EUGENE, Ore. — Aaron Wise knew Eugene Country Club better than most players entering the 49th playing of the Pacific Coast Amateur.
The University of Oregon sophomore and his Ducks men's golf team play the historic club three times a week during the spring and fall seasons. So Wise, who was All Pac-12 Second Team during his recently completed freshman campaign, had a full year of prep for the tournament.
He had six birdies to his name through 15 holes during Friday's final round, and despite a double-bogey at the par-4 16th, Wise secured a two-shot win over some of the biggest names in amateur golf.
Finishing in second place were two of the most notable players in the collegiate world during the 2014-2015 season — University of Texas junior Beau Hossler and Stanford University junior Maverick McNealy.
"Coming down the stretch with guys like Beau and Mav coming at you, you know that they're going to be gunning for birdies and trying to come get you," Wise said. "It was definitely a good win for me and a big confidence booster for the rest of the summer."
Hossler's final-round 64 pushed him into a share of the runner-up position while McNealy 's third-round 65 put him just a shot back entering the last day.
The golf course, redesigned by Robert Trent Jones in 1960, will host the 2016 NCAA Men's National Championship. This fact certainly helped make this year's field one the best in the nation in 2015 as players looked to preview the course. Wise looks forward to the chance to play the track again come next May.
"It's definitely a good golf course. You have to move it both ways and putt well. You have to have every aspect of the game and I think that fits my game really well," Wise said. "We don't see the course this firm or this fast very often so I think it was a big advantage for me, and everyone else in the field, to see it like this going into next year."
The reigning NCAA individual champ, SMU senior Bryson DeChambeau, shared the 54-hole lead with 2014 U.S. Junior Amateur champion Will Zalatoris at four-under par. Both players had disappointing final rounds, with DeChambeau shooting three-over 37 on the front nine and Zalatoris making double-bogey on 16 en route to two-over 72s. The pair tied for fourth place four shots behind Wise.
ABOUT EUGENE COUNTRY CLUB
Founded in 1899, Eugene Country Club is Oregon's second oldest golf club. Renovated in the late 1960's by renowned architect Robert Trent Jones, Eugene Country Club has routinely been rated one of the best courses in the Pacific Northwest. The rolling, tree-lined design will be a challenge to 84 of the top-ranked amateurs in the world over the 72-hole, four-day stroke play competition. Only one player will have the opportunity to raise the Dr. Ed Updegraff trophy as overall champion at one of North America's most historic golfing events.