The answer to that question from the old Beatles song is “Yes”, as No. 64 seed Carson Barry of Eagle, Idaho continued his march today through the match-play bracket of the 118th Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur, being held this week at Tacoma Country and Golf Club.
Barry is still alive, and will be facing No. 8 seed Mason Greene in tomorrow morning’s quarterfinal match.
How did Barry get here? The sophomore on the Oregon State University men’s golf team had squeaked into the match-play portion of the championship, surviving a 4-hole 8-for-5 playoff and claiming the final spot despite 3-putting the second hole of playoff when a 2-putt would have secured him a better seed.
For his efforts he got to face the No. 1 seed RJ Manke, who was playing this championship on his home course of Tacoma, in the Round of 64. But Barry went toe-to-toe with Manke, and dropped a 32-foot bomb on the 20th hole to upend the bracket.
Can you say adrenaline? Barry’s stunning win over Manke fueled him for this morning’s Round of 32 match, and he promptly steamrolled Michael Sarro, the recently-crowned Nevada 4A High School individual champion, 8&7.
And he wasn’t done. In this afternoon’s Round of 16 match, Barry kept the foot on the gas, easily handling Costas Panay of Redmond, Wash., who this fall will be a freshman on the University of California men’s golf team, 5&4.
But Barry is no slouch, making it to the semifinals of the 2018 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball (with partner Sam Tidd, who also made it into match play this week). Barry is a two-time Idaho 5A High School individual champion.
“Michael wasn’t playing his best this morning, and I played pretty well,” Barry said of his Round of 32 match. “But that’s match play. I played real solid in this afternoon’s match, didn’t make a bogey. I made five birdies and was able to keep the pressure on Costas.” Barry only had to play 25 holes today, so he’ll be rested going into tomorrow’s matches.
In other matches today, brothers Chris and Michael Crisologo faced each other in this morning’s Round of 32, with the elder Chris outlasting young Michael, 1-up. But Chris, who was the No. 3 seed and is a member of the Canadian National Team and the 2018 PNGA Player of the Year, then lost his afternoon Round of 16 match against 35-year-old Jon McCaslin of Olympia.
McCaslin has won numerous local amateur events, such as the Kitsap Amateur, Capitol City Amateur, and Tacoma City Amateur; he also won the 2018 WSGA Champion of Champions.
In a battle of Mid-Amateurs, McCaslin will face Jake Koppenberg in tomorrow’s quarterfinals. Koppenberg, the No. 6 seed, is an assistant coach for the men’s golf team at Western Washington University. He has qualified for four U.S. Amateurs.
No. 61 seed Joe Highsmith of Lakewood, Wash., who also survived an 8-man playoff just to make it into match play, is still alive. He won this morning’s Round of 32 match against the formidable Reid Hatley, 1-up. Hatley is a four-time PNGA Men’s Mid-Amateur Player of the Year, and last month won the Oregon Open Invitational, competing against the region’s PGA Professionals.
Highsmith then defeated Riley Killip of Olympia, Wash., 3&1 in the Round of 16. Highsmith is competing on his home course of Tacoma C&GC. Last week he won the prestigious Sahalee Players Championship.
“I knew both of my opponents were going to bring their A game today,” Highsmith said afterward. “Reid played unbelievably well this morning. He didn’t make a single bogey. I was 3-up at one point and he squared it up and I had to win it on the 18th.”
In tomorrow’s quarterfinal match, Highsmith will face Josh McCollum, a senior at Chico State in California.
Laurent Desmarchais from Quebec, Canada, defeated No. 2 seed Sam Tidd, 2&1, in this afternoon’s Round of 16. Desmarchais, the No. 18 seed, is a member of the Canadian National Junior Team.
Desmarchais will face No. 10 seed Sean Kato in tomorrow morning’s quarterfinals. Kato will be a sophomore on the Oregon State University men’s golf team. He won the 2017 WJGA State Championship.
The quarterfinal and semifinal matches will be held on Friday, July 12, with tee times beginning at 7:30am and 12:00pm, respectively. The championship match will be held on Saturday, July 13. Each match will be contested over 18 holes, with the exception of the final match, which will be played over 36 holes.
Admission to watch the championship is free, and gallery is encouraged to walk the fairways to follow the matches.