SAMMAMISH, WA (7-1-2015) In the words of the immortal Alfred E. Newman, “what, me worry?” That must have been the feeling for Corey Pereira of Cameron Park, CA, as he walked away from the Sahalee Players with a 6-stroke margin of victory. After seven birdies in his sparkling first round, he led wire-to-wire to win in a highly competitive field.
Pereira started the final round with four birdies in the first seven holes. After a bogey on the 9th hole, he made the turn at 3-under and had a four stroke lead over Johnny Oda and Aussie Curtis Luck at 10-under for the tournament.
Another Pereira bogey on No. 14, combined with Luck’s birdie on the hole provided a two shot swing to tighten the leaderboard.
“I told my friends and family that even though I’d been dominating the tournament, there’s always a point where you think you’re going to lose it, where you’re going to need to grind it out,” Pereira told the PNGA.
And No. 15 was that moment.
Looking a double bogey right in the face, Pereira holed a 12-footer for his second consecutive bogey. Pereira’s lead was down to a single stroke, giving Luck, who drove in the middle of the fairway and made par, hope. But Pereira knew there is such a think as a good bogey, and he had just saved one.
“Yes, if it’s ever possible to build momentum by bogeying a hole, that was it,” he said. When the putt dropped Pereira pumped his fist and shouted, “Come on!”
Trying to make something happen after Pereira birdied No. 16, Luck didn’t have any… well, luck on the 17th. The 200-yard par 3 proved to be his nemesis as he triple bogeyed it after splashing his tee shot in the water. Dejected, he followed that up with another bogey on the par 5 18th.
Meanwhile, Pereira dug deep to overcome his previous mistakes and dropped a 10-footer for a birdie on 16 and celebrated with a fist pump. That was more than enough to win it going away, but he finished with flare by sinking another birdie putt on 18 to give him a 9-under 279 total.
Luck’s late bogeys dropped him into a tie for third place with Owen Taylor of San Juan Capistrano, CA, as both finished with a final total of 286.
West Lake Village resident and USC golfer Sean Crocker was about to finish behind Luck and Taylor, but the 2015 AmateurGolf.com San Diego County Amateur winner jumped over those two with an eagle on the last. He finished alone in second place with a total of 285.