BEND, Ore. (July 11, 2011) -- The 110th Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur Championship conducted by the Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA) got underway today with 152 players teeing it up at Tetherow in Bend, Ore. Chris Williams of Moscow, Idaho continued to impress after coming off his win last week at the Sahalee Players Championship, and carded an opening round of 4-under par 68 tying the competitive course record.
His opening nine was flawless with birdies at Nos. 1, 4, 8, and 9 for a 32. Williams did not play the back-9 in his practice round but still managed to make two birdies on Nos. 11 and 18 with just two bogeys on the day which came on Nos. 13 and 16.
Right behind Williams and vying for medalist honors as well is a pair of Oregon State Beavers; Matt Rawitzer of Bellingham, Wash. and Nick Sherwood of Albany, Ore. Rawitzer who recently joined the OSU Beavers team and will be a Junior played very consistently and fired in five birdies on the day at Nos. 1, 2, 11, 13, and 18 with just two bogeys on par-3 holes Nos. 7 and 17 for an opening round of 3-under par 69. Ellis who will also be a Junior in Corvallis had a field best, six birdies on the round at No. 2, 4, 5, 10, 13, and 18 with a lone bogey on No. 7 and a double bogey at the par-5 No. 9. Only 3 other players shot under par today; David Fink (70) from Kailua, Hawaii, Andrew Vijarro (71) of Bend, Ore., and Nick Thomas of Westlake Village, Calif.
The Championship begins with 36-holes of stroke play qualifying followed by a cut to the low 64 players who will advance to single elimination match play. The second and final round of stroke play qualifying will commence at Tetherow on Tuesday morning.