In a match pitting past champions against each other, Erik Hanson of Kirkland, Wash. overcame an early deficit in today’s final match to win the 42nd Pacific Northwest Master-40 Amateur Championship, held this week at Salish Cliffs Golf Club.
Hanson defeated Paul Houvener of Mill Creek, Wash. 3 and 2. This is the fourth title in this championship for Hanson, having previously won in 2007, 2010 and 2015. Houvener had won the title in 2003.
The championship, which was conducted by the Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA), consisted of the top amateur male golfers in the Pacific Northwest over the age of 40. This year’s field featured competitors from Oregon, Idaho, Washington, Alaska and British Columbia.
Click here for complete information about the championship, including final match-play bracket scoring.
Hanson fell behind early in the match, his bogey losing the par-5 first hole to Houvener’s par, but squared the match on the 228-yard par-3 third hole. Hanson took the lead with a birdie on the par-4 seventh, and never looked back. He closed out the match on the 16th hole.
Hanson had been the No. 1 seed entering the match-play portion of the championship, having won medalist honors in the qualifying round by firing a 2-under 70, and was the only player in the qualifying field to break par. His march through the match-play bracket wasn’t easy at first, going 18 holes before winning 2-up in the Round of 32 against Ryan Mulhern of Vancouver, B.C., and winning in 19 holes against Don Bidinger of Bainbridge Island in the Round of 16.
Hanson was named the 2016 WSGA Senior Men’s Player of the Year, and was a semifinalist in last year’s Master-40 Amateur.
“It was a lot of golf over the past few days,” Hanson said. “Playing 36 holes a day (two matches each day) for me is tough. These (PNGA) championships are such a great challenge and such a pleasure to play in, and the guys who play in them are such a good group.”
When comparing match-play versus stroke-play, Hanson said, “In match play, it’s like 18 little tournaments. Each hole is independent. Some guys really enjoy match play because they don’t have to worry about a big number on a hole because it’s just one hole. I actually seem to do better in stroke play because I’m more of a plodder, hitting fairways and getting onto the green and maybe sinking a birdie putt once in a while. This course (Salish Cliffs) is the kind of course where you do need to make some birdies, so I think that’s why I was able to pull it out. There was a lot of good golf by a lot of players this week.”
Click here to watch Hanson’s post-round interview.
— PNGA Championships (@PNGALIVE) June 30, 2017
The Pacific Northwest Master-40 Amateur is one of 15 major, regional, amateur championships for men, women, juniors, and seniors conducted annually by the PNGA throughout the Northwest.
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.