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James Grierson Earns Medalist Honors at 115th PNGA Men’s Amateur Championship; Bracket Set; Match Play to Begin Tomorrow

James Grierson of Australia shot rounds of 67-65, a combined 12-under par, in the two rounds of stroke-play qualifying to earn medalist honors at the 115th Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur Championship, being held at Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla, Wash. Grierson has earned the No. 1 seed entering the match-play competition of the championship.

Medalist at the 115th PNGA Men's Amateur Championship James Grierson
Medalist at the 115th PNGA Men’s Amateur Championship James Grierson

The championship, which began with a full field of 168 players, has now been cut to the low 64 scores, with these players advancing to the single-elimination match-play bracket. Each match will be contested over 18 holes, with the exception of the final match, which will be played over 36 holes on July 23.

The Round of 64 matches will begin tomorrow morning, July 20. For pairings, tee times and to follow along with live scoring, visit this page.

In yesterday’s first round, Grierson shot a 5-under par 67 despite two bogeys in his final four holes. In today’s second round, he teed off in the afternoon wave of players and shot an immaculate bogey-free round of 7-under 65, going 5-under on the front, which included an eagle 3 on the 625-yard par-5 seventh hole, then coming home with two more birdies on the back nine.

Grierson had arrived at the course from Australia a few days early to get some practice in and it showed. “The course is amazing,” he said. “The fairways are wide and the greens are undulating, but they roll true and you just have to get the putts on line, which is the best part about a golf course.”

In last year’s championship, Grierson’s friend and countryman, Anthony Quayle of Queensland, Australia, won the title, when it was held at Sunriver (Ore.) Resort. “It would be great to see another Australian win this,” Grierson said. “We love coming over here to play in your summers.”

Finishing second, three shots back of Grierson, is Carl Yuan, who tied Grierson with the low round of the qualifying rounds, a 7-under 65 in yesterday’s first round. Earlier this summer, Yuan, a rising sophomore at the University of Washington, had qualified into the Sectionals for the 2016 U.S. Open.

Other notables to advance to match play are Derek Bayley of Rathdrum, Idaho, who two days ago won the Rosauers Open Invitational in Spokane, a professional event, by shooting a tournament record that included a 59 in the second round. Last month he also won the Idaho State Amateur, and had won the 2012 PNGA Amateur Public Links. A junior at Washington State University, Bayley competed earlier this year in the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball, paired with WSU teammate Aaron Whalen of Ephrata, Wash., who also has advanced this week into the match-play bracket. Aaron’s brother, Andrew, also advanced.

Also advancing are Connor Barr of Beaverton, Ore., who has already won the 2016 Oregon Amateur; Vinnie Murphy of Edgewood, Wash. and Kaleb Gorbahn of Smithers, B.C. both qualified last month for the 2016 U.S. Amateur; Reid Hatley of Hayden Lake, Idaho, the 2015 PNGA Men’s Mid-Amateur Player of Year; and Sam Warkentin, the

Others to advance are Frank Garber of Kirkland, Wash., a sophomore on the University of Washington golf team, who was the 2013 PNGA Junior Boys’ Player of the Year, and who while in high school twice won the 3A state championship, and won the Washington Junior Golf Association state title four times.

Other Northwest players of note are Kevin Geniza of Corvallis, Ore., who shot a 3-under 69. Geniza recently won his third consecutive 5A Oregon High School Championship, and in the fall will attend the University of Oregon to play for the newly-crowned national champion Duck men’s golf team; and Li Wang of Sammamish, Wash., who is a senior at Yale where he is captain of the men’s golf team.

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 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.

The Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur Championship is one of 15 major, regional, amateur championships for men, women, juniors, and seniors conducted annually by the PNGA throughout the Northwest.

Wine Valley previously hosted the Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur Championship in 2012, and also was the site of the 2013 Pacific Northwest Women’s Amateur.