead over the field after posting scores of 68-70 in the first two rounds. His round of 71 was good enough for a 1-shot advantage over Frank Garber of Kirkland, Wash. and Cole Lorenzo of Richland, Wash., who tied for second.
“Growing up (in Enumclaw) this was the one tournament I really wanted to win,” said Salsbury. “It really feels awesome. And I really love this golf course.” Salsbury also won the only other championship he played at Wine Valley, the 2011 WJGA Junior State Championship.
“I got off to such a good start the first two rounds, quickly under par both times,” Salsbury said. “Today I’m 2-over after four holes and I’m thinking ‘Oh my gosh, what am I doing.'” Salsbury turned it around and stood on the 18th tee with a 1-shot lead. Garber was already finished, and Lorenzo was playing in the group in front of Salsbury, who was in the day’s final group. “I was playing for birdie (on the last hole),” Salsbury said. “But when I saw Cole make par, I felt a little better.” Salsbury 2-putted for par on the final hole to seal his victory.
Garber, the reigning PNGA Junior Boys’ Player of the Year, shot a 3-under par 68. Lorenzo shot the low round of the championship in the first round, firing a 5-under par 66. He stumbled to a 75 in the second round, but his 2-under par 69 in today’s final round brought him into a tie for second with Garber.
The state’s premier amateur championship traditionally attracts the region’s finest players. Last year, Cameron Peck of Olympia, Wash. dominated the field in winning by five shots, with the championship being held at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash. Peck would also win last summer’s Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur and be named the 2013 WSGA Men’s Player of the Year. Two years ago, Chris Williams won by 10 strokes on the Eagles Pride Golf Course at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Williams, from Moscow, Idaho, starred on the University of Washington men’s golf team, ascending to be the No. 1-ranked amateur in the world.
Past champions of the Washington State 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, among many others.