An impressive field of world-class amateur talent will converge on the Pacific Northwest and Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, Wash. for the 22nd Sahalee Players Championship (SPC), to be played June 29-July 1, 2015. The championship will be contested over 72 holes of stroke play, with 36 holes being played the first day, 18 the second, and 18 on the third and final day.
This year the SPC field will consist of 66 of the top amateur golfers from around the world.
A qualifier to fill the final three spots was held Monday, June 22 at The Home Course in DuPont, Wash., with the three advancing to the championship proper being Adam Barker, a freshman at Olympic College in Bremerton, Wash.; R.J. Manke of Lakewood, Wash.; and Stuart Macdonald of Vancouver, B.C., a senior from Purdue University.
Among the elite players committed to play in this year's SPC is Gunn Yang, the reigning U.S. Amateur champion, a victory that exempted him into the 2015 U.S. Open held last week at Chambers Bay. Yang, who attended Torrey Pines High School in Calif. before playing for two years on the San Diego State men's golf team, recently made the cut in the PGA Tour's Crowne Plaza Invitational.
Also playing is Byron Meth, who won the 2014 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship. Just finishing his junior year at the University of the Pacific, Meth tied for sixth in last year's SPC and made it to the Round of 16 in last year's U.S. Amateur.
Jake Knapp, the individual champion of the 2014 Husky Invitational, is also in this year's field. Knapp, a junior at UCLA, also played in last week's U.S. Open.
The strong international contingent at this year's SPC is led by 17-year-old Cheng Jin of China, who won a PGA Tour China event in November 2014 and has four other top-20 finishes on that tour. He was the medalist at last year's U.S. Junior Amateur.
There are 10 players coming from Australia and New Zealand.
Corey Pereira, who just finished his sophomore year playing for the University of Washington men's golf team, returns to the SPC this year, having tied for second in the championship last year. Pereira won the 2014 Pacific Coast Amateur Championship.
Past champions of this prestigious amateur championship include Kyle Stanley, Casey Martin, Peter Uihlein, Nick Taylor, Daniel Summerhays, Ryan Moore, Chris Williams, Arron Oberholser and Jason Gore, among others.
Five of the past 11 SPC champions were winners of the Ben Hogan Award, given to the nation's top collegiate golfer. More than a dozen SPC participants have gone on to play on the PGA Tour.
The SPC scoring record at Sahalee is the 16-under 272 (68-69-68-67) shot in 2004 by Moore, a native of Puyallup, Wash. now on the PGA Tour.
Admission is free to watch the championship.
In addition to the annual Sahalee Players Championship, the club 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; the 2002 World Golf Championships-NEC Invitational, won by Craig Parry; and the 1978 Pacific Coast Amateur, won by Mike Gove. In 2016, Sahalee will host the KPMG Women's PGA Championship, a major on the LPGA Tour.
The PNGA partnered with Sahalee Country Club 15 years ago to create the "Western Swing" with the Pacific Northwest Men's Amateur Championship. The Sahalee Players Championship is the first leg of the swing, with the Pacific Northwest Men's Amateur being played the following week. The two championships combined with a primary goal of providing amateur golfers in the West an opportunity to play two major national amateur championships held back to back in the same region. This year will mark the 114th Pacific Northwest Men's Amateur Championship, and will be held July 7-12 at Sunriver (Ore.) Resort.