Bellingham, Wash. – Teigen Brill of Spokane, Wash. defeated Forrest Van Alstine of Vancouver, B.C. by a score of 4 & 2 to win the 68th Pacific Northwest Junior Boys’ Amateur Championship; and Yeeun (Jenny) Kwon of Vancouver, B.C. defeated Ella Arnzen of Boise, Idaho by a score of 12 & 10 to win the 67th Pacific Northwest Junior Girls’ Amateur.
The two championships were held concurrently at North Bellingham Golf Course in Bellingham, Wash. Both championships are considered as counting events for the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR), as well as AJGA Performance Based Entry.
Both championships began on Monday, August 14th with 36 holes of stroke play qualifying to determine seeding for match play. All subsequent matches were contested over 18 holes in a single-elimination format, with the exception of today’s two final matches, both of which were scheduled as 36-hole contests.
Brill, the No. 25 seed in the Junior Boys’ match play bracket, was given a good test by Van Alstine in the morning 18. Brill jumped out to a quick 2-up lead, but Van Alstine battled back to tie it before dropping the 18th hole to go one down after the morning round.
In the afternoon 18, Brill kept his foot on the gas and was able to build a little bit of separation from Van Alstine. He won three of the first six holes to go 3 up and wouldn’t let Van Alstine back in it. He ultimately closed out the match after the 16th hole with a 4 & 2 victory.
“I feel great,” said Brill when asked about how it feels to get the win, “coming in as the underdog, the 25 seed doesn’t win often, so it was a good upset.”
Earlier this summer, Brill won the WJGA District 5 championship, and earlier this month, he placed 7th at the WJGA State Championship. Brill is a rising sophomore at North Central High School in Spokane, Wash., where he plays on the golf team.
“I like being the underdog and not having any expectations of going deep,” said Brill, “so it was nice to make a run on the field.”
Van Alstine, who just turned 18 on Wednesday, graduated from high school earlier this year. He’ll be an incoming freshman this fall at the University of British Columbia, where he’ll play on the men’s golf team.
Brill now adds his name to the rich history of the PNGA Junior Boys’ Amateur Championship, which includes past champions such as World Golf Hall of Fame member Fred Couples, Korn Ferry Tour players Alex Prugh and Andrew Yun, and John Bodenhamer, the former CEO and executive director of the PNGA who now is now the Chief Championships Officer with the USGA.
In the Junior Girls’ Amateur, Kwon was the No. 2 seed in the match play bracket. In today’s final match, she got off to a good start by winning the first two holes. Leading by 2 up at the turn, Kwon caught fire on the back-nine, winning five of the first seven holes on the back to build a 7-up lead after the morning 18.
In this afternoon’s round, Kwon continued to pour it on by winning four of the first six holes on the second 18. Her opponent, Arnzen, simply couldn’t keep up, and Kwon closed out the match after the 8th hole to win 12 & 10.
“This was my first time playing match play,” said Kwon, “I’m really happy because I got to experience a new genre of golf.”
Kwon, just 14 years old, won the PGA of BC Junior Championship earlier this summer. Last month, she finished 5th at the BC Junior Girls Championship. This was the first PNGA championship that she has played in.
“I was really surprised that I made it all the way to the end,” said Kwon, “I thought I was just going to make it to the middle rounds, but I made it to the top, so I feel very accomplished.”
Earlier this summer, Arnzen qualified for and played in the PGA Junior Girls Championship. This past fall, she finished in 3rd place at the 5A Idaho High School state championship as a member of the Timberline High School girls’ golf team.
Kwon’s name now goes on the trophy of the PNGA Junior Girls’ Amateur, which includes past champions such as Jo Ann Washam, Peggy Conley, Joan Edwards-Powell, Mary Budke, and JoAnne Gunderson Carner, all of whom would later be inducted into the Pacific Northwest Golf Hall of Fame after storied amateur and professional careers. Other past champions include LPGA Tour players Paige Mackenzie and Jimin Kang.
To be eligible for the PNGA Junior Boys’ and Girls’ Amateur Championships, contestants must have not reached their 19th birthday by midnight of August 18, 2023, and must have a Handicap Index or Factor not exceeding 8.4 for Boys’ or 12.4 for Girls’.
These championships are two of 11 major, regional, amateur championships for men, women, juniors and senior conducted annually by the PNGA throughout the Northwest.
About North Bellingham Golf Course
North Bellingham Golf Course in Bellingham, Washington, was opened in July 1995. The course has been designed to naturally integrate the open field qualities of the historic Wilder Ranch by Ted Locke. Golfers enjoy panoramic views of Mt. Baker while being challenged by the prevailing gale winds sweeping across the landscape of this “Real Scottish Style Links Course.”