Jeff Ward of Bend, Ore. birdied the third playoff hole to win the 30th Pacific Northwest Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship, held this week at Running Y Ranch Resort in Klamath Falls, Ore. The three-day championship consisted of 54 holes of stroke play, and was conducted by the Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA).
Ward, playing in the final group of the day, had bogeyed the long par-4 18th hole to fall into a tie with Charlie Rice, also of Bend, and Brandon Lorain of Woodburn, Ore. After routine pars on the first playoff hole, Rice and Lorain both laid up with their second shots on the par-5 second playoff hole, while Ward went for the green, ending up on the fringe. He left his eagle try just inches from the hole for a tap-in birdie. Lorain also birdied, while Rice’s two-putt par forced his exit.
On the third playoff hole, with the tees moved up to make it a drivable par-4, Ward hit 4-iron off the tee which left him 84 yards from the green, and Lorain hit driver into the rough on the right side of the green. Ward hit his wedge to four feet, and Lorain chipped to within eight feet. From there, Lorain lipped out his birdie effort, and Ward drained his putt for the win.
“I love golf,” said Ward afterward. “I love amateur golf. I play a lot of it. I’ve been in final groups (in tournaments) four or five times this year and haven’t converted. It’s a learning process, and today I was super comfortable out there, even during the playoff, and I got it done this time. I’m really excited.”
Past champion Alex Stamey (2001) of Mill Creek, Wash. bogeyed the 18th hole today to miss the playoff by one shot.