The 63rd Pacific Northwest Junior Boys’ Amateur and 62nd Pacific Northwest Junior Girls’ Amateur are being held this week at Sandpines Golf Links in Florence, Ore. The region’s premier championships for junior golfers traditionally attracts the strongest fields of the season from throughout the Northwest.
The championships will be held concurrently August 14-18, and are being conducted by the Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA). Both championships are considered as counting events for the World Amateur Golf Ranking, as well as AJGA Performance Based Entry.
Both championships consist of 36 holes of stroke play qualifying, to be held August 14 and 15, to determine seeding for the match play portion of the championships. All matches are contested over 18 holes in a single-elimination format, with the exception of the Junior Boys’ final match on Friday, August 18, which will be played over 36 holes.
For tee times, pairings and to follow along with live scoring, click here for Junior Boys’ and here for Junior Girls’. To stay connected on social media, follow @PNGALIVE on Twitter for live updates, and use the hashtag #PNGAJunior.
In the Junior Boys’, among the players to watch for is Spencer Tibbits of Vancouver, Wash. who last summer won both the Oregon Junior Amateur and Oregon Junior Stroke Play Championship, and also won the 3A high school championship in Washington. Tibbits also qualified for the 2016 U.S. Junior, and was named the 2016 PNGA Junior Boys’ Player of the Year. He made it to the Round of 16 in last year’s PNGA Junior Boys’. Earlier this spring, Tibbits won his third WIAA 3A High School State Championship.
Also in the field are Sean Kato of Redmond, Wash., who last month won the Washington State Junior Championship; Grayson Giboney of Mill Creek, Wash., who won the 2016 Washington State Hickory Open.
The rich history of the PNGA Junior Boys’ Amateur Championship includes past champions such as World Golf Hall of Fame member Fred Couples, Web.com Tour players Alex Prugh and Andrew Yun, and John Bodenhamer, the former CEO and executive director of the PNGA who now is a senior director at the USGA.
In the Junior Girls’, players to watch for are Brittany Kwon of Bremerton, Wash., who won this championship in 2014 as a 13-year-old, and finished runner-up in last year’s championship. Last year she also won the WJGA State Championship and two other WJGA titles, as well as the 3A high school championship, and was named the 2016 WSGA Junior Girls’ Player of the Year. Earlier this spring, Kwon won her second consecutive WIAA 3A High School State Championship.
Also in the field are Montgomery and Gabrielle Ferreira of University Place, Wash., the younger sisters of Jordan, who won this championship in 2012. Earlier this year, Montgomery was selected to play in the qualifier for the LPGA Tour’s ANA Inspiration.
The storied history of the PNGA Junior Girls’ Amateur includes past champions Jo Ann Washam, Peggy Conley, Joan Edwards-Powell, Mary Budke, and JoAnne Gunderson Carner, all of whom would later be inducted into the Pacific Northwest Golf Hall of Fame after storied amateur and professional careers. Other past champions include current LPGA Tour players Paige Mackenzie and Jimin Kang.
To be eligible for the Pacific Northwest Junior Boys’ and Girls’ Amateurs, contestants must not have reached their 18th birthday by the final day of the competition.
These championships are two of 15 regional championships conducted annually by the PNGA.
Designed by world-renowned architect Rees Jones, Sandpines Golf Links opened in 1993 and was immediately lauded as the “Best New Course in America” by Golf Digest. Last year, Sandpines hosted the Pacific Northwest Mid-Amateur Championship.
The PNGA was founded on February 4, 1899. It is a 501c3 charitable, international, amateur golf association dedicated to preserving the true spirit of golf by supporting its allied associations, conducting quality championships, and promoting activities beneficial to golfers in the Pacific Northwest. For more than a century, the Association has been a pioneer in developing competitions and services and its mission has grown and evolved. Today, the PNGA remains committed to being a truly regional organization providing benefits and services to its members and member clubs throughout the Northwest.