Three players are tied for the lead after 36 holes played on a warm day in the 21st Sahalee Players Championship, being held at Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, Wash.
Jay Hwang of Fullerton, Calif., Mark Anguiano of Whittier, Calif. and Byron Meth of San Diego, Calif. each stand at 4-under par at the half-way point of the championship. Hwang, who will be a senior at UCLA, shot a 68 in the afternoon round to leap over 16 players to grab his share of the lead. These three players will be paired together in the final group of tomorrow’s third round.
After two rounds, there are nine players in the field of 68 that are under par, and 20 players within five shots of the lead.
The championship is being contested over 72 holes of stroke play, with no cut. The first tee time for tomorrow’s third round will be at 11:00 a.m., with the leaders teeing off at 2:40.
Visit www.sahaleeplayerschampionship.com for more information, including third round pairings and to follow along with live scoring. For a complete list of competitive bios of the players, click here.
Scottie Scheffler, the young phenom from Texas who finished tied for 22nd last month in the PGA Tour’s HP Byron Nelson Championship and who is currently the No. 3-ranked amateur in the world, struggled with Sahalee’s tree-lined fairways and is tied for 27th. Scheffler is the reigning U.S. Junior Amateur champion.
Bryson Dechambeau, who is ranked No. 10 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) and will be a senior at Southern Methodist University, arrived at Sahalee last night after a long flight from London where he competed in the Palmer Cup. He shot even-par 72 in today’s morning round, and was 3-under par in the afternoon round before jet lag and fatigue got to him and he finished with a 1-over 73. Dechambeau tied for second in last year’s SPC, and is the reigning Trans-Mississippi champion.
One of the more impressive showings today is Charles Kern of Mercer Island, Wash. who shot rounds of 72-71 and is tied for eighth. Kern is a relative unknown, ranked 2,376th in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, but was the medalist in qualifying last week to get into the invitation-only championship. This is his first time playing the SPC. He will be a senior at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Kern, whose family became members of Sahalee two years ago, had reached 3-under par in both of rounds today, but stumbled in the closing holes. “I guess I might have some advantage in knowing the course,” he said. “I know where not to hit it. But, you still have to hit the shots, and I missed a few today.”
The SPC consistently fields the top amateur golfers from around the world, and is ranked the 21st amateur championship in terms of strength of field.
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 10 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.
Admission is free to watch the championship.
This year will mark the 21st installment of the Sahalee Players Championship. In addition to the 2010 U.S. Senior Open, which was won by Bernhard Langer, Sahalee also tested the world’s best when it hosted the 1998 PGA Championship, won by Vijay Singh, and the 2002 World Golf Championships-NEC Invitational, won by Craig Parry.
The Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA) partnered with Sahalee Country Club 14 years ago to create the “Western Swing” with the Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur Championship. The Sahalee Players Championship is the first leg of the swing, with the Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur being played the following week. The two championships combined with a primary goal of providing amateur golfers in the West an opportunity to play two major national amateur championships without having to travel to the East Coast. This year will mark the 113th Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur Championship, and will be held July 6-11 at Palouse Ridge Golf Club in Pullman, Wash. (Watch the preview here.)