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Anguiano Alone at Top After Three Rounds at Sahalee Players Championship

Mark Anguiano of Whittier, Calif., who began the day tied for the lead, shot a second-consecutive 3-under par 69 to seize the lead outright after three rounds at the 21st Sahalee Players Championship, being held at Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, Wash.

Mark Anguiano, leader after day 2 of the 21st Sahalee Players Championship
Mark Anguiano, leader after day 2 of the 21st Sahalee Players Championship

In temperatures that hit the low 90s, Anguiano, playing in the final group, was the only one of his playing partners to put together a solid round. He has shot all three rounds under par. He just completed four years playing at Cal-State Fullerton, where he recently won his school’s collegiate championship by 10 shots. “This is my first time (here at Sahalee),” he said. “I hit a pretty straight ball in general, so the course fits my game.” He said he’ll be turning professional in August, and will try his hand at Qualifying School in the fall.

Anguiano had started the day tied at 4-under par with Jay Hwang of Fullerton, Calif. and Byron Meth of San Diego. Meth shot a 2-over par 74, and is now tied for third, while Hwang is tied for ninth after ballooning to a 5-over par 77.

Climbing hard up the leaderboard is Kurt Kitayama, a senior-to-be at UNLV, who shot a 4-under 68 and sits alone in second place, one shot behind Anguiano, and the two of them are threatening to make this a two-horse race in tomorrow’s final round. Playing with them in tomorrow’s final group will be Corey Pereira, who will be a sophomore at the University of Washington. Pereira made it into the final group by eagling the par-5 18th hole, after making a double-bogey five on the par-3 17th.

Kurt Kitayama, one shot back of the lead
Kurt Kitayama, one shot back of the lead

Of 68 players who began the championship, only seven have navigated Sahalee’s famed tree-lined fairways to post scores under par.

The first tee time for tomorrow’s final round will be at 8:00 a.m., with the leaders teeing off at 11:40.

Visit for more information, including final round pairings and to follow along with live scoring. For a complete list of competitive bios of the players, click here.

The comeback story so far is that of Tae Koh of Auckland, New Zealand. After stumbling to a 6-over par 78 in the first round, he has stormed back with solid rounds of 68 and 69 and now sits at a combined 1-under par, tied for sixth going into tomorrow’s final round. After 10 holes in the first round he was eight over par, and in the 44 holes since then he has gone 9-under par. “I’m pretty delighted with my comeback so far,” he said, in an understatement. Koh is the reigning Australian Amateur champion.

The SPC consistently fields the top amateur golfers from around the world, and is ranked the 21st amateur championship in terms of strength of field.

Past champions of this prestigious amateur championship include Kyle Stanley, Casey Martin, Peter Uihlein, Nick Taylor, Daniel Summerhays, Ryan Moore, Chris Williams, Arron Oberholser and Jason Gore, among others.

Five of the past 10 SPC champions were winners of the Ben Hogan Award, given to the nation’s top collegiate golfer. More than a dozen SPC participants have gone on to play on the PGA Tour.

Admission is free to watch the championship.

This year will mark the 21st installment of the Sahalee Players Championship. In addition to the 2010 U.S. Senior Open, which was won by Bernhard Langer, Sahalee also tested the world’s best when it hosted the 1998 PGA Championship, won by Vijay Singh, and the 2002 World Golf Championships-NEC Invitational, won by Craig Parry.

The Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA) partnered with Sahalee Country Club 14 years ago to create the “Western Swing” with the Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur Championship. The Sahalee Players Championship is the first leg of the swing, with the Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur being played the following week. The two championships combined with a primary goal of providing amateur golfers in the West an opportunity to play two major national amateur championships without having to travel to the East Coast. This year will mark the 113th Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur Championship, and will be held July 6-11 at Palouse Ridge Golf Club in Pullman, Wash. (Watch the preview here.)