FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (July 25, 2014) -- Corey Pereira, a sophomore at the University of Washington, cruised to victory Friday at the Pacific Coast Amateur, held at Pine Canyon Club.
Pereira followed his pair of amazing second and third round 62s with a final round 67 to win by 8 strokes over Matt Hansen of Los Osos, California and Lorens Chan of Hawaii.
The second of those two 62s, posted by Pereira on Thursday allowed him to open up a 5 shot lead heading into the final round, while enjoying pouring in birdies and eagles on a day he said his friends at Cameron Park Country Club would call "a 59 watch."
In Friday's final round, Pereira played steady on the front with one bogey, two birdies and the rest pars.
Making the turn at 1-under 34 and holding a 7-shot lead over Chan, Pereira would use his unrelenting accuracy off the tee to dismantle any hope of a come-back. He would make two more birdies on holes 14 and 16 to get his round to three-under par and his tournament total to 19-under. After making a two-putt par on 17, Pereira made a routine par on No. 18 before raising his hands in victory.
"I played well and just didn't make mistakes," said Pereira. "That's what it took and I am sitting here now so it's pretty awesome."
Pereira became the sixth player from the Washington Husky program to win the prestigious Pacific Coast Amateur title.
The race for second place proved interesting one between UCLA golfer Lorens Chan -- who held the lead following round two -- and recent UC Davis graduate Matt Hansen. Chan saw his tournament slipping away with two double bogeys through the 12th hole but came back with 3-straight birdies to finish tied with Hansen at 11-under.
Hansen, a recent graduate of UC Davis, finished strong with his final two rounds of 65-66. The Los Osos, Calif. native plans on turning professional later this year.
Mark Anguiano of Whittier, Calif. and Andrew McCain of Minneapolis tied for 4th at 10-under.
AMAZING COMEBACK -- Pereira started the tournament bogey - triple bogey and had the resolve to keep in the game. He went 23-under for his next 70 holes.
GOING LOW -- The Pine Canyon Club course record of 64 was broken at least four times in the tournament, with one of those rounds on the first day by two shots, as Andrew McCain took the lead with a 62. Of course, winner Corey Pereira did it twice back-to-back on Wednesday and Thursday.
The round of the tournament was a 61 posted by Alex McMahon of Tucson in Wednesday's second round. Although he finished T12, he has the course record and Pacific Coast Amateur one round record.
The course is a par 70, with a yardage of 7160, but at 7000 feet elevation in nearly perfect summer conditions (temps in the high 80s/low 90s) the "ball goes far" and top players take advantage of it. That said, it takes a lot more than distance to shoot double-digits under par for 72 holes!
ABOUT THE PACIFIC COAST AMATEUR
Held on an annual basis since 1967, with roots dating back to 1901, the Pacific Coast Amateur Championship boasts a rich history of showcasing some of the most talented golfers in the United States, Canada and beyond.
Past champions of the Pacific Coast Amateur who have gone on to successful professional careers include PGA Tour winners Billy Mayfair (1987, 1988), Jason Gore (1997) and Ben Crane (1998) as well as Web.com Tour winners and brothers Michael Putnam (2004) and Andrew Putnam (2010).
- The Pacific Coast Golf Association contributed to this story