Beale Emerges Victorious at 113th Pacific Northwest Men's Amateur
James Beale of Auckland, New Zealand won the 113th Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur Championship on the 38th hole today, defeating Cole Madey of West Linn, Ore.
The championship was held at Palouse Ridge Golf Club in Pullman, Wash. and was conducted by the Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA).
Beale, who last week finished fourth in the Sahalee Players Championship, capped off the “Western Swing” with a title-clinching par.
Madey was the first to take a lead when he rolled in a birdie on No. 3, but Beale quickly leveled the match on No. 5. The two went back and forth, both striking the ball well, hitting greens, and making putts to win holes.
Beale had opportunities early to separate himself, but his putter would not quite cooperate. Finally, on No. 9, after both players found the lateral water hazard off the tee, Beale made a lengthy bogey putt to square the match. Madey answered back, however, and made birdie to win hole No. 10 and regain a 1-up lead.
Beale began to separate himself on the first back nine. He birdied holes 12, 13, 14, and 15, to take command of a 2-up lead heading to the 18-hole break.
Both players ate lunch and relaxed over the 40-minute break, which did not seem to bother the rhythm of either player.
Madey started the second round strong, making birdies two quick birdies to square the match.
The match never swayed more than 2-up for either player in all 38 holes. The back-and-forth affair dragged on, and both players showed fatigue towards the middle of the second 18 holes.
Beale poured in the putt of the day on the 24th hole when he drained a 30-foot downhill snake to regain the lead. He then won the 25th hole to go 2-up, after Madey could not take advantage of a monster drive to within 10 yards of the green on the downhill 425-yard par 4. Beale found the rough with his drive, but stuffed it to eight feet and made the putt.
Beale kept his 2-up advantage all the way to the 30th hole of the match. Madey delivered a must-have birdie conversion on the par-3 31st hole to get back within one.
On the short, 367-yard par-4 15th (the 33rd hole of the match), Madey drove the green with the help of the greenside embankment, while Beale found the guarding front bunker. Madey brought the match level heading into the final three holes with a two-putt birdie when Beale could not convert his up-and-down.
When Madey went to the par-5 18th dormie, Beale’s back was against the wall.
Beale and Madey both found the fairway on 18, but Madey’s approach veered left, leaving him a difficult pitch up to the green. Beale fired his approach pin-high, just off the collar and used a wedge to get up and down for birdie. Madey left himself a long, downhill putt to halve the hole, and raced it by.
Beale had squared the match, and two went to extra holes.
On the first playoff hole, played from No. 1, both players found the fairway off the tee. Madey played first, leaving his approach long, but on the green with a downhill lag to follow. Beale made the same mistake he had in his match a day prior, in the quarterfinal against Conner Kumpula. Just like yesterday, though Beale found his way out of the bunker up and down, to take the match further.
On the second playoff hole, Beale played to the fairway with less than driver, while Madey found himself in fescue to the right of the green. Madey’s pitch flew over the green, leaving him with a testy downhill chip to a back-hole location.
Beale placed his second shot just off the green behind the hole, and putted to within tap-in distance.
Unfortunately Madey flubbed his first pitch, and now needed to make the next one from nearly an identical position to halve the hole and avoid defeat. His caddie, brother Clayton, slowed Cole down, and the two spent a healthy amount of time in an attempt to best work-out how he could hole the shot. Madey made an excellent play, but the ball seared just past the edge of the cup, and so gave James Beale the title.
Past champions of the Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur Championship include Tiger Woods, Jeff Quinney, Ben Crane, Jeff Coston, Nick Flanagan, Jim McLean and PNGA Hall of Famers Chandler Egan, Harry Givan, Jack Westland, Bud Ward and George Holland, among others. After winning the 1994 championship, Woods said, “The PNGA Men’s Amateur will always be very special to me since it’s my first men’s amateur victory.” Watch preview here.