*Image credit: Pacific Coast Amateur
July, 26th- Flagstaff, Arizona (VIGolf.ca) – Corey Pereira showed no signs of final round pressure, posting a three-under 67 en-route to becoming crowned the 48th Pacific Coast Amateur Champion at the Pine Canyon Club.
The sophomore at the University of Washington handled playing in the final grouping with the lead like a seasoned veteran, solidifying his name in Pacific Coast Amateur Championship lore with a 72-hole line of 70-62-62-67-261 (-19). His four round 261 total broke the Pacific Coast Amateur gross score record by two strokes held by James Lepp from 2003.
Pereira opened the round with a five-stroke lead over Lorens Chan and Whittier, Ca
lifornia native Mark Anguiano. Playing in the same grouping, both Chan and Anguiano would have needed exceptional rounds to catch Pereira, a fact that seemed to motivate Pereira to close the Championship early.
After opening the first three holes with effortless pars, Pereira would make birdies on four and six along with his only bogey of the day on the fifth.
Making the turn at one-under 34 and holding a seven-stroke lead over Chan at the time, Pereira would use his unrelenting accuracy off the tee to dismantle any hope of a come-back. He would make two more birdies on holes 14 and 16 to get his round to three-under par and his total to -19. After making a two-putt par on 17, Pereira would come down 18 with the title all but wrapped up.
After hitting his approach to 35 feet and missing his birdie try by mere inches, Pereira would make a four-foot putt coming back, raising his hands in triumph as the 48th champion in the Pacific Coast Amateur’s history.
“I felt like I played really similar to how I have been this whole week,” stated Pereira.
“I played well and just didn’t make mistakes. That’s what it took and I am sitting here now so it’s pretty awesome.”
Asked how it feels to etch his name on the Dr. Ed Updegraff with the likes of fellow Washington Huskies James Lepp and Chris Williams, Pereira was excited about joining elite company.
“Awesome. I came into this event and knew that Chris Williams won it, I think at Martis Camp, and you know I want to be the number one amateur in the world. Its really nice to kind of be following in his footsteps.”
With this win, Pereira becomes the sixth player from the Washington Husky program to win the prestigious Pacific Coast Amateur title. He also started the Championship with a triple bogey-bogey score through two holes, going 23-under-par for the next 70 holes to victory.
Finishing tied for runner-up honors was Chan and Matt Hansen. Chan, the UCLA Bruin who held the lead following round two, would struggle early in the day with double bogeys on holes seven and 12 before making three consecutive birdies to climb the leaderboard for good. Chan’s four-day total of -11 (67-63-69-70-269) was a valiant effort by a player who will be successful on the amateur circuit for years to come.
Hansen, a recent graduate of UC Davis, was finally able to post a low number, with a final round 66. His four-day scores of 69-69-65-66-(269) will no doubt bump the World Amateur No.92 up the rankings before he turns professional later this year.
Rounding out the top-5 at -10 (270) were Anguiano and Minneapolis, MN native Andrew McCain.
This years’ installment of the Pacific Coast Amateur broke records including the lowest gross by Pereira and the lowest ever round (not in relation to par) by second-day standout Alex McMahon of Tucson, AZ with a 61. The previous record was held by James Lepp with a 62 at Capilano G&CC.
The Pacific Coast Golf Assocition would like to thank the Pine Canyon Club and the Arizona Golf Association for their hospitality throughout the week.
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. Next years’ edition of the event will be held at the Eugene Country Club in Eugene, OR.
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).
Full results of the 2014 Pacific Coast Amateur can be found here.