The first round of the 8th Annual WSGA Champion of Champions, conducted by the Washington State Golf Association, will tee off on Tuesday, April 25 at The Home Course in DuPont, Wash., kicking off the 2017 championship season.
The championship will be played over 36 holes of stroke play on April 25-26. This year’s field consists of 134 champions from around the state of Washington and Northern Idaho, competing in four divisions – Men, Senior Men, Women and Senior Women. It is the strongest field to ever compete in the championship.
Tee times begin at 7:30 a.m. April 25. For pairings, results and to follow along with live scoring, visit www.thewsga.org. Follow along on Twitter @WSGAChampions and use #WSGAChampOfChamps to join the conversation.
Among the players competing in the men’s division is Jake Koppenberg of Bellingham, Wash. who is returning to defend his title. During his collegiate career at Western Washington University, Koppenberg had set scoring records in 2008 and 2009 for the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, and continues to volunteer as a golf coach at WWU. Also in the field are Kevin Beavers of Seattle, who made it to the Round of 32 in the 2016 U.S. Mid-Amateur and was named to Team WSGA for next week’s PNGA Cup; Tyler Matthews of Bellevue, the former Inglemoor High School standout who won the 2004 KingCo 4A Conference title, the 2009 PNGA Men’s Amateur, and twice won the WSGA Men’s Best-Ball (2014, 2015); and Reid Hatley of Hayden Lake, Idaho, who won the 2016 WSGA Men’s Mid-Amateur and earned 2016 Men’s Mid-Amateur Player honors for both the WSGA and Pacific Northwest Golf Association, which he had also earned in 2015.
The 2015 Senior Men’s champion Tom Brandes returns this year to defend his title. He also won the title in 2012. Brandes is a six-time recipient of the WSGA Senior Men’s Player of the Year award, and in 2015 was inducted into the Pacific Northwest Golf Hall of Fame. Other past champions in the field are Pete Higgins (2015) of Mercer Island and Keith Crimp (2013, 2014) of Ellensburg.
The strong field in the Women’s division include Sarah Lawrence of Duvall, Wash., who will be attempting to defend her title. Last year, Lawrence blistered the field with 11 birdies over two rounds, including a 5-under par 67 in the final round, matching the low round of the week, and winning by an 11-shot margin. Contenders include Brittany Kwon of Bremerton, Wash., who won four WJGA titles in 2016 and also the WIAA 3A High School Championship, on her way to being named the 2016 WSGA Junior Girls’ Player of the Year. Also in the field is Leslie Folsom of Tukwila, who won this title in 2014 and 2015.
In the Senior Women’s division, past champions in the field include Karen Madison (2015) of East Wenatchee and Yasue Alkins (2012) of Steilacoom. Also in the field are Alison Murdoch, a 2013 inductee into the Pacific Northwest Golf Hall of Fame, who won the Women’s title in 2010; and Denise Kieffer of University Place, Wash., who won the Women’s title in 2009.
The championship marks the beginning of the WSGA championship season and is hosted annually by The Home Course, which is cooperatively owned and operated by the Washington State Golf Association and Pacific Northwest Golf Association, and has been the site of numerous local, regional and national championships, including being the companion course to Chambers Bay for the 2010 U.S. Amateur and the venue for the 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links. The Home Course will also be the companion course to Chambers Bay for the 2019 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball.
To be eligible to compete in the Champion of Champions, a player must meet at least one of the following criteria:
- 2015 or 2016 Club Champion or Senior Club Champion of a WSGA member club
- 2016 champion of a WSGA Championship (excludes all team championships)
- Top-10 on the WSGA Men’s Performance Points List as of December 31, 2016
- Top-5 on the WSGA Women’s Performance Points List as of December 31, 2016
- Top-5 on the WSGA Senior Men’s Performance Points List as of December 31, 2016
- Top-5 on the WSGA Senior Women’s Performance Points List as of December 31, 2016
- 2016 WJGA State Junior Boys’ and Girls’ Champion
- 2016 champion of any event on the WSGA Men’s, Women’s, Senior Men’s, or Senior Women’s Performance Points List
The Champion of Champions is one of 13 championships conducted annually by the WSGA.
Founded in 1922, the WSGA is a 501c4 non-profit, amateur golf association governed by men and women volunteers. Serving over 68,000 individual members at more than 550 member golf clubs and 270 golf courses throughout the state of Washington and Northern Idaho, the WSGA works to continually expand the game of golf to people of all backgrounds.
The WSGA also serves as a statewide representative of the United States Golf Association (USGA) and works closely with a number of allied associations within the golf industry for the betterment of the game.
For more information, visit www.thewsga.org.