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."
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.
The championship is being played alternately on the resort’s Bandon Trails and Bandon Dunes courses.
For pairings, tee times and to follow along with live scoring, click here. 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.”
ABOUT BANDON DUNES RESORT
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.
ABOUT THE PNGA
The PNGA was founded on February 4, 1899. It is a 501c3 charitable, international, amateur golf association dedicated to preserving the true spirit of golf by supporting its allied associations, conducting quality championships, and promoting activities beneficial to golfers in the Pacific Northwest.