The team of Reid Hatley (Hayden Lake, Idaho) and Jacob Koppenberg (Bellingham) shot rounds of 65-68 during stroke-play qualifying to make it into the match-play bracket of 2021 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship. They are the No. 15 seed in the bracket, and will face No. 18 seed Carter Loflin (Duluth, Ga.) and Wells Williams (West Point, Miss.) in their first match.
The two rounds of stroke-play qualifying were held at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash. and The Home Course in nearby DuPont, which served as the championship’s stroke-play co-host.
There were 128 sides, or 256 players overall, playing in the championship’s stroke-play rounds, with one round played at Chambers Bay and one round played at The Home Course.
Thirty-two sides will now advance to match play, with all matches to be held at Chambers Bay.
There were 11 players from Washington Golf territory who made it to the first two days of stroke-play qualifying, after Local qualifying. Hatley and Koppenberg made it through to match play the only local players to advance to match play thus far.
The duo of Ethan Evans (Mercer Island) and Max Herendeen (Bellevue) will compete in an 11 for 6 playoff on Monday morning at Chambers Bay.
Hatley and Koppenberg got off to a fast start this morning, playing The Home Course. “We made a couple putts early,” Koppenberg said, with the team making birdie on three of the first four holes. “We kind of did what we thought we needed to do to pole vault ahead and get into a comfortable position. Then the wind picked up a ton, that back nine was brutal. We went from having a special round to going into hold-on mode.”
Said Hatley of today’s finish, during which they went 2-over-par over the final eight holes when the wind changed the way they could play the course, “We just had to hang on. Tried to both stay in the hole and make bogey at worst. It’s a completely different Home Course than we’re used to. I’ve never seen it like this in my entire life.”
After a good score yesterday (a 7-under 65 at Chambers Bay), the team had a goal in mind before teeing off this morning.
“We had a goal coming in and try to (win) medalist,” Hatley said. “When the wind switched we started to go downhill quick.”
Said Koppenberg, “Then we realized, maybe medal is not in our future, but maybe we just get it into the house and try and get in the top-10, make some pars coming in.”
Koppenberg, 34, is a volunteer assistant coach for the men’s golf team at Western Washington University, his alma mater, in Bellingham, and helped the Vikings capture the 2019 Great Northwest Athletic Conference title. While he was a player at Western, he was a two-time NCAA Division II All-American and two-time GNAC Player of the Year. He is competing in his seventh USGA championship, including four U.S. Amateurs. He works in business development for a communication services company.
Hatley, 40, is the owner of a golf course accessories company. He played in the 2016 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball with partner Nate Hair, who is the husband of LPGA Tour player Wendy Ward. A veteran of 12 USGA events, Hatley won the 2019 Washington State Amateur in a playoff, and has been named Washington Golf’s Men’s Mid-Amateur Player of the Year for six consecutive years and counting.