Back to all posts

Derek Bayley and Emmett Oh to meet in final match at 116th PNGA Men’s Amateur

by Ron Richmond

Derek Bayley and Emmett Oh traveled different paths to an all-Cougar final match at the 116th Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur Championships on Friday.

Bayley, seeded seventh and a rising senior at Washington State, racked up six birdies in his first seven holes at Emerald Valley Golf & Resort in Creswell, Ore. to cruise to a 2-and-1 semifinal victory over No. 14 seed Joshua Gliege of Eagle, Idaho.

Oh, seeded 13th and a recent graduate of the University of Houston, summoned his only birdie on the par-5 18th hole to hold off ninth-seeded Brian Mogg of Sammamish, Wash., who was looking to join his WSU classmate for Saturday’s 36-hole championship round.

Instead, it will be Bayley of Rathdrum, Idaho, teeing off against Calgary native Oh at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow morning.

Bayley and Mogg started their day with quarterfinal wins over University of Oregon rising juniors Edwin Yi and Sam Foust on the Ducks’ home course. Bayley denied the second-seeded Yi’s late charge to win 2-up, and Mogg claimed a 2-and-1 victory over No. 1 seed Foust, the stroke-play medalist by two shots on Tuesday.

“We were talking this morning about let’s go out with a bang here,” Bayley said. “We’re both playing Oregon Ducks. Everyone says they’re better than us and we’re on their home course and the odds are against us, but it’s just golf, man against man, and I liked our chances.”

Bayley rode that morning high to a red-hot start against Gliege, a Texas A&M rising sophomore, on the front nine in the semifinals. Bayley was 4-up after seven holes, and his seventh birdie on No. 13 had him 4-up again with five holes to go.

Gliege won No. 14 and 16 before a halve at 17 ended the match.

“It’s not very often that you get starts like that, and when you do, you definitely have to take advantage, and I did,” Bayley said. “Just being 6-under through seven put (Gliege) in a tough spot early. It really made him have to make birdies, especially on the back nine, and he did a good job of fighting, but that start really got me going.”

In the other semifinal, Oh trailed through the front nine before pulling even on No. 10 as Mogg hit a rough patch of five consecutive bogeys. Oh still struggled to take advantage, leading only 2-up through 14 holes.

“I think I’m just so worn out,” Oh said. “I don’t think either of us had much in the tank, so it was just limp home. I knew he was struggling a bit and I was struggling a bit, so it was just whoever was able to have a good hole first.”

Just as Mogg stanched his bogey bleeding with three pars, the gassed Oh ran into four in a row to leave the match all-square heading to the 18th tee. Oh’s drive found the fairway and put him in position for a birdie putt and the win.

Mogg’s drive hit a redwood in the right rough and forced him to shape two shots to get to 40 feet on the green. The left-hander gave his putt a great roll, coming up an inch short of taking the match to an extra hole.

“I got lucky there on 18 to pull it out,” said Oh, who plans to turn pro next month after the U.S. Amateur.

Mogg advanced from Friday morning’s quarterfinals, which featured five collegiate golfers from Pac-12 schools, when Foust’s par putt lipped out on No. 17. Their match was all-square through 14 before Foust lost the 15th and halved the 16th when he had long putts stop just short of the cup each time.

Two groups behind, Bayley looked to be in control at 3-up with three holes to go before Yi made a late run. After a par on 16, Yi sailed his tee shot on the par-3 17th over the green and under a large tree, and Bayley’s shot found the front bunker.

Yi chipped back to hole high on the right fringe, but Bayley’s sand wedge caught all ball, sending it almost to the 18th tee box. His double bogey left him dormie.

“Yeah, the sand shot,” Bayley said. “Not my best effort. I’m definitely going to take it as a learning experience. All I had to do was get it on the green and two-putt and the match is over. That helped me so much this afternoon, just to clear the mind.”

Bayley prevailed with a par on the 577-yard 18th when Yi couldn’t get up and down to extend the match after pulling his fairway wood short and under another tree.

The other two quarterfinal matches went to extra holes. Gliege’s birdie on the par-3 20th eliminated 54th-seeded Logan Lowe of Grass Valley, Calif. Lowe, a rising junior at George Washington University, had squared the match with a birdie on 18 after nearly holing his short chip shot for eagle.

Oh then knocked off 28th-seeded Trevor Yu of Vancouver, B.C. with a birdie on the 21st hole. Yu, a rising junior at Oregon State, had pulled even with the last of his seven birdies, including five in a row, on 18 to cap a 6-under 66.

“I played unbelievable,” Yu said. “I made five birdies in a row on 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11, and I shot 6-under. That’s the best I’ve played in a while, so I’m pretty happy with it.”

Bayley and Oh are assured of giving the tournament its 17th consecutive new champion. The last repeat winner was Jeff Quinney of Eugene in 2000 at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Bandon, Ore., to go with his title two years earlier at Bear Creek Country Club in Woodinville, Wash.

Ron Richmond is a freelance writer living in Eugene, Ore., where he formerly was a copy editor for The Register-Guard. A Baltimore native, he has worked in sports journalism for four decades.