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Strickland and Karns to meet in final of PNGA Master-40

Jeff Strickland of Mill Creek, Wash. and Brad Karns of Vancouver, Wash. will square off in tomorrow’s final match of the 44th Pacific Northwest Master-40 Amateur Championship, being held this week at Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla, Wash. The match, scheduled for 18 holes, will begin at 7:30am on Thursday, June 27.

Wine Valley Golf Club

Championship Links:

Strickland, the No. 13 seed, poured it on early in his afternoon semifinal match against Brett Curtis of Sammamish, Wash., making birdie on the first hole and never looking back. He made four birdies on the front nine, and was 4-up at the turn. “I know his game,” Curtis said. “Once he starts raining putts, he gets on a roll. I shot even-par on the front nine and was four down.”

“It’s what you need to do in match play,” Strickland said, of his hot streak with the putter. “Brett was hitting his approaches inside me, but he just couldn’t find the cup, and I had the rock rolling pretty good. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

Strickland and Curtis are good friends, having played in numerous events and invitationals together. They are roommates this week, while both competing in the Master-40. In tomorrow’s final match, Curtis will caddie for Strickland. “We made a promise to each other, that if one of us gets that far, then the other would be the caddie,” Curtis said. “Jeff definitely earned it, and I’m happy to go along for the ride.”

Curtis had played his way into this afternoon’s semifinal match with Strickland by defeating Tyler Daniels in the morning’s quarterfinal, 2&1. Daniels was the bracket’s No. 1 seed, and is also the course superintendent at Wine Valley.

Click here for Strickland’s post-match interview.

Karns, the No. 10 seed, sunk a 12-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole to win his semifinal match 2&1 against Ray Schuler of Tacoma, Wash.

“I had Ray 3-down and he picked up a couple holes coming down the stretch,” Karns said. “We talked about it after the match. Playing 36 yesterday and 36 again today, both of us were a little fatigued. I don’t think this afternoon’s match was our best display of golf, but you just try to stay mentally focused and get it done.”

Karns is familiar with Wine Valley. He won the 2016 Washington State Senior Amateur, held that year at Wine Valley, and has also competed in several Northwest Open Invitationals at Wine Valley. Karns has also qualified for the 2017 and 2018 U.S. Senior Amateur championships.

“I’m getting more and more comfortable with match play,” Karns said. “It’s certainly a different game. One hole is not going to kill you, and you just move on if something doesn’t go your way.”

Click here to watch Karns’ post-match interview.

The championship, which is conducted by the Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA), consists of the top amateur male golfers in the Pacific Northwest over the age of 40.

Click here for complete information about the championship.