PNGA Master 40: Strickland beats friend, then foe, for the title
- PNGA photo
- PNGA photo

Jeff Strickland of Mill Creek, Wash. won the 44th Pacific Northwest Master-40 Amateur Championship, beating Brad Karns of Vancouver, Wash. 3&1 in today’s final match. The championship was held this week at Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla, Wash., and conducted by the Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA).

Under cloudy, cool, and breezy conditions, with the rainfall the night before softening the course, Strickland, the No. 13 seed, birdied the par-4 first hole, and never trailed in the scheduled 18-hole match. He ended up with four birdies on the day, despite not hitting a fairway between the seventh and 15th holes.

“I didn’t miss too many shots,” Strickland said after the match. “But I was playing against a tough guy, so I had to make sure I kept it going.”

After both players bogeyed the short par-3 14th, Strickland put his foot on the gas on the uphill par-5 15th, hitting his second into the front greenside bunker and blasting out to 12 feet and sinking the putt for a birdie and taking the hole to put him 2-up with three holes to play.

Strickland closed out the match on the par-4 17th, sinking a downhill eight-foot birdie putt.

Strickland had his good friend, and roommate for the week, Brett Curtis as his caddie in today’s final match. Strickland had defeated Curtis in yesterday’s semifinal match. “There was a lot of chatter in our room last night,” Strickland said. “It was a lot of fun.”

“Yes, Jeff made some really good shots today,” said Karns, the No. 10 seed. “You think you might have an advantage at some point. The 12th and 13th holes were pivotal. Jeff put it in the left wash on 12 and then hit a great shot and put it on the green and walked off with a halve. I thought I had another chance on 13 when he put it in the fairway bunker, but then he hit another great shot and I had to sink a 25-footer just to halve the hole. It was a good battle. Jeff made some good putts coming down at the end, and he earned the victory.”

Karns was a formidable opponent, and is familiar with Wine Valley. He won the 2016 Washington State Senior Amateur, held that year at Wine Valley, and has also competed in several Northwest Open Invitationals at Wine Valley. Karns has also qualified for the 2017 and 2018 U.S. Senior Amateur championships. He plans to play in this year’s Washington State Mid-Amateur, and the Pacific Northwest Mid-Amateur.

The Master-40 Amateur Championship, which is conducted by the Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA), consists of the top amateur male golfers in the Pacific Northwest over the age of 40.

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ABOUT THE PNGA Master-40 Amateur

36-hole stroke play qualifier, single- elimination match play in flights of 8 (32-player Championship Flight). Must be at least 40 years of age, and a member of a PNGA member club.

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