University Place, Wash. – Ben Borgida of Shoreline, Wash. and Joshua Koo of Cerritos, Calif. will face each other in the final match of the 121st Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur Championship, being held this week at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash.
The 36-hole final match will be held Saturday, July 22, and will tee off the No. 1 tee at 7:30am for the morning round and 12:30pm for the afternoon round. An awards ceremony will be held immediately following the completion of the match.
To reach the final match, Borgida, the No. 2 seed in this week’s match-play bracket, defeated two heavyweights in today’s quarterfinal and semifinal matches. He came from behind in the quarterfinals to defeat No. 7 seed Ryan Voois, 1-up. In his semifinal match he came from behind again to take down No. 3 seed Jack Cantlay, 2&1, winning three of the last four holes of the match.
Borgida had played in the PNGA Junior Boys’ Amateur a couple years ago, but that had been his only prior experience in match play.
“I love match play,” he says. “I find that try to play my own game. It’s super fun. I tell my brother I feel like we’re playing with house money this week. A great golf course, a great setting. I’ve had to hit all 14 clubs in my bag here. Just a great experience.”
His younger brother Sam caddied for Ben in today’s two matches. “He’s going off to summer camp, and then I head back to school, so this has been a great chance for us to spend some time together before we go our separate ways.”
Cantlay is the younger brother of PGA TOUR player Patrick Cantlay, who competed in the 2010 U.S. Amateur, held that year at Chambers Bay.
Borgida is a rising sophomore on the Washington State University men’s golf team.
Koo, the No. 12 seed, had defeated No. 4 seed Nicholas Watts in this morning’s quarterfinal match, 3&2, and then faced No. 41 seed Ethan Chung in the semifinal.
“It was a long day, and it’s been a long week,” Koo said. “But I had a game plan.” Koo fell behind early against Chung, but tied the match at 12 and went 1-up on 13.
On 15, the par-3 with the Lone Fir in the background, Koo dropped a 6-foot putt to save par and halve the hole to maintain his lead, and immediately walked to the 16th tee and, hitting first, swung away with his driver, putting the ball on the green of the 323-yard par-4.
“In this morning’s round, I was debating about whether to hit driver there,” he said afterward. “But even if I lay up I still have to then hit a good pitch shot. So if I hit a driver good, it will put all the pressure on Chung. All I have to do is hit a good driver and it will work out in my favor.”
The two would halve 16 with birdies, and then Koo hit a 5-iron on the 208-yard par-3 17th, and proceeded to sink the 25-foot birdie to seal his 2&1 win.
Koo had competed in the U.S. Junior Amateur last year, but that was his only previous match-play experience. He competed one year on the University of Washington men’s golf team, but is transferring to play for Pepperdine University in the fall.
First held in 1899, the PNGA Men’s Amateur is one of the oldest amateur golf championships in the world. Players will compete for the Macan Cup, which is named after legendary golf course designer A.V. Macan, a member of the Pacific Northwest Golf Hall of Fame and winner of this championship in 1913.
Past champions include names such as Tiger Woods, Jeff Quinney, Ben Crane, Jeff Coston, Nick Flanagan, Jim McLean and Pacific Northwest Golf Hall of Famers Chandler Egan, Harry Givan, Jack Westland, Bud Ward and George Holland, among many others.
This year marks one of the strongest international fields in the championship’s long history.
The PNGA Men’s Amateur is one of 11 major, regional, amateur championships for men, women, juniors and senior conducted annually by the PNGA throughout the Northwest.
About Chambers Bay
Chambers Bay opened in 2007 and was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. Owned by Pierce County, the municipal course has already been the site of numerous regional and national championships, including the 2010 U.S. Amateur and becoming the first course in the Pacific Northwest to host the U.S. Open, which it did in 2015. It also hosted the 2021 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball and the 2022 U.S. Women’s Amateur. Chambers Bay has twice hosted the Washington Men’s Amateur (2013, 2020) and the Pacific Coast Amateur (2017, 2021). Along with serving as the stroke-play assisting course for this championship, The Home Course has also served as the assisting course to Chambers Bay for two USGA national championships. Visit chambersbaygolf.com and thehomecourse.com for more information.