Nate Hair of Edwall, Wash. capped off an impressive week with a 4 and 3 victory over Tom Brandes of Bellevue, Wash. in the final match to win the 39th Pacific Northwest Master-40 Amateur Championship, held on the Prospector Course at Suncadia in Cle Elum, Wash.
In the final match, Brandes jumped to an early 1-up lead with a par on the par-4 first hole, and the lead held after nine holes. But beginning on hole No. 10, Hair won five of six holes, closing out the match with a par on the par-3 15th hole.
This is the first PNGA championship that Hair has competed in. “I’m a little overwhelmed by it,” Hair said of his victory. “There’s a lot of really great players here.”
After four days this week of sunny and calm weather, the wind picked up during today’s final match. “Yes, the wind really made it tough today,” Hair said. “It really changed the golf course, and you really had to bear down and hit some shots you normally wouldn’t have to hit.” Watch Hair’s post-round interview here.
Hair narrowly made his way through the Rounds of 32 and 16 in the match play bracket. In the Round of 32, he birdied the par-5 18th hole to square his match with Roger Eichhorn of Bend, Ore., and then won the 19th hole. In the Round of 16, Hair was 4-down after four holes in his match against Karl Smith of Gig Harbor, Wash. He squared the match after 13 holes, then won on the 19th hole.
Brandes has won multiple PNGA championships. He is the reigning PNGA Senior Men’s Amateur champion, and has won the past three PNGA Senior Men’s Player of the Year awards. The Master-40 is the one title that has eluded Brandes.
The championship called for 36 holes of stroke play qualifying which seeded the competitors into match play brackets. All matches were 18 holes and were played at scratch.
The Pacific Northwest Master-40 is one of 15 major, regional, amateur championships for men, women, juniors, and seniors conducted annually by the PNGA throughout the Northwest.