*Image credit: Pacific Coast Amateur
July 24th, 2014 – Flagstaff, AZ. (VIGolf.ca) – Lorens Chan, a junior UCLA Bruin from Honolulu, HI., posted a bogey-free second round of seven-under-par 63 to catapult himself to the top of the leaderboard with 36 holes left to play at the 48th Pacific Coast Amateur Championship hosted by Pine Canyon Club.
Chan (World Amateur Golf Ranking No.93), who opened yesterday with a three-under-par 67, made the par 70 7272-yard layout seem easy today with seven birdies and no bogeys, posting nines of 31-32 en route to a 36-hole, -10 total (67-63-130).
“I have had a little struggle the last few weeks,” stated Chan.
“Luckily I made the US Am and now kind of here just figured out the swing so it feels pretty good and I am reading the greens pretty well so I am making some putts which is good.”
Making putts is what he did on the trechourous greens of Pine Canyon that are full of undulation and rolling in perfect tournament condition.
Asked what he considers the highlight of his round, Chan couldn’t pinpoint one specific shot but hinted at his overall consistency.
“I really don’t know. Throughout the whole day I didn’t really make too many bad shots. I hit a lot of fairways and a lot of greens. I gave myself opportunities to make birdies and I made seven of them so that works out pretty well.”
Chan is a four-time competitor at the Pacific Coast Amateur and today’s round marks not only his lowest score in this Championship but his lowest ever as an amateur golfer.
“This is my best round I have ever shot in my whole life. I have shot 64 twice but this is the first 63,” he said with a smile.
Sitting in solo second following another solid round of golf is Whittier, California’s Mark Anguiano(World Amateur Golf Ranking No.30) who backed up his opening round 65 with a four-under-par 66 to sit at -9 (65-66-131) for the Championship, one back of Chan.
The Cal State Fullerton graduate teed off of the back side and started his round admittedly “shaky”, making par saving putts over the first couple of holes before reeling off birdies on 15, 16 and 1 to get it to three-under-par through 10 holes. He would eagle the par-5 520 yard 4th hole after hitting an iron to four feet and converting the putt. With bogey blips on holes 6 and 7, Anguiano bounced back with a birdie on the 8th to get his round back to four-under, his eventual total.
First round leader and overnight course record holder Andrew McCain of Minneapolis, MN sits in a tie for third place after carding a respectable even-par 70 to remain at eight-under through two rounds (62-70-132).
Tied with McCain after what was a course record tying second round is Corey Pereira of Cameron Park, CA (World Amateur Golf Ranking No.104). Pereira, a sophomore at the University of Washington, tied McCain’s 62 after firing on all cylinders today. Pereira’s card featured seven birdies, one eagle and a single bogey for nines of 31-31. Pereira opened the Championship with an even-par 70, good enough for -8 with two rounds to go.
With all of the low scores being posted around him, Tucson, Arizona’s Alex McMahon saved his fireworks for the end. Arriving at the scorers table mere minutes after Pereira, the senior with the University of Arizona Wildcats bettered the course record by a single shot with a nine-under 61, good enough to jump into fifth overall at -7 (72-61-133).
McMahon’s card was colorful, posting only 6 pars over the course of the day. His nine birdies, one eagle and two bogeys etches his name in the Pine Canyon record books for the lowest ever competitive course record.
“I started the day just wanting to get under par for the tournament and get myself back into,” mentioned McMahon following his round.
“It was a fun day. Everything went in and it was definitely a lot of fun.”
Asked how it would feel if he could win the Pacific Coast Amateur as a resident Arizonan, he was excited about the possibility.
“It’d be great. I love Arizona. I love playing here. I seem to play my best golf in my home state so that’s something I would love to do and hopefully I can give it my best shot the next couple of days.”
On a day that featured moderate wind and muggy conditions, the field at the Championship took advantage of favorable scoring conditions. In total, 27 players broke par during round two.
In the Morse Cup team competition, the contingent of Anguiano, Jonathan Sanders of Chatsworth and Byron Meth of San Diego, representing the Southern California Golf Association (SCGA), claimed the trophy by a single stroke over the defending Northern California Golf Association (NCGA). Although full pressure was put on by the stellar play of Pereira with the NCGA, the -11 team score for the SCGA was a single stroke to low to catch.
“It’s always nice to beat Northern California,” laughed Sanders when asked of the win.
“They kind of think they are better than us, we think we are better than them so its nice to bring it back to Southern California…the better half.”
This is the first time since 1997 that the SCGA has won the Morse Cup.
Play for tomorrow’s third round will begin at 7:00am with players starting on the first and tenth holes. Live scoring is being collected throughout the Championship.
Held on an annual basis since 1967, with roots dating back to 1901, the Pacific Coast Amateur Championship boasts a rich history of showcasing some of the most talented golfers in the United States, Canada and beyond.
Past champions of the Pacific Coast Amateur who have gone on to successful professional careers include PGA Tour winners Billy Mayfair (1987, 1988), Jason Gore (1997) and Ben Crane (1998) as well as Web.com Tour winners and brothers Michael Putnam (2004) and Andrew Putnam (2010).
For more information on the Championship, visit www.pacificcoastamateur.com