Corey Pereira of Cameron Park, Calif. shot a blistering bogey-free round of 7-under par 65 in today’s morning round, then followed it up with a 2-under par 70 in the afternoon round in the 36-hole opening day to take a 6-shot lead heading into tomorrow’s third round at the 22nd Sahalee Players Championship (SPC), being held at Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, Wash.
The championship is being contested over 72 holes of stroke play, with 36 holes being played the first day, 18 the second, and 18 on the third and final day.
Pereira, who just finished his sophomore year playing for the University of Washington men’s golf team, had finished tied for second in last year’s SPC, and seems on a quest to finish the job this year. The SPC field consists of 66 of the top amateur golfers from around the world, and Pereira is showing he has the game to lead. Ranked No. 38 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR) following his sophomore season after which he earned All Pac-12 honors, he is the reigning Pacific Coast Amateur champion, and also won the 2014 California State Fair Amateur.
Tied for second, six shots behind Pereira, are Cheng Jin of China, who had won a PGA Tour China event in November 2014 and was the medalist in last year’s U.S. Junior Amateur; Charlie Kern of Mercer Island, Wash., who just graduated from William & Mary, and who made it to the quarterfinals of the 2014 PNGA Men’s Amateur; and John Oda of Honolulu, Hawaii, who just finished his freshman year at UNLV, and is the reigning Sea Best Invitational champion.
Visit www.sahaleeplayerschampionships.com for tee times, pairings and to follow along with live scoring. For tomorrow’s third round, the first tee time is 11:00 am, with the leaders teeing off at 2:30 pm.
Past champions of this prestigious amateur championship include Kyle Stanley, Casey Martin, Peter Uihlein, Nick Taylor, Daniel Summerhays, Ryan Moore, Chris Williams, Arron Oberholser and Jason Gore, among others.
Five of the past 11 SPC champions were winners of the Ben Hogan Award, given to the nation’s top collegiate golfer. More than a dozen SPC participants have gone on to play on the PGA Tour.
In addition to the annual Sahalee Players Championship, the club has also tested the world’s best when it hosted the 2010 U.S. Senior Open, which was won by Bernhard Langer; the 1998 PGA Championship, won by Vijay Singh; the 2002 World Golf Championships-NEC Invitational, won by Craig Parry; and the 1978 Pacific Coast Amateur, won by Mike Gove. In 2016, Sahalee will host the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, a major on the LPGA Tour.