Greg Sanders of Anchorage, Alaska fired a 4-under par 68 to take the first round lead at the 33rd Pacific Northwest Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship, being held this week at Bend (Ore.) Golf and Country Club. The 54-hole stroke-play championship is being conducted by the Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA).
Sanders, the executive director of the Alaska Golf Association, put together five birdies against a lone bogey on the 6,983-yard layout, to take a one-stroke over Tres Kirkebo of Lakewood, Wash.
Being at the top of a leaderboard is familiar territory for Sanders, who earlier this summer was on the verge of making it to the final match of the PNGA Master-40 Amateur when he had to concede his semifinal match on the last hole because a prior family commitment would have prevented him from playing in the next day’s final match.
Defending champion Mike Haack of Bellevue, Wash. sits three shots back after opening with a 1-under 71.
Other past champions within six shots of the lead on the crowded leaderboard are Erik Hanson of Kirkland, Wash. (2002), Jeff Ward of Bend (2014), and Tom Brandes of Bellevue (2006, 2012).
To be eligible to play in the PNGA Men’s Mid-Amateur, players must be 25 years of age or older by September 12, 2017 and require a USGA Handicap Index or Golf Canada Handicap Factor of 8.4 or lower to be eligible.
Opened in 1925, Bend Golf and Country Club has developed a reputation for championship conditions, and will be hosting the PNGA Men’s Mid-Amateur for the first time. Visit www.bendgolfclub.com for more information.