Ken Tanigawa with the Kochina Trophy
[photo courtesy of Arizona Golf Association]
PHOENIX, Arizona (August 5, 2017) -- Ken Tanigawa is a champion once again, winning his final two holes for a 1-up win at the Arizona Amateur Championship. The 49-year-old from Paradise Valley beat 31-year-old Chad Wilcox of Phoenix for his second Arizona Amateur Champion title and coveted Kochina trophy in just three years.
“It means a lot,” said Tanigawa after his win. “I accomplished something against all these young players that are really good so I feel very fortunate to have won.”
It was a very even match from the start, as Tanigawa and Wilcox stayed all square through the first eight holes before Tanigawa birdied on the par-4 ninth hole to go 1-up at the turn.
On No. 10, Tanigawa hit his tee shot out-of-bounds, bringing the match back to a tie.On the par-5 13th, both players made eagle, the match still gridlocked with only 5-holes to go.
Wilcox managed a par on No. 16 after a tee shot that he sent way right. Tanigawa missed his par effort, going 1-down headed into the final two holes.
Tanigawa responded when it counted, making a winning birdie on 17 to bring it back to all square going into 18. Wilcox missed his par putt on 18 and Tanigawa won 1-up for his second Arizona Amateur Champion title.
“I felt pretty good. I felt calm all day long. Chad played well, boy hits the ball a long ways. He made a lot of putts on top of me to tie the hole so it made it hard to gain any momentum but it was a really fun match,” he said.
“We expected some really good scores. These guys are no strangers to shooting low scores,” said Moon Valley Country Club Head Golf Professional Jim Meyers.
“Ken Tanigawa is a staple in amateur golf [in Arizona],” he added.
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ABOUT THE Arizona Amateur
The event will play host to a maximum field size of 156
players for qualifying rounds, with the field cut to the
top 64 players for the match play championship, all
competing in one division. The event will consist of a
36-hole qualifier, followed by a 64-player match play
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