*Image credit: Palouse Ridge Golf Club
July, 11th, 2014. Pullman, Washington (VIGolf.ca) – James Beale of Auckland, New Zealand and Cole Madey of West Linn, Ore. will square off in the 36-hole final championship match at the 113th Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur Championship.
Quarterfinal matches were held this morning, with the victors moving on to face off in the semifinals this afternoon. The championship, which started with an elite field of 168 amateurs, is being held at Palouse Ridge Golf Club in Pullman, Wash. and is conducted by the Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA).
The most compelling match of the day was the earliest in the quarterfinals. Derek Bayley of Rathdrum, Idaho met with Christopher Hatch of Mukilteo, Wash. Bayley made mistakes early and found himself down four making the turn.
“I just wanted to get to the back nine, because I know I could tear it up on the back,” Bayley said yesterday. “I know I can make par from anywhere on the back.”
Bayley’s confidence in his ability to make up ground on the back nine yesterday showed itself again today, as he fought back to win four of the next five holes and get back to All Square after 14 holes. Hatch struck back, and the two traded holes until 18, when Bayley made birdie to force extra holes.
With both players making pars on the first extra hole, Bayley showed his length off the tee when he nearly reached the 362-yard par-4 second hole with his drive, making an eagle-2 to claim a place in the afternoon matches.
Madey met with Charles Kern of Mercer Island, Wash. in the day’s second quarterfinal match. Madey won five holes with pars over the struggling Kern, who was yesterday’s comeback hero.
Madey defeated Kern 6 and 4, and benefited today with having family on his side, rather than against him. Cole eliminated his brother Clayton yesterday in the Round of 16, and today had Clayton caddying for him.
“Other than playing against my brother, I had gotten up early in every match, and I was able to get that going for me today,” Madey said. “After that I
pretty much just stayed steady. Today, pars were winning holes, and I was taking advantage of that.”
Dylan Wu of Medford, Ore. advanced to the semifinals by defeating 2013 finalist and runner-up Hans Reimers of Lake Oswego, Ore. Reimers played well, but had a tough time keeping up with the hot putter in Wu’s bag.
Wu won holes 13, 14, and 15 with birdies and took the match 2 and 1. Wu went on to face Madey in the semifinal.
Beale, who is Reimers’ roommate at Mercer University in Georgia, squared off with Conner Kumpula of Albany, Ore. in the quarterfinals. Beale won the first hole of the match with a par, but the two halved the next six holes. Kumpula, who found himself 1 down at the turn, made an eagle-3 on No. 10 to square the match.
Kumpula made a clutch birdie putt on the final hole of regulation to force extra holes. On the first extra hole Beale found himself with a brutally buried lie in a greenside bunker, with Kumpula safely on the green in regulation. Beale made a spectacular play from sure-death, and nearly holed the shot for birdie. Kumpula three putted, and Beale’s tap-in par saw him into the semifinals.
“Obviously a buried lie is not ideal, but with that one I knew I had a chance because all I had to do was get it out of the bunker,” Beale explained. “If I
got it out it would have a chance, but obviously I was ecstatic with the result.”
Madey advanced to play Bayley in the afternoon semifinal. Bayley found himself down early to Madey, a position both players were familiar with throughout the championship. Madey held off Bayley’s comeback bid after Bayley drove the 367-yard par-4 15th with a three wood. He drained his 20-foot eagle putt to pull the match to 2 down. Madey came back with birdie on the par-3 16thto end the match, and place himself in tomorrow’s final match.
Past champions of the Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur Championship include Tiger Woods, Jeff Quinney, Ben Crane, Jeff Coston, Nick Flanagan, Jim McLean and PNGA Hall of Famers Chandler Egan, Harry Givan, Jack Westland, Bud Ward and George Holland, among others. After winning the 1994 championship, Woods said, “The PNGA Men’s Amateur will always be very special to me since it’s my first men’s amateur victory.”
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