Sahalee Players Championship: 3 Tied for Early Lead

SAMMAMISH, WASHINGTON (July 5, 2006) -- Dustin Johnson, a Coastal Carolina University golfer from Columbia, S.C., Craig Doell from British Columbia, and Kevin Chappell, a UCLA golfer from Fresno, CA all carded rounds of 3-under par 69 to share the early lead at the 13th Sahalee Players Championship.

Dustin Johnson, the 2005 Big South Conference Player of the Year and 2005 NCAA East Regional champion, put together three birdies and an eagle on the first nine holes for a 5-under par 31. His only bogey came on hole #10, when he made a double bogey six on the 397 yard, par 4. Craig Doell, one of Canada’s top mid-amateurs, had his success on the back nine holes, making birdie on his last four out of six holes on the tough finishing Sahalee Country Club. Kevin Chapell made three birdies and an eagle and was offset by two bogies. Chapell’s eagle was made on hole #2, par 5, 495 yards.

Eleven other players are under par and within one or two strokes from the lead, including Northwestern University golfer and 2006 Big Ten Conference Player of the Year, David Merkow from Hatland, Wisc, who is one stroke back at 2-under par 70. Also among the group at 2-under is 2005 AJGA All-America First Team Kyle Stanley of Gig Harbor, Wash., who will attend Clemson University in the fall.

The championship continues Thursday with 36 holes scheduled for completion. Round two begins at 8:00 a.m. with the players grouped based on their opening round scores. The leaders are scheduled to begin at 9:20 a.m. The players will remain in the same groupings when round three gets underway beginning at 1:00 p.m.

For the latest scores, click the tournament link at the top of this page (amateurgolf.com Premium Membership requested)

ABOUT THE Sahalee Players Championship

Inaugurated in 1992, the Sahalee Players Championship (SPC) at its inception strove to annually showcase the best amateur golfers in the Pacific Northwest. Past champions include Kyle Stanley, Casey Martin, Peter Uihlein, Nick Taylor, Daniel Summerhays, Ryan Moore, Chris Williams, Arron Oberholser and Jason Gore. In addition to the annual Sahalee Players Championship, the Ted Robinson- designed course has also tested the world’s best when it hosted the 2010 U.S. Senior Open, which was won by Bernhard Langer; the 1998 PGA Championship, won by Vijay Singh and the 2002 World Golf Championships-NEC Invitational, won by Craig Parry. The course opened for play in the late 1960s. The name Sahalee -- "High Heavenly Ground" in the language of the native Chinook -- was chosen to reflect the Northwest's heritage and tradition.

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