RJ Manke of Lakewood, Wash. shot rounds of 67-65 to finish stroke-play qualifying at 12-under par, earning medalist honors and the No. 1 seed entering into the match-play portion of the 118th Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur Championship.
The premier championship began with a full field of 168 elite amateur players from the around the region and across the country, with 64 players now advancing to single-elimination match play.
The stroke-play qualifying rounds were held at Tacoma Country and Golf Club and also at Chambers Bay, which is the assisting course for the championship. All matches will now be contested at Tacoma.
The Round of 64 will be held Wednesday, July 10, followed by the Rounds of 32 and 16 on Thursday, and quarterfinals and semifinals on Friday, with the championship match on Saturday, July 13. Each match will be contested over 18 holes, with the exception of the final match, which will be played over 36 holes.
As medalist, Manke’s name now will be engraved on the perpetual Charles Davis Trophy, which has past medalist names on it such as Tiger Woods, Michael Putnam, Adam Hadwin, Casey Martin, and Rick Fehr, among others.
Manke, who just finished his sophomore year playing for the Pepperdine University men’s golf team, continues his hot summer. Yesterday he shot 5-under 67 on his home course of Tacoma, then blitzed Chambers Bay today, shooting 6-under on the front nine alone. His second round of 7-under 65 included two bogeys. Earlier this season he won the West Coast Conference individual title, and last month ran away from the field in winning the Mexican Amateur by nine shots over the nearest competitor. Last summer Manke won the 2018 Washington State Amateur.
“Tacoma is my home course, so it’s a little bit different playing there in a tournament instead of with just my buddies,” Manke said. “I made a lot of birdies on both courses, and that always helps. I think match play is really fun, and I really like making into brackets. Looking forward to doing this on my home course.”
Other notables making it into match play are:
- Joe Highsmith of Lakewood, Wash. survived an 8-man playoff for the final spots. He is competing on his home course of Tacoma C&GC. Last week he won the prestigious Sahalee Players Championship. In 2017 he won the Washington State Amateur, and was named the 2017 PNGA Junior Boys’ Player of the Year. He just finished his freshman year at Pepperdine University, and was recently named the West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year.
- Former University of Arizona golfer Reid Hatley of Hayden Lake, Idaho, who was the PNGA Men’s Mid-Amateur Player of the Year for four consecutive years (2015-18). Last month he won the Oregon Open Invitational, competing against the region’s PGA Professionals.
- Chris Crisologo of Richmond, B.C. who is a member of the Canadian National Team, and was named the 2018 PNGA Player of the Year.
- Michael Crisologo, Chris’ younger brother, who won the 2019 Future Links Pacific Championship, and in the fall will be a freshman on the Simon Fraser University men’s golf team.
- Shawn Lu of Honolulu, who is a senior on the Oregon State University men’s golf team, and qualified for the 2018 U.S. Amateur. He won the 2015 Hawaii State Amateur.
- Sam Tidd of Meridian, Idaho, who made it to the semifinals of the 2018 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball with partner Carson Barry of Eagle, Idaho, who also survived a playoff to claim the final spot in the bracket.
- Josh Gliege of Meridian, Idaho was the 2015 PNGA Junior Boys’ Player of the Year.
- Kai Iguchi, who was the 2018 Golfer of the Year in Alberta, and is a member of the Canadian National Team.
- The youngest competitor in the field is Ethan Evans of Mercer Island, Wash., at 15 years, five months. In May, Evans won the 2019 3A High School Boys’ individual title.
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 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.
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.
Founded in 1894, Tacoma Country and Golf Club is the oldest golf club in the U.S. west of the Mississippi, and an original founding club of the PNGA. Originally designed in its current location by the great Canadian architect Stanley Thompson, the club has been the site of numerous national championships, including the 1961 U.S. Women’s Amateur, 1984 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur, 1994 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur and the 2007 U.S. Junior Girls’. In 2017 it was the site of a U.S. Open Sectional qualifier. It has hosted the Washington Open three times (1932, 1997, 1998), and the Northwest Open seven times (1910, 1915, 1925, 1931, 1966, 1979, 1985). It was the site of the first PNGA Championship in 1899, and in 2016 hosted the Washington State Amateur.
Chambers Bay has hosted the 2010 U.S. Amateur and 2015 U.S. Open, as well as the 2013 Washington State Amateur and 2017 Pacific Coast Amateur. It will be the site of the 2021 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball.
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.
Putnam poses with the Charles Davis Trophy (which he won in 2002), given each year to the championship’s medalist. pic.twitter.com/P3Koswn58q
— PNGA Championships (@PNGALIVE) July 9, 2019
This afternoon Manke’s grandmother Bonnie stopped by the scorers table at Tacoma C&GC to say:
“RJ is a very sweet boy, and he’s been playing golf since he was 2.”
— PNGA Championships (@PNGALIVE) July 9, 2019