Bandon, Ore. – In extremely windy conditions, Mark Strickland of Mukilteo, Wash. carded an impressive 1-under par 69 at the Bandon Trails course to lead an elite field of 168 amateurs in the first round of stroke play qualifying at the 112th PNGA Men’s Amateur Championship, being played at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Bandon, Ore.
Strickland, a sophomore on the Western Washington University golf team, survived conditions that included 25-30 mph winds with gusts up to 40-50 mph. Strickland, who had never played Bandon Trails until this morning, played the first eight holes at 2-over par, but things turned around quickly after making an eagle on the par 5 ninth hole, and he kept in under par from that point forward. “I had never seen this course before so it was helpful to take a local caddie” said Strickland. “The key out here is to keep the ball in play and that’s my goal to get to match play” he added. When asked about playing in these extreme conditions, Strickland said “I am a low ball hitter, very low, so it helps me in this strong wind” For the full interview with Strickland click here.
The championship, which has a full field of 168 players, begins with 36 holes of stroke-play qualifying held on Monday and Tuesday, followed by a cut to the low 64 players who will advance to single elimination match play. (Watch the preview here.) The championship is being played alternately on the resort’s Bandon Trails and Bandon Dunes courses.
The resort has previously hosted this championship in 2000, and it was won by current PGA Tour player Jeff Quinney. Past champions of the PNGA Men’s Amateur Championship include Tiger Woods, Jeff Quinney, Ben Crane, Jeff Coston, Nick Flanagan, Jim McLean and PNGA Hall of Famers Chandler Egan, Harry Givan, Jack Westland, Bud Ward and George Holland, among others. After winning the 1994 championship, Woods said, “The PNGA Men’s Amateur will always be very special to me since it’s my first men’s amateur victory.”
Bandon Dunes Golf Resort opened with one course in 1999, the Bandon Dunes course, and has since added three courses – Pacific Dunes, Bandon Trails and Old Macdonald – as well as a 13-hole par-3 course, Bandon Preserve. The resort has developed a worldwide reputation as a golf destination, as well as for hosting regional and national amateur championships. It has hosted the 2006 Curtis Cup, 2007 U.S. Mid-Amateur, 2011 U.S. Amateur Public Links and Women’s Amateur Public Links, and last year hosted the 46th Pacific Coast Amateur.
The original purpose of the PNGA was to conduct a regional amateur championship for men and women. For more than 110 years, 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.
The PNGA Men’s Amateur Championship is one of 16 major, regional, amateur championships for men, women, juniors, and seniors conducted annually by the PNGA throughout the Northwest.