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60th PNGA Junior Boys’ Amateur Championship – Round One Recap

Spencer Tibbits, Alex Wrenn, and Matt Marrese all posted Round One scores of one-under-par 71 to hold a three-way tie heading into the Second Round of the 60th Pacific Northwest Junior Boys’ Amateur Championship

The Championship is being contested at Emerald Valley Golf and Resort in Creswell, Oregon from Monday, August 11, through Friday, August 15th, 2014.
Spencer Tibbits of Vancouver, Wash. raked in five birdies to his four bogeys, to get a low number on the board early. Tibbits is the reigning 3A Washington State Boys High School Champion, a title he earned over last year’s Pacific Northwest Boys Amateur Champion, Frank Garber.

Level with Tibbits is Alex Wrenn of Lake Oswego, Ore. Wrenn was two-under-par heading into the 15th hole, but made a double-bogey six to drop back to even par. He made a birdie-four on the 18th hole to find himself tied for the lead with a 71.

Rounding out the trio atop the leaderboard is Matt Marrese of Bellevue, Wash. Marrese rallied after bogies on Hole Nos. 5 and 6, with birdies on Nos. 7 and 8. He finished with two more birdies on Nos. 15 and 16 to place himself in Medalist Honors contention approaching the second and final round of Stroke Play Qualifying.

Second Place is currently held by John Sand of Hoquium, Wash. and Riley Elmes of Lake Oswego, Ore. They are just one stroke behind the leaders after finishing with even-par 72 on the day.

Sand racked up five birdies throughout his round, but made an unfortunate triple-bogey on the opening hole.

Elmes made birdie on Hole No. 15, but fell back to even par with a double bogey on the par-four 16th.

Six players are two off of the lead at one-over-par 73. Kevin Geniza of Corvallis, Ore., Grant Cole of Redmond, Wash., Aubrey MacKenzie of Poulsbo, Wash., Ben Wanichek of Eugene, Ore., Brett Pasula of Red Deer, Alberta, and Nolan Backman of Tumwater, Wash. all recorded scores of 73 in the First Round.

All participants partake in Stroke Play Qualifying Rounds Monday and Tuesday, and are divided and seeded into flights following the First and Second Rounds. The Championship Flight will consist of the top 32 players from Qualifying, while all other flights will consist of eight players each.

The Championship Match will be held on Friday, August 15th over 36 holes.

The championship is being conducted by the Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA). This is one of 16 regional championships conducted annually by the PNGA.

The rich history of the PNGA Junior Boys’ Amateur Championship has included past champions World Golf Hall of Fame member Fred Couples, Tour player Alex Prugh, and Andrew Yun, who earlier this summer won the prestigious Sahalee Players Championship. When asked for his advice to junior golfers, Couples once said, “To any youngster, I would say hang in there. You are playing the toughest sport there is. The highs and lows of golf are so great because it is an individual sport. Let the good times roll with the bad times.”