PORTLAND, OR (June 24, 2006) -– Mitchell Gillis, 22, a senior on the Oregon State Beaver Golf team from Williams Lake, British Columbia captured the 2006 Men’s Oregon Amateur title winning his 36-hole match play final 5 & 3 over Brad Skreen, 51, of West Linn, Ore. at Portland Golf Club.
“My goal is always to get out to a fast start and put pressure on my opponent immediately,” said Gillis who considers himself a good match play player. His other major match play victory was the 2000 BC Junior Amateur. “One thing I need to work on is to maintain my focus and be able to close out a match.”
“For the most part, I followed my game plan. I wanted to keep my ball ahead of him off the tee so that he would have to play first on his approach to the green. If he didn’t stick it close, then I would play conservatively. And if he did stiff it, only then would I necessarily go flag hunting,” he added. Keeping his ball ahead of Skeen’s appeared easy as he would often hit his tee shot 30 to 40 yards past Skreen. On the slightly 384-yard downhill thirteenth hole, Gillis hit a 3-wood nearly 300-yards.
It looked like it might be a blowout as Gillis was 5-up after the morning round. But after the 45-minute break between the morning and afternoon match, Gillis did lose his focus. Skreen is a scrappy player that just kept clawing back and won the first two holes in the afternoon round. By the end of 27, Skreen was only down 2 with nine holes left to play. “I was making stupid mistakes,” Gillis remarked.
“I shouldn’t have given him a shot at coming back,” noted Gillis. “I should have been thinking just one shot at time, and lucky for me I regained my focus after a couple bogeys.”
The Oregon Amateur, considered the “major” amateur golf in the region is also one of the oldest and most prestigious sporting competitions in the state. Started in 1904, this was the 97th Oregon Amateur. The only year’s it has not been held have been during World War I and II.
This was the eleventh time Portland Golf Club has hosted the tournament. The club has hosted a number of national championships including the 1999 US Senior Amateur, the 1982 US Senior Open, the 1955 Western Open, the 1946 PGA Championship and was the site responsible for reviving the Ryder Cup in 1947. A number of legends have walked the historic fairways at Portland Golf Club including co-course record holders Ben Hogan and Cary Middlecoff.
For complete match play results, click on the tournament link above.