Kern Continues March Through Bracket at 114th Pacific Northwest Men's Amateur; Quarterfinalists Set for Tomorrow
Charlie Kern of Mercer Island, Wash., the No. 1 seed entering match play of the 114th Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur, continued to roll through the bracket today, handily winning his matches in today’s Rounds of 32 and 16.
The championship is being held at Sunriver (Ore.) Resort, and is conducted by the Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA).
Today’s Rounds of 32 and 16 were held on the resort’s Woodlands course. Tomorrow’s quarterfinal and semifinal matches will be held on the resort’s Meadows course, with the first tee time of the quarterfinal matches being 7:30 am. Each match is being contested over 18 holes, with the final match, to be held Sunday, July 12, being played over 36 holes, 18 on each of the two courses.
Kern, who just graduated from William & Mary in Virginia where he played on the men’s golf team, had made it to the quarterfinals of last year’s championship, and last week finished T-7 at the Sahalee Players Championship, the first leg of the Western Swing. In the Round of 32 this morning he defeated Brian Hyun Jung of Corvallis, Ore., 5 and 4; followed by his 6 and 5 win in the Round of 16 over Joe Harvie of Orting, Wash.
“The putter is working real well,” Kern said. “I’m not really missing anything inside of 10 feet and in match play that can really wear down an opponent. And I’ve been able to get off to a good start on the front nine, jumping out to big leads right away, so that makes it easy because you just have to make pars from then on.” Kern had won yesterday’s Round of 64 match against Alex Wrenn, 5 and 4.
Other notables to advance to tomorrow’s quarterfinals are Shintaro Ban of San Jose, Calif., a freshman at UNLV whose older brother, Shotaro, won this championship in 2012, and who handily defeated Sam Warkentin, the 2014 PNGA Junior Boys Amateur champion, in the Round of 32; Dylan Wu of Medford, Ore., a two-time Oregon OSAA Class 3A High School champion, a two-time AJGA Open champion, and now a freshman on the Northwestern University men’s golf team; and Ben Wanichek of Eugene, Ore., where he was a two-time Southwest Conference Player of the Year and four-time All-Conference honoree while at Sheldon High School, and will play for the University of Richmond (Va.) in the fall.
Today’s marathon match was played by Sulman Raza, a junior at the University of Oregon, and Justin Kadin of Corvallis, Ore. who battled it out for 26 holes before Kadin won it with a par on the eighth extra hole. Kadin had been 3-up with five to play, but Raza rallied and caught Kadin at the 16th hole. The two traded pars the rest of the way. Kadin played for the University of Idaho a few years ago, and now works as a caddie at Tetherow Golf Club in Bend, Ore. Last year he qualified for the U.S. Amateur Public Links. Of his Round of 16 match with Raza, Kadin said, “I know I was playing solid golf. It wasn’t like I gave it to (Raza) to get back in the match; he hit some great shots, and anything is possible in match play. We were both just grinding it out from then on.”
The Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur is one of the oldest amateur golf championships in the world. 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.
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.